As we approach the holy month of Haj let us seek forgiveness from one another. Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness and even revenge.
But, when you do not practise forgiveness, you may be the the one who pays dearly. It was Alexander Pope who once said “To Err is human, to forgive is divine.” By embracing forgiveness, you embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy.
Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentments and thoughts of revenge. It is an act of untying yourself from thoughts and feelings that bind you to the offence committed against you. It can even lead to feelings of understanding empathy and compassion for the ones who hurt you.
Forgiveness does not mean, that you deny the other persons responsibility for hurting you, and it does not minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. To forgive is really to remember that we are so much more than our mistakes. That we are more kind and caring, that accepting another’s flaws can help us accept our own.
Forgiveness is an act of imagination. It dares you to imagine a better future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it
Refusing to forgive by holding on to the anger, resentment and sense of betrayal can make your own life miserable. A vindictive mindset creates bitterness and lets the betrayer claim one more victim. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile with someone who badly treated you.
Forgiveness allows us to let go of the pain in the memory and if we let go of the pain in the memory and if we let go of the pain in the memory, we can have the memory, but it does not control us. When memory controls us we are then the puppets of the past. (Alexander Asseily author of The Garden of Forgiveness In Beirut”)
Forgiveness is a creative act that changes us from prisoners of the past to liberated people at the peace with our memories. It is not forgetfulness, but It involves accepting the promise that the future can be more than dwelling on the memories of past injury.
The act of forgiveness constitutes a mental bath – it helps to release the poison from within.