Discomforts in Life
It is impossible to live without being hurt, offended, misunderstood, or lied to. Aggression, insensitivity, and betrayal can take numerous forms and hurt us in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. Many of these events leave us with resentment and anger and we find ourselves ruminating. We even hold grudges against people who are even alive anymore. What is this thing called grudge? It is harboring ill feelings and a desire to get even.
Learning how not to get affected by these happenings is learning the basic art of living. It is easier said than done; we all know that. Forgiving is probably the most difficult emotional task. It basically means wiping the slate clear and coming out of the feelings of chronic resentment and hurt.
Unforgiveness is the poison you drink every day hoping that the other person will die. – Debbie Ford
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is not an emotion, it’s a decision. – Unknown
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. – Paul Boese
Forgiveness often becomes a challenge because it is misunderstood. There is a common mis perception that forgiveness means condoning or forgetting. What was wrong then is still wrong now. How can you really forget something that has been hurting you continuously? It is impractical and illogical as well. It is merely a wishful thinking and it doesn’t work.
It is important to remember that you want to forgive not because the person deserves it. Instead, it is an act of love, kindness, and mercy – above all it is a DECISION. It is primarily for YOU and not anyone else. Its purpose is to release you from the torture of the mental torture that resides inside you – it is 100 percent for you. It is also recognizing that you are fully responsible for your feelings – painful or peaceful. Someone hurt you once, but by playing the scene in the mind over and over again you are merely inflicting more pain on you. This is the first reality you have to accept. The mental chatter of oppression exists inside your mind – so you are responsible for fixing it.
The Art of Forgiveness
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. – Lewis B. Smedes
Forgive those who insult you, attack you or take you for granted. But more than this … forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you. – Anonymous
Forgiveness is a DECISION you have to implement because your basic objective is to FREE yourself of pain and anguish. So you need to keep this objective in mind and work your way through it. The real problem is that the initial hurt happened in the past, but you are still holding on to it. So whenever you recall the past you become miserable in the present moment; for some reason you are not able to let go and free yourself.
Deciding to forgive someone means “deciding to give up the right to hurt him/her as a revenge for the hurt you are going through.” Therefore, it is all about “letting go.” Think of forgiving as a form of letting go or release of the hurt and anguish you are repeatedly feeling. And remember, it is “your hurt” that you want to “let go”. And you want to “let go of the hurt” because you want to “feel free”.
Let’s have some more insight into the issue. Your mind is tuned into thinking that you had been wronged, it was unjust, you had been taken advantage of and so on. All this is wonderful logic. The only trouble is that such thinking don’t solve the problem: your pain and anguish. Therefore, you need to come up with fresh arguments that help you “let go” and “feel relieved.”
Developing New Perspective
Thus, forgiveness is all about seeing the same thing in a new light. Here is how people create new reasoning to help you forgive:
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. –Dalai Lama
There is no need to take revenge on mediocre people. Their mediocrity is their own punishment. – anonymous
Religious Christians may consider this
Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil. – Pope John Paul II
It is also useful to reason that the offender is also an unskillful and imperfect person and could not do any better and ending up hurting you. Is it OK to expect imperfect behavior from someone who is not perfect? You may also ask yourself – why you take things so personally? Are you perfect? It helps to limit your expectation of good behaviors from others for a very good reason – because they are not perfect. We live in a highly defective world where we should in fact be grateful if someone is courteous and be satisfied with that.
In nutshell, develop the right perspective of life, a correct understanding of yourself, and taking full percent responsibility for your feelings – this solves emotional issues before they arise.
What makes Forgiving So Hard?
People who have strong tendencies for being resentful, angry and hostile are less likely to forgive their offenders even after a very long time. In fact, what makes things really difficult is the involvement of ego – you know how painful a hurting ego is. It is like sitting on a hot stove under a scorching sun. Pains not connected to ego are rather easy to deal with and manage.
Another typical difficulty is how you define forgiveness. Most people just try to block out the hurtful event and don’t even want to talk about it. They really don’t understand the right way to look at forgiveness and thus fail to utilize the potency hidden in it.
No doubt forgiveness is difficult and challenging but remaining glued to the grudge is even more hazardous – it constantly is eating away your life. Think of the wonderful benefits of forgiving – the practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce restlessness, stress, and depression and generates all round sense of well-being and happiness.