What do we do with the hurt when someone wrongs us? Do we retaliate? Nurse the hurt? Release it? Work through it?
How often do we bring up past issues that were never resolved?
What makes forgiving someone who wronged us most difficult?
Did we ever want to be forgiven for something we said or did and weren’t? How did it affect us?
Do we expect others to forgive us when we hurt them? Why or why not?
What is forgiveness?
Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.
Forgiving is a great virtue. Every religion teaches you to forgive. Most people find it difficult to forgive. Forgiveness is closely related to the seriousness of the mistake made by the guilty party and how close you are to them.
It is easier to forgive for small mistake. They don’t impact you that much and you are ready to forgive small blunders. For some of you, even this becomes difficult if you hold some values very dear to your heart and somebody close to you, who knows it breaks them.
Similarly, in impersonal relation it is easier to either forgive or just to forget. For example, a company sells you a very defective product and then refuses to replace it. You will feel very angry in beginning, but after some time, you will call them names and forget about what they did. You vent out your anger and that is enough in most of the situation to forget, if not forgive.
When it comes to somebody very close to you, and if he/she does something those shocks you, it becomes extremely difficult to forgive. The initial reaction is that of disbelief and repeated questioning of the relationship. It takes a long time for the initial shock to go, and only after that one can think forgiving. Some of you may never forgive your beloved for a big blunder such as cheating. You may find it impossible to do that. But unless you forgive, you can’t go forward in life. This is the problem. Life revolves around that act. You have to accept that you will forget if not forgive and bring yourself some peace. What would you do, if faced with any such issue?
Think about it.
Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?
When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you may become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility may take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you may find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.
What are the effects of holding a grudge?
If you’re unforgiving, you may pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life may become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present. You may become depressed or anxious. You may feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you’re at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You may lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others.
How do I reach a state of forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. A way to begin is by recognizing the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time. Then reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being. When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you.
Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life. As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You may even find compassion and understanding.
Forgiving the offending person does not necessarily mean that you again give the same position and importance to that person in your life. Now this is a wise decision to be made, you have to decide the worth of the person in your life…… Respect yourself and do what seems best.
Of course, we want to others to embrace accountability and repentance, but we can’t make that happen. And if amends aren’t forthcoming, it’s best for us to move on. Just get out of that relationship and shake the dust from your feet.”
Forgiving does not mean allowing someone to hurt you or harm you again and again in the name of love. It would be advisable to talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an unbiased family member or friend.
Paru Krishnakant “Piyuni”
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