Recently, I found it hard to forgive a person and each time I tried, my mind would throw numerous why(s) and how(s) at me, leaving me wondering, “Is it worth it? Does he deserve my apology?” Even worse, he didn’t ask for one. And when people don’t feel sorry or justify their actions, does it not get annoying to the extent that the thought of it interrupts you every minute of the day, appearing in the weirdest forms possible? After a series of failed attempts, feelings of anger and disappointment kept coming back to me. No amount of advice seemed to work out, not even positive self-talk.
It was then that I came across a psychology blog and found an article with the title, “How to forgive someone when it seems impossible” and saw a faint light of hope travel towards me. I went on to read it. This one line I came across has stayed with me ever since: “People have a misconception about forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t something you do for the person who wronged you; it’s something you do for yourself.”
Forgiveness is not an act of mercy, or pity, that ok, “I forgive you, now stay away from me, you (whatever you’d like to call the person).” It’s about knowing with all your heart that what happened, has happened and you are a fool to still hold onto it. People forgive to simply show that they are over a particular situation, but have they truly let go of their grievances and judgments about the person and allowed themselves to heal?
What they fail to realize is, that, forgiving someone is not an end point. It’s the beginning of a new phase, a happy mind and a light heart. Whether the person deserves it or not, you deserve to free yourself from feelings of hurt and resentment or the will to take a revenge. Perhaps the hardest thing to do is forgive a person who isn’t sorry, who doesn’t feel even an ounce of regret or guilt for having hurt you. But, the sad truth is, you can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue with their actions. So why not change your own perception towards the entire situation?
The first step is to ask yourself: Do I want to forgive? Why or why not? This will help you analyse the entire situation once again. Do this with a clear and unbiased mind. Try to step into the shoes of the person who harmed you. Do you think they experienced suffering too? That could be the case. After all, if a person makes you suffer, it’s only because he’s suffering deep within himself. Even if that’s not so, whatever happened made you stronger and wiser.
The second step is to know that by forgiving, you are accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to be cool with it. You will still remember what happened, but no longer be bound or controlled by it.
The third step is to just let it be, and let it go. Science says, “Forgiveness is important for your mental and physical health.” Of course! How relieving must it be to finally get rid of prolonged negative emotions! This is not for their benefit. This is for YOU. Then why not?
-Muskan Lamba (27.06.2017)