I hope that January has been fruitful to you and that your plans for February are soaring higher!
I read somewhere: “The weak cannot forgive as forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” And the more I hover over this thought, the truer it appears. Generally defined, forgiveness is a conscious and deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance towards someone who has hurt you.
So, let’s shed some light on the role of ‘forgiveness’ in our lives.
Firstly, why is forgiving others so important?
When we harbor unforgiveness, we are constantly focusing on someone else. It hinders us from experiencing happiness because we are so concentrated on how that person hurt or offended us. With this, we get stuck in that accusatory state that hinders our progress in other aspects of life. Forgiving means that you’re letting go of the bitterness in your heart and choosing to focus on the greater things in life. This not only gives you a wider perspective but also allows you to see that forgiveness benefits the forgiver more than the one who is forgiven.
Forgiveness can, at times, be a hard pill to swallow especially if you are the one who needs to do the forgiving. The world tells us to treat people the way they treat us. But the appropriate way to put this would be ‘treat people the way you want to be treated.’ And this is when we’ll realize that if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven!
Now, no one would deny the fact that each one of us is full of flaws and there are times when we too go wrong and end up hurting people or situations. We all know what a devastating feeling it is to be at fault and to seek forgiveness for the same. The only thing we crave for in such a situation is that precious jewel.
Forgiveness brings peace at both ends. However, most people find forgiving not as easy as it sounds. It’s much easier for them to continue blaming the wrongdoer and hold grudges for as long as they can. But let me tell you here, holding onto the past will only make you relive that pain again and again. And as they say, “Forgiveness cannot change the past, but it can enlarge the future.”
So, let’s highlight a few points about the practical application of forgiveness:
1. Forgiving does not imply forgetting. It is not about pretending that what has happened is okay. Mark this: You do not need to forget because you need to remember to ensure that the same situation will not hit you twice.
2. It is important to see the demarcation between intentional and unintentional offends. Place yourself in the other person’s shoes and see whether the situation was deliberately unleashed or was something not within the limits of their control. This way, forgiveness does not exclude your right to seek justice or compensation.
3. Be committed to the theory of forgiveness. Whenever you feel that overwhelming negative response your mind is kicking in, remind yourself: ‘I will let nothing pull me low enough to hate someone.’ Reinforcement is the way to go about making it a habit!
4. Talk it out! Let the person who wronged you know what hurt you. This way you are opting for a more direct way to let the offender know of his/her offense. This method not only relieves your pouring heart but also provides scope for re-concealing of the broken bond.
These are some ways by which you can overcome your brimming urge to withhold forgiveness. To sum up, always remember that the one who apologizes is strong but the one who forgives is stronger.