Originally published on LinkedIn on September 21, 2015
A Path to Personal Forgiveness: Defeat the Three Dragons
by Deepak Chopra, MD
This post is part a series in which Influencers and members discuss how to drive change that matters. Read all the posts here and write your own; include the hashtags #2030NOW and #ForgiveForPeace in the body of your post.
All of us, I feel fairly certain, believe that forgiveness is a positive quality. But the fact that religion has been the traditional basis for finding forgiveness has made it seem quite often that there’s something saintly, or at the very least unusually gentle, compassionate, and selfless in those who can forgive. Since the current project is to create a wave of forgiveness with a global reach, I think forgiveness needs to be brought down to earth.
To begin with, forgiveness comes at the end of a process, not at the beginning. In order to forgive yourself or another person, three obstacles must be overcome. Let’s call them the three dragons of judgment, anger, and blame. Each has had powerful effects in everyone’s life. Millions of people feel justified in clinging to their own dragons, and it takes conviction to realize that nothing about judgment, anger, and blame actually serves anyone’s self-interest.