Forgiveness is Divine!

The new year, for most people, is a time for reflecting on the values that drive us. For me, the new year is also a time to cherish the gifts that life brings to me, often in unseen, unmeasurable ways. As 2014 started, one of the first gifts that came my way was a guest post from Rachna of Rachna Says. Rachna is one of the first bloggers I read when I began considering blogging seriously.  I learned a lot about how to balance personal and professional opinion by reading her posts about family, society, and blogging. This was of particular relevance to the newbie blogger in me since I meant to share my personal views, but was not sure about the boundaries I needed to draw. Over the years, I came to know her as a person, and her clarity of purpose became my inspiration. Her interactions with the readers of this blog through her comments often brought in valuable perspectives that I had overlooked, and her friendship filled me with hope and confidence. In this new year post, she explores one of the essential ingredients for a meaningful and happy life, that of forgiveness. Over to Rachna.

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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.



On this positive note, comes the first post of the year for me. I do not make New Year resolutions. But, I do hope to continue staying positive, calmer and more forgiving. And my prayer for all the readers is to experience the power of forgiveness in your life!

Pics courtesy: http://Oprah.com

43 comments:

  1. I find it really hard to forgive and forget...! And you are right it is us who suffer if we hold grudges...I'm trying to get rid of this habit of mine...lets see how far I go :)

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    1. I understand, Nabanita. I did that for a very long time till realization struck. These days, I make a conscious effort to forgive. Though forgetting is an issue still. I think if we rationalize and really tell ourselves that it is important to forgive, it can be done. I have also noticed that meditating helps me immensely, even 10-15 minutes daily.

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  2. Didn't we just talk about it the other day? :) I was thinking about it for quite some time too...forgive, forget...forget, forgive...which is easy to do and so on....thoughts haven't settled yet completely.

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    1. Indeed, we did :). This is an issue that is not as easy as it seems. But if we are conscious of the fact, I think we can help make our lives more satisfying and peaceful. And, I completely say this from experience though I have some way to go in practicing this completely.

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  3. Excellent thoughts Rachna.Forgiveness is really a gift to our own hurting souls.
    When rankled,i try to stand in the other person's shoes and decipher why s/he behaved thus.
    It is also helpful to keep human frailties in mind-after all we too must have erred many a time.

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    1. Thanks, Indu! Absolutely, it is also important to remember our own frailties. Thanks for reading!

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  4. Agree with you. It is tough to forgive and forget, but have realized that when we do so, we do ourselves a big favour. All that anger, hatred vanishes and we are much at peace.

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    1. Very aptly put, Shilpa! Though difficult, it is immensely beneficial to learn to forgive. Thanks for reading!

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  5. I read somewhere that when we allow ourselves to dwell on negative things, we unconsciously give them a life that clings to us. That was frightening and eye- opening lol! It is never easy, and I do not easily forget - but if i want to be happy, I need to F&F :D What a beautiful post... Staying positive is a huge challenge :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, totschooltotallyawesome! So very true, we give a life to the negativity and anger which just clings to us and sucks our peace and happiness. It is worth consciously inculcating the habit to let go and forgive.

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  6. Indeed its is tough to forgive and forget...but I am the kind of person who would forgive if I am hurt but I simply can't forget. So I tend to maintain my distance.There have been times where I have tried to forgive and forget and still I went back mending bonds, that never worked for me. But then the key is to stay positive.

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    1. That forgetting bit is so difficult, isn't it, Kajal? I also tend to remember even if I am forgive the wrongdoer. I have actually mended fences with many that I had a fall out with. I think in life we can never say what may happen in the future. Like you said, maintaining a positive outlook is important. Thanks for reading!

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  7. I find it easy to forgive but difficult to forget. Nasty happenings in life are lessons learned for posterity..and taking them as that always makes it easier to deal with them.
    It was great to see this collaboration between you two, Rachna and Subhorup!

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    1. You are I are very alike in our thinking, Rickie. I feel similarly about nasty happenings and lesson learned. Thanks for reading!

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  8. So good to see you beginning the new year on a positive note. Fortunately I am able to forgive and forget easily. And it helps me more than anyone else.
    Happy New Year Subhorup, Rachna .

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    1. Thank you for reading, Alka! It is amazing that you find it easy to forgive and forget both. I think that helps make you the warm, happy soul that you are! Wish you a Happy New Year too!

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  9. I find forgetting more easy than forgiving. The difficulty is in balancing the forgiving with the necessity to ensure that the trust I place on the same person is measured by the experience of the past. To ensure the latter I need to remember the act that caused the hurt which pushed me back to bitterness; to entirely forget lays me open to repeating the mistakes of the past.

    Over time, I have found it easier to forget bitterness caused by people who I have no need to interact on a continuing basis. As for those I need to interact with, I have found that retaining the memories and the bitterness is far more expensive in curbing my happiness that I have resigned myself to being repeating my mistaken trust.

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    1. Very interesting and different perspective form what I've read so far! For me, strangers or people with whom I have relatively minimal interaction are very easy to forgive and even to push behind in my memories and move on. Except for stray conversations, they didn't really matter. It is the close ones who are often hard to forgive. Yes, I prefer to learn the lessons too but actively work towards reducing the bitterness every time the memory surfaces. I think, even for conflict resolution with our loved ones, forgiving helps lighten emotional baggage. At least, that is the way, I work forward without accumulating hatred. But try as I might, I don't forget . Thanks for reading and for your insightful analysis.

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    2. Suresh ji

      I share your thoughts on this. I find it convenient to forget those hurtful things. Rather, I indulge myself in other tasks and give no time to remembering those. But, forgiving? I don't know if I ever reached that phase.

