Why Forgive? Isn’t It Extremely Hard To Do So?

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the most intransigent emotion, the most hurting feeling, rekindling the sensation of being victimized, highlighting the supremacy and the arrogance of our perpetrator who might be exulting at our weakness.

Yes, weakness. Those who hurt intentionally play with our emotions.

I know it is extremely difficult to forgive.

I have always reiterated to myself… ‘I will never forgive.’

WHY?

  • Can we forgive those who bully just for their sadistic pleasure or to reinforce their authority?
  • Can we forgive those hypocrites who lie, cheat and continue to take advantage of our goodness?
  • Is it possible to forgive a person who has grievously hurt you financially as well as emotionally?
  • Is it possible to heal the emotional wounds that lacerate when you come across the person who caused them?

Yes! Those may be the first thoughts that trouble us when we think of this word or when we contemplate forgiveness.

Retribution seems to be such a sweet and gratifying way to deal with our wounds.

Yet these are just purgatory moments, driving us out of the ‘prison’ that we choose ourselves.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~Lewis B. Smedes

Why have I reconciled with this emotion, which was just a useless word for me:

  • I became more aware of its goodness.
  • I have matured and mellowed down.
  • I could no longer carry the resentment.
  • I realized the need to release negative emotions.
  • The path I have chosen leads me to finer feelings.

forgiveness quote

Forgiveness sets us free:

It releases us from the clutches of all those emotions, which have been causing bitterness, breeding negative thoughts. It emancipates us from the compulsion of detesting the person who has wronged us or continues to do so. It shows us a new light, opens all those windows of communication, which we tend to slam shut by refusing to interact.

Forgiveness keeps us emotionally healthy:

Emotional well-being is as important as physical and mental health. When we forgive, our emotions evolve and reveal the futility of carrying the baggage of anger, antipathy, hostility and hatred. We emerge out of those dark corridors of fear, angst and insecurity. Forgiveness acts like a tranquilizer; it soothes the mind and calms us down. It introduces us to kindness.

Forgiveness saves relationships:

Many relationships can be saved if we are large hearted enough to let go the disappointments and hurts. I am not advocating forgiveness just for the sake of the other person. It is a well-known fact that we need to forgive for our own self, for our own peace of mind and for leaving a door ajar to welcome those who feel connected and want to keep the relationship alive.

Forgiveness heals:

There is no doubt that healing process is very slow, much slower than open wounds because emotional sores keep festering each time an unpleasant memory flashes before us but forgiveness gives us the power to snap off the ties, without even saying a word. We need not convey to our tormentor that we have forgiven him/her. We can just ease off our burden by saying to ourselves: ‘I have forgiven’. Keep repeating these words slowly whenever you visualize the persecutor in your mind’s eye.

Forgiveness boosts self-esteem:

The moment we forgive, we feel confident and powerful. It develops and validates our goodness and compassion. It reassures us that we can disconnect from unpleasant past happenings. Yes, we cannot bury them but what is the need for that?

I know we have to make special efforts. It does mean that we have condoned the person who does not deserve to be forgiven. It does not mean the humiliation and the hurt he/she hurled at us gets diluted.

It just means we have been hugged by ‘Divine Love’ as my dearest friend Zeenat has lovingly advised.

Have you felt the power of forgiveness? Do you nurture it?

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Balroop Singh.

 

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27 thoughts on “Why Forgive? Isn’t It Extremely Hard To Do So?

  1. “The moment we forgive, we feel confident and powerful” That is so true, Balroop. I agree with this post completely. When we forgive, we are letting go of hate, choosing to be mature and move on – move on to focus on better and more meaningful times ahead. Choosing not to forgive or to forgive is a mental state of mind.

    As the saying goes, you can forgive, but you may never forget (something along those lines). This isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t mean emotional wounds can’t heal. Sometimes we forgive and build a better relationship and we’ll laugh at the bad times we had.

    Thank you for this insightful post.

    1. Hi Mabel,

      Yes! that is what we learn slowly…that there are better and more meaningful things to follow but this state of mind evolves very slowly, with a conscious effort because it is very difficult to accept the unreasonable behavior of people who consider themselves to be more powerful just because circumstances favor them at that point of time.

      I slightly disagree with you, dear friend. Emotional hurts never heal but we can assuage them with the thought that the person who doesn’t understand emotions of others is arrogant and autocratic and doesn’t need a place in our minds and hearts.
      Thanks for sharing your perspective. Stay blessed!

  2. Holding grudges poisons our souls. Forgiveness does more good for ourselves than perhaps the person we feel we are letting off the hook. Forgiving cleanses us and sets us anew.

    1. Thanks Suzi for endorsing the most philosophical view, which in reality hits us as we learn to move ahead, trying to eliminate grudges. I would like to reiterate that forgiveness does not absolve the perpetrator of his wrong doings…so no letting him off! Just forgive him for our own good, our peace of mind, our serene mind.

  3. This is very beautifully expressed dear Balroop. I thought the following was particularly sound advice:

    “We need not convey to our tormentor that we have forgiven him/her. We can just ease off our burden by saying to ourselves: ‘I have forgiven’.”

    Perhaps in time, we then become able to convey to our tormentor that no grudge is held, that the poison offered has been excreted successfully, and that we are free to engage unsullied by the past.

