UNCONDITIONAL FORGIVENESS

There's a Spanish proverb, "If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." Indeed, much of our forgiving tends to be conditional. Before we really forgive completely, we want to see how things will turn out. We'll forgive as long as they don't commit any further wrongs against us. We'll forgive ifwe win. We'll forgive if they lose. In other words, we are willing to forgive as long as we know the outcome and feel as if we have some control over the process. Yet the way of healing and transformation is through unconditional forgiveness, when we no longer need to know how it's all going to work out in order to forgive. We just forgive— that's all— regardless of what happened or will happen. Regardless of who's to blame. Hannah Arendt says that there is always an unexpected and foreseen good which comes from this kind of forgiveness. Because our forgiveness is unpremeditated and noncalculating, the results are always far beyond anything we can imagine and better.