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Home Our values 2. Faith - Intuition Forgiveness


Faith - Intuition
Do your values include forgiveness? If you still harbour resentment against someone because of some bad experiences from your past, you need forgiveness as a remedy to cancel out the adverse effects on your physical and mental health that your long-held resentment is causing you. By forgiving those whom you regard as having hurt you, you are actually doing something good for yourself; you free yourself from the mental and emotional harm.

Forgiveness is a special virtue not many people possess. Not many people find it easy to forgive. Some find it just as hard to forgive a petty action or remark. How ever difficult situations seemingly are, it is very worthwhile to constantly practise forgiveness, especially when you evaluate the terrible cost of being unforgiving and the benefit of peace of mind derived from being a forgiving person.

When you forgive someone, you cease to feel angry toward that person. It is not possible for the emotions of forgiveness and anger concerning the same person to co-exist within you. It is either one or the other, cannot be both. In forgiving, you release the other person as the culprit from your mind, and you set yourself free. You are no longer obsessed with him or her. You start to maintain your good mental health.

Forgiving someone’s mistake is fairly easy. After all, we are humans and human beings make mistakes. Bearing that in mind is likely to increase your willingness to forgive. But what about those mistakes deliberately committed out of bad motives, or the persistent refusal of the person who commits the mistake to admit it? It is harder to forgive. But by not forgiving and hanging on to the grudges and resentment, who are we hurting more? Ask yourself: are the benefits of forgiving outweighing the costs of not forgiving? The answer is pretty obvious.

But first, we need to forgive ourselves and free ourselves from the past. And unless we do that, we can never forgive others. We must forgive ourselves for all our imperfections, and when we make mistakes. Making a mistake is simply an indication that we are not prefect, and a part of learning. We learn from our mistakes. Life is an unending process of learning.

We can make it easier to forgive ourselves by not identifying our personality with our actions. We make it a lot harder to forgive ourselves if we do that. We form judgements of ourselves such as “I am stupid”, “I am careless”, “I am incompetent” and others. This adversely affects our self-worth. We need to separate our self-worth from our wrong doing. It is not necessarily true that we are stupid just because we do something wrong.

We cannot progress if we lack self-respect and continue to feel contempt for our own selves. We downgrade our self-worth and dissipate whatever self-confidence we have left. On the other hand, by forgiving ourselves, we acknowledge our inherent values. Instead of viewing our experiences as hurtful events, we can try to learn from the valuable lessons they offer. These lessons can very well change our perceptions and beliefs for the better.

There are many people who refuse to forgive others. They commonly cite the wrongs done to them as justification for their unwillingness to forgive. They are the small-minded people The wrongs as alleged to have been done may not be as intended. They may be mere misperceptions and in reality may amount to quite harmless actions. Little do they realize that when they forgive, they will find they suffer no more hurt feelings.

We are forgiven more easily for our action if it is beyond our control. For example, if you are late for a meeting due to a massive traffic jam, your excuse for being late is looked upon favourably than the excuse that you wake up late. However, the excuse may not be so readily accepted if you do not show that you make a determined attempt to arrive in time such as leaving the home early in anticipation of a traffic jam. When apologizing, display your genuine sincerity. This helps to reduce the other person’s anger.

There is no forgiveness as far as the law of cause and effect is concerned. You are responsible for all your actions – both good and bad. If you have committed an evil act, you will suffer the consequences. No amount of prayer can erase your sins. The only way to eliminate your misdeeds, or lessen their severity is to perform good deeds.