Forgiving – easier said than done…
November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
Almost every day we meet abuses – we offend others and we are being offended ourselves. Bigger or smaller – abuses are all around us every day. How do we react to them and how do we deal with them? Do we take offence or do we forgive? What is better and what is more common?
WHY IS FORGIVING NECESSARY?
Small abuses are not worth to worry about – we forgive and forget them or don’t forgive, but still forget them. But what about bigger abuses? What if something really big hurts your soul and you are not able to forget it? It tortures you every day, you think: “What did I do so wrong, that I deserved such an abuse?” or on the other hand: “What kind of person could do something like this to me? Should I take a revenge?”. If you are not able to forgive, it harms yourself first of all most heavily. Especially hard it is, when you have to meet the person, who offended you quite often. It spoils your mood, it takes your time and you still repeat thinking the same thoughts. And even if you decide to take a revenge, the person, whom you will hurt most of all, will be yourself. Forgiving is most importantly necessary for yourself, not for the person, who has offended you. It will calm down your emotions, release your mind, so that you could concentrate on other things, which are more important in your life than keeping a record of wrongs. It will also make you feel better every day and fill your mind with more positive thoughts. Many of us want to forget the abuses we have experienced, but not all of us want to forgive. But, honestly saying, forgetting without forgiving is not really possible. If we haven’t truly forgiven, the abuse always stays in our mind and it is not possible to forget it. Only forgiving can free us from it.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FORGIVE?
Sometimes you truly want to forgive and get that burden off from your shoulders, but no matter, how hard you try – you can’t. You can even repeat by yourself: “I forgive, I forgive, I forgive…”, but it helps only for a short moment. Later you bring the abuse and the offender up your mind again. Why is it so hard to forgive? Forgiving demands you to step over your dignity and if you are a proud or leastwise a self-confident person, then it is a very hard task to do. When the offender is somebody, that you love – a spouse, a child or a close friend, for example, then it is easier, especially, if you know, that the offender truly regrets. Think, how fast you can forgive a child – you don’t really keep a record of wrongs for a child. Why? Because a child doesn’t understand, what he is doing, how it hurts you and what are the consequences of his actions. But how about adults? Do we know, what we are doing and how others feel about it and what will be the consequences? We should know because we should be responsible, reasonable, we are adults. But unfortunately it is not always true. We only think, that we are clever and we can take the responsibility, that we make decisions, we demand respect and honor. But if you look from a higher level, we are just the same as children. We can’t control the most important and unpredictable force in our lives – luck, destiny or the will of God, somebody might call it. If you look from such a point of view, we can forgive anything because we all are like children in relation to the Universe – we don’t know, what we are doing. And if you truly love somebody, you can forgive anything. Love is not proud, a person, who loves, often has to step over the dignity. Love is an art of compromise and compliance. Love stands over everyday abuses. If you love and you are being loved, you can forgive anything. The only question is – for how long should you tolerate, if one abuse comes after another? If your beloved one doesn’t know another way of living as only through abusing the closest person beside? In such cases living together can become impossible. Such a person has to change his perception of life and himself in general and it is not an easy task to do – it takes a long time and often never ever happens… And even if separation is the only way to stop the abuses, forgiving is still necessary. In other cases it is possible to be reconciled, to forgive even big and painful wrongs, if you feel, that your partner regrets and really loves you. But, what if not? If you feel, that he or she only uses you and that the regret is not true? This is the most painful case and forgiving will not solve the situation, it can only bring peace for some time. Continuing living together is not a good solution in this case, even for the sake of children or any other silly excuses. It will only bring pain and torture and won’t be good also for the children.
Another case is, when the offender is an acquaintance, who is not really close to you. Then forgiving can be hard because there is not enough motivation to step over the dignity. But it is still irritating to stay offended and this state can last for a quiet long time. Can you forgive somebody, who doesn’t care about you, who doesn’t regret, what he has done and doesn’t care about forgiveness? It might be somebody, who has abused you to get some selfish benefits. But look – his life is so miserable, that he tries to achieve something only by cheating, stealing or otherwise abusing others – he can not build his life in a normal, worthy way. And I’m sure, he gets a payback from his own destiny – it is not your concern to judge him. He sees only the dark and miserable side of life – we all can be only sorry for such a person. He walks through his life like a blind child without seeing, what he has done and without understanding it. It’s not worth to focus on such people. It’s better to focus on yourself and to find forgiveness in yourself – for your own sake. If the wrongdoer is somebody you are not affected to, the abuse doesn’t hurt so much as if it is somebody you love. But forgiving can still be hard. Think about it from such a point of view – if you don’t care for the wrongdoer, then why should you torture yourself with thoughts about the abuse? It is better to forgive and get these thoughts out of your mind.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER FORGIVING?
If you have managed to do the hard task of forgiving, what happens next? The next task is forgetting, but it can be even harder than forgiving and often can not be performed. Is it possible to live on after forgiving as if the abuse has never ever happened? It is hard to glue something back together, that has been torn apart. The hardest thing is trust – can you trust somebody again, who has severely let you down? If you love the person with all your heart, you can. Love always hopes for the best. Love can only flourish upon trust, if there is no trust, then love becomes impossible. Love is also a great risk – once you get burned, you will become careful to take a new risk and trust again, but it is worth to take it – otherwise your life will have no meaning… In situations with more distant offenders I’m afraid, that trusting again after one abuse might not be possible. It is simply not worth to take the risk, if the person is not close enough to you.
You are welcome to share your experience about forgiving here. How hard has it been for you to forgive? Could you also forget after forgiving? Could you live on like nothing had happened? Are there things, which shouldn’t be forgiven? Can you forget without forgiving?