    Hariod ❤

    1. Hi Hariod,

      I don’t think it is possible to engage or maintain any pleasant relationship with a tormentor. If any, it could be just superficial…can poison be digested? We may try to spit it out or refuse to accept it…this metaphor is too potent!

      Some hurts are too grievous to be forgiven easily while others may have the potential to keep the relationship going. Only those who have experienced unforgivable situations and possibilities can comprehend their depth.

      I am so grateful to you, dear friend for chiming in your thoughts.

  4. I have to say I still have a hard time with forgivness, thought I know the beauty of it and the peace it carries around.
    Your words help me to seek it again and again, at least to find my balance, the scared space within me.
    Thank you Balroop for your kindness and your powerful wisdom.

    1. I can understand Marie, when we are young, we don’t give priority to forgiveness, emotions are more important and we hardly have any time for giving a thought to our peace of mind. It is quite normal to feel angry and insecure when we live within the boundaries of a limited space within yourself.

      It is with time that we learn to heal ourself, which is so essential for ushering in the forgiving thoughts. I know they refuse to come and anger rules. I hope you will emerge successful in finding the balance within yourself. Give yourself some time, dear friend.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I’m always working on this, Balroop. I have succeeded in some ways and failed in others. I think the main thing is being at peace with self and not forgiving at the expense of self respect and self love.

    This is very inspiring, though and I will come back to it and re-read it to help me keep working toward forgiveness. Thank you for another wonderful post!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      You are absolutely right…never compromise on self-respect and self-love. That is why certain people don’t deserve forgiveness and they are the ones who have challenged our self-respect.

      That is why we don’t need to tell them that we have forgiven them. Let them live with the guilt, let them have that horrid fear of facing their sins! Don’t tell them but forgive in your heart and feel lighter, feel free and feel stronger…only the strong minds have the capacity to forgive.

      Thank you for the appreciation.

  6. Wow, this is very eerie to read this as RIGHT NOW while I’m typing this comment I am dealing with someone in my proximity whom I have had to deal with on forgiveness. They insist hurting others and often have no sense of anything other than themselves. Possibly due to low self-esteem. One little trick that I learned a long time ago was to feel sorry for people like this. Forgiving yes to the point of letting go any emotion regarding this other person than can negatively impact me. But, I do not forgive them for their continual negative energy and impact on others. REALLY good post again, Balroop! Thank you as always and blessings 🙂

    1. Hi Mike,

      I like that expression – ‘deal with on forgiveness.’ I too try that trick of feeling pity but that is possible only in cases of little hurts. Some are too big for pity and those are the ones, which need to be ‘dealt with.’ Right now I too am placed in such a situation and I tell myself everyday…FORGIVE! It requires a lot of energy and extra effort to convince myself, to empty out negative energy, which I try to drown in the creek near my favorite track for walks.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, always appreciated.

  7. Hi Balroop,

    Words of wisdom, yet again 🙂

    You are absolutely right in saying all that you did…forgiving is not easy for everyone, but if you come to think of it, there is no other way to get past things, other than by forgiving those who hurt or harm you, and moving on.

    By not doing so, you harm your health and your inner self more than anything else, and it takes ages to gather yourself back, if at all the healing does take place. Whereas, just takes a positive mindset and a willing heart to forgive another. I do that, and it makes me so light, happy, and content. I guess not keeping any kind of grudges helps in forgiving easily too.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      We realise this slowly that holding forgiveness harms us more than those who hurt, some of whom could be most insensitive, not even knowing that their words and actions have robbed us of our peace of mind. Even when we realise, we spend more time in thinking, analysing and figuring out our fault in connection with their actions. Probably that is human nature!

      Healing starts only when we decide to shift the onus, only when we think we must let go and convince ourselves that all those negative thoughts and resentment must be purged off. It takes a lot of time and effort but it is possible.

      Thanks for adding your view to this discussion. Stay blessed!

  8. Excellent post dear Balroop!… There are many good reasons to forgive and yet sometimes Pride prevails… I always try to keep an open minded attitude and I think that letting go really makes us feel better at the end… Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day ahead! Love ❤ Aquileana 😀

  9. Hi Aquileana,

    Thanks for adding a very meaningful point…yes, pride is the biggest obstacle! It is quite challenging to snub it while hugging forgiveness…all for our own healthy living. I appreciate your love 🙂

  10. Couldn’t agree with you more, Balroop. When I didn’t forgive others during some rough points in my life, it was I who was filled with anger, resentment and pain. My life was in a standstill when I couldn’t forgive. Once I did, magical things started to happen. Our own self healing and life can only start once we let go of the pain caused by others. The way to let go and heal is forgiveness. And I’ve found that you don’t get to a place of forgiveness to get the benefits. you forgive first, action first, and the benefits of forgiveness are received. Thank you for writing about this topic and encouraging forgiveness.

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      I am so glad that you have understood forgiveness so well. 🙂 I remember the inspiring article you had written about pick up that phone…You are absolutely right…self-healing starts with forgiveness and pain eases slowly. Letting go and forgiving are interconnected and truly can move mountains. Having said that, lets not forget that our forgiveness doesn’t change the thoughts and behavior of our tormentors. Lets be vigilant, lets not get befooled by those who smile and stab.

      Thanks for sharing your insights dear friend, I appreciate that.

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