One of the most important take aways was the teaching on imagination’s role in the process of forgiveness. Not too long age, I listened to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now interview Eve Ensler on her book The Apology, which was recently published and imagines an apology from her late father for his abuse. Trudy mentioned Ensler’s book and expounded on the idea of i) imagining what one seeking an apology and the perpetrator would say or do in the most helpful ways, ii) coming from a place of recognizing the perpetrator’s humanity-which can be a process as well, and iii) “planting seeds of forgiveness” through intentions and acknowledgement of trans-generational trauma. These “narratives” told, repeated in words, action/inaction through family transmission or the collective psyche can also result from experiences perpetrators knew not, or chose not to handle justly for perhaps multiple reasons we may not ever be able to know or understand. This piece in the forgiveness process is important to recognize.
Analogous to narrative therapy, we can construct a more helpful story of what has happened, traumas endured and learn to forgive by stepping into the process, and being willing to acknowledge and imagine the words and gestures that can be healing. Ensler’s book is on my reading list and I look forward to learning from this remarkable and courageous woman who has furthered the truth that a profound heart, creativite mind and acts of courage are often borne out of our most difficult human experiences. This seems so on both personal and societal levels. Thus, as we encounter violence in life and society, we can catch ourselves when we are losing our sense of recognizing others’ humanity and/or our words or thoughts, and our actions have traces of their own aggression. We can take steps to counter the hate, and we can do so without ugliness.