      The bitterness fades away, the pain fades away, the memory (mostly) fades away. But, I just can't seem to forgive. It doesn't happen for petty things, or a one-time mistake though. Of course, to err is to human. But then, what about those mistakes that are repeated. Aren't repeated mistakes called sins?

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  10. Dropping in here after a while, Subho. Since I don't maintain any blog feed tracker, I have to remember and check blogs by typing in URLs. So usually it happens the ones I remember are the ones commenting recently on my blog. Nice to see Rachna's post here. Hope I can remember to drop by here more often.

    About this topic, I don't know - for me forgiveness has never been a big issue. I am a kind of opportunist and a survivor - my survival instinct rules over my ego and most of the time I more keen on extricating myself from tough situations and moving on than maintaining grudges. But yeah - somehow in movies I just seem to love revenge dramas.

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    1. You must use a Reader, TF. I find it a great tool to keep abreast of all the blogs that I read. You can try Feedly or bloglovin. The part about not getting your ego involved and finding it easy to move on without holding grudges is admirable. I really wish that more of us can do that. I also love revenge dramas mostly because I like to see justice done which does not always happen in real life. Thanks for reading!

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  11. Great post to start the new year, Rachna. "Every bad experience is a lesson for us to improve." Couldn't agree more. And if I may, I believe every experience, not just a bad one, is a lesson for us to improve. At the risk of sounding religious, I'd say that the entire life of Jesus Christ is a shining example in forgiveness. On how to turn the other cheek. And on how to wish even those who crucify you well on their journeys. Loved it. (Thanks Subho for bringing us this NY special.)

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, Srini! Always a joy to read your insightful comments. Of course, your extrapolation is completely valid.

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  12. The thought that jumped out at me was that you imagine all kids of awful things that the offending person must have gone through for them to have behaved in a way to cause you pain. That's exactly what I think too.

    The similarity between our thought process is uncanny! I am so amazed every time I find such perfect resonance between us. I'll say to you what you said a few days back- you validate me. The feeling is very, very precious to me.

    Bless you Rachna. So glad I met you!

    Dagny

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    1. Always a delight to find resonance of thought, isn't it? Delighted that we share so many values and so much in common in our thought processes. It also feels uncanny! Thank you always, Dagny! May this friendship thrive and grow. Thanks so much for reading!

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  13. Hi Rachna, coming to your blog after a long time. A good guest post and the timing could not have been better.
    Even I was unforgiving when I was young. However, as we grow older, we realize it is not worth carrying the burden of bitterness, for it would only break our back. Forgiving and forgetting is the best thing one can do for our own good. Okay it is not required to be friends with them, but at least if we have forgiven them, we can look them in the eyes and be cordial with them. That is enough, and that is what I have understood from all my reading.
    Good you have started this year on a positive note.
    Happy New Year to you and also to Subhorup!!

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    1. So good to see you here, Rama! Exactly how I felt. We hold on to everything minor when we are younger, but hopefully with age, experiences and introspection, we understand the importance of letting go. Like you pointed out, we do it for ourselves. If we take the other out of the picture and concentrate on our wellbeing, it can be done. It is not easy always. Like you I can be cordial with such people without letting the bitterness creep into every interactiom. Wish you and the family a very Happy New Year!

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  14. A lot of internal dialogue happens before I decide to move on. It takes some time, but usually I make peace with it. It takes a lot of effort to forget and what Suresh has said is in a way true too.
    Thanks Shubho for bringing Rachna on board.
    Nice post Rachna.

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    1. I know, Janu! We really need to debate the pros and cons. I normally let myself feel the hurt perhaps a couple of days. One needs to grieve too. But once that part is done, I handle that episode, do all my logical reasoning out and move in. It does feel like a burden lifts off your heart. But forgetting does not come easy to me. And, I am not pushing myself either because if it does not come with a baggage of hurt, I am fine. Thanks so much for reading!

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  15. Are you a Scorpio by any chance Rachna??? As far as I am concerned, I have realized it is best to forgive because if there is one thing we cannot change it is human behaviour and nature.... but I can never forget... and I think many a times it does change my outlook towards that particular individual... esp. if the concerned keep repeating the same behaviour. Trying to battle that as well, because in the end we lose more than that person ...

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    1. Bang on, Seeta! I am :). Are you as well? Yes, definitely I will be wary of the person prone to repeating the behavior. Seriously such people are not worth wasting our time and love on in the long run as painful as the process of letting them go becomes. Thanks so much for reading!

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  16. This post has been selected for the Tangy Tuesday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

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  17. This post has been selected for the Tangy Tuesday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

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    1. Thanks Team BlogAdda!

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  18. Lovely post. I forgive people for my own good. Cant carry the load of grudge for some1 being wrong to me. Forgiving is living happily without the stress to care. Its a bliss to forgive.

    http://neoimaginations.blogspot.in/2014/01/an-inch-of-life.html

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    1. Very aptly put, Neo Prady! Thanks for reading!

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  19. I'm not sure if I have learnt to forgive completely, but I do not let incidents of the past and people affect me and brush them aside if they ever surface again. But given a choice, my mind refuses to trust those who've gone to the extent of hurting me.

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    1. Yes, it is understandable, Ashwini! I also find it difficult to completely trust those who have hurt me.

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  20. A very good thought for the new year. It's something that helps us move on and let go of all the negative emotions piled up inside. Thanks for the reminder :)

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    1. Thank you, DC. The post works as a reminder for me as well!

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  21. Hi,

    What a great read.It's easy for me to forgive a person but yes! difficult to forget...Thing is forgiveness does change lot of things provided we managed to do it..

    First time on your blog..Following you :)

    http://www.wisese.com
    http://fashion.wiseshe.com

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