To err is human, to forgive, divine!
Haven’t we heard this phrase and quoted it so many times? I know, I have! Yes, I do agree that on many levels, forgiveness is divine. We all have had people and memories that rankle. We have bitter experiences that are often hard to put behind. Just the thought of a particular person or the memory of an incident is enough to make the blood boil. And every single time that memory haunts you; your soul singes some more. Now it may not be apparent but all the tension, stress and negativity that we accumulate within festers and rips us apart, slowly gnawing and eating away at our mental peace and health. So, even though it may seem strange and even unfair at times, it is only with forgiveness that we can move on.
Forgiveness is something we do more for ourselves than for the offender. Remember the other person goes on living happily while you stew in your misery. It is time to let go to allow yourself to heal.
I remember that when I was younger, it was very hard for me to forgive. My mind would go in a loop replaying the nasty incident, and my resolve to hate would get stronger. Sometimes, it was a minor tiff or issue, but I just did not have the largesse of heart to let it go. But over the years, thankfully, I have been able to amend it to a large extent. There may be many ways in which people find their path to forgiveness. I rationalize by imagining all kinds of terrible things that the person must be going through to have caused them to behave in the way they did; it helps me forgive easily. I have also found that empathy is a very strong tool that helps us put ourselves in the shoes of another, even one who has been obnoxious to us. I still find it hard to forget, but the memories do not rankle. I also believe that every bad experience is a lesson for us to improve. It helps us reflect on our own behavior, help choose our friends wisely, become better parents or just be better people.
Either way, as difficult as it may seem, use a bad experience to help you become a better person not a bitter one.