In one of our weekly zoom meetings, I was reminded that forgiveness is really for one’s self and not for the other person.
This statement has resonated with me.
At first glance, the phrase seems to echo the opposite as we always stress how much those who have wronged us need to be forgiven. However, upon further elaboration it was highlighted that forgiveness lifts a burden that persons would normally bear when they hold on to the hurt and pain others have caused them.
As I sit and write, I feel at peace because I am truly align to only those who bring happiness, tranquility and good will to my life. I have mastered the heart of accepting forgiveness as a part of my personal traits through practicing self-expression, acceptance and knowing that from time to time there will be people who will disappoint me.
At times, I have given so much to those (not my family-sadly) around me that I am always so hung up on the pain, hurt and disappointments. I have helped not with the intention of being given the same treatment but like any other human sometimes I am deeply affected by the unreliability of those who I have helped- especially when it comes to my turn.
A few years ago, I encountered a disappointment from someone who I believed I am always there for no matter how inconvenient their needs were to me. And in that very moment, I was filled with anger and bitterness because I felt as if when I really needed that person to be there they blatantly refused to.
And in a lengthy conversation, in which I deliberated about the unfairness of the world and the selfish nature of people, with my younger sibling, I came to the conclusion that I should not be fuming but instead I should feel disappointed- it is a better form of human self-expression.
But how do you handle disappointments?
The most profound human action to disappointments is that when we are left in the cold we should begin to treat others callously. We develop mistrust in others and grow to see the bad in everyone.
However, after my long conversation I decided that I did not want to be like that because when I am in that mode, I am filled with so much anger and rage. I felt hurt and all that pain was channeled into a heavy burden that made me feel sorrowful and cold towards the world.
This is the exact feeling I have (and you will have) when I have not forgiven people.
In essence, forgiveness is really for you and not for those who have caused you pain.
At some point we have to accept that it is easier to take people for who they are, understand that from time to time those who we hold dearest to us may disappoint us and finally forgive and move on.
No one wants to be enraged 24/7 or to be walking around with a heavy burden because he/she is filled with hatred and bitterness from the pain someone else has caused.
Going forward, let this be the day that you mend the fences that are possible and you get closure to those that are irreparable. I will never say forgive and forget as the human mind does not work like that- unless you have Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
So take the time to wallow in your pain, disappointments and injustice and then when you have had enough forgive so that you can rise like the Phoenix.