Dr. Laura is a controversial character. A lot of people love her, but for some, their skin begins crawling when they hear her voice. I happened upon her radio show while driving across the perpetually long, flat plain of the Sacramento Valley. “She’s so sure of herself!” I marveled. Then, “Wow, she really tells people what to do… and they love it!” Later, “She sounds like a bitch!”
Dr. Laura isn’t warm and fuzzy, but she will give you a piece of her mind without apology. This point is ironic, given her take on forgiveness. In her youtube post, Dr. Laura says she’s “come up with ‘The Four R’s of Forgiveness,’” which are necessary before a person should forgive:
- Responsibility – the perpetrator acknowledges what he or she has done
- Remorse – only God knows for sure, but you can tell if they’re really honest and care about apologizing for their “trespass”
- Repair – although some things can’t be fixed, they can try to make it better
- Repetition – they take steps to make sure they never repeat the transgression. And they need to have patience to let you recover trust in them.
These are well known, documented steps of apology, not forgiveness. Dr. Laura is suggesting that we all wait until we get a good apology before we forgive. That’s a time honored strategy, but usually, it’s doomed to fail.
Even though she’s a therapist, Dr. Laura hasn’t done her homework in this important department. I’ll tell you why:
If you wait for an apology, you could wait forever. Maybe you’ll never get one, maybe the other person is dead or unreachable, or maybe he or she is waiting for an apology from you! Maybe you’ve gotten an apology, but you didn’t like it, and you want a better one (hmmm… probably not going to happen.) Waiting for an apology is a classic case of egos at a stand-off. The battle’s on; forces are marshaled. One side will win when the other side caves (and apologizes). And that apology better be good!
With true forgiveness, we decide to walk off the battlefield altogether. We make a soul-centered choice to release all sadness, fear and pain around the issue – not for another person, but for our own peace of mind, serenity of heart and reconnection with unconditional love. Once we get into it, we realize the problem isn’t even about the other person at all, but about our openness to healing. Forgiveness sets us free; it doesn’t wait around to see if someone else is perfect enough to receive our ego’s blessing. Forgiveness is the bridge to the healing salve of the Holy Spirit. It asks nothing in return, except our willingness to be happy and openhearted once again.
Dr. Laura, with your 4 R’s you’ve said nothing new – you just missed the boat, that’s all. Apologies are great, when they’re heartfelt and specific. But forgiveness is an entirely different journey. It feels different, looks different and has a different energy vibration. Everyone’s welcome; that’s the miracle. Want to come aboard?
This is a post from Ana Holub’s blog. Read more at http://www.clearpathtopeace.com