How easy is it to forgive?
The Oxford dictionary definition of forgiveness is ‘to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw or mistake.’
But actually how easy is that to do? And does it even seem unnatural to do so if the offence or mistake was too great and too painful for the recipient? I recently watched Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix TedWomen 2017 Talk, ‘What Comes After Tragedy? Forgiveness’ where they shared their stories about their son and grandson. One son died through being shot and the grandson committed the murder of Azim’s son. This talk is about how they forgave them and why. Azim shared that through meditation he learned there were victims at both ends of the tragedy because the young man who had committed the crime, was also a victim of society.
So two men bound by grief and through meditation have channelled their pain for a greater good. Ples’ grandson now shares his testimony and regret in schools today, teaching young children that committing such acts is just not worth it in the hope of changing today’s society.
This is a sad story and one which got me thinking about forgiveness. I fully buy into the fact that it is an act of letting go, releasing anger and hatred. It’s an opportunity for the person holding all of this to feel free of anguish. I don’t know if it takes a strong person to actually forgive and is it the same as being able to forget?
Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace
I personally think it can be difficult to forgive someone who has wronged you but it’s important to ensure that however you deal with it, that it allows you to be at peace. Some people can’t forgive yet can continue a happy, stressfree life without giving it another thought yet for some it may be a pain which keeps resurfacing but the way I see it is there is no point in allowing someone else’s disappointing or hurtful actions to control your feelings. You control those and it really does say more about the person who has hurt you, than the recipient.
Forgiving allows us to heal as demonstrated by Azim and Ples but I think it’s important to remember that by doing so you aren’t excusing the actions of the person who has hurt you, nor is it saying that everything is now ok and it is never something you should do for the other person, to make them feel better.
And then there’s the grudge word, I can hold these forever and a day (#sorry not sorry) but I have been learning to lessen the grip and prevent it from having any control over my thoughts and life. I now think that if someone has wronged me it says more about them and their issues than it does about me so it doesn’t actually manage to grip and take hold. Grudges can cause depression and anxiety, the ability to live in the present so why would we want that for ourselves? We only get one life remember, this isn’t a dress rehearsal.
Azim shared his peace formula; goodwill, friendship, trust, empathy, compassion and peace. This all comes from within and by being mindful of your thoughts and actions, and not blaming others will help to ease any inner tension and allow you to let go.
By doing this and focusing on you, be a better version of you. Hold on to that positivity and kindness then continue to treat others how you would like to be treated yourself.
Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much
I certainly don’t have all the answers to this and I guess forgiveness is, really for me, a decision and more importantly, something you do for yourself, not the other person.
It’s about inner peace.
What are your thoughts on forgiveness?
So hey you, yes you…I want to thank you for reading my post. Whether you’ve stuck around since the beginning of my journey or whether you’re new to my blog, thank you for reading and supporting. I genuinely appreciate it.