To Forgive Is Divine

No wait, you gotta hear me out on this. I know it sounds pontifical, but I’m speaking from experience.

You know that awful, cold, sick feeling you get in your gut when you’re angry or hurt with someone? Like someone squeezing your insides with a tight fist? And then, if you let the anger or a grudge stay inside of you, it festers and becomes this nasty hard ball kind of thing, where you can’t seem to taste your food, can’t focus on anything and pretty much don’t enjoy your life anymore. By the way, this is also how most illnesses and diseases come about – through being emotionally out of sorts.

So let go, why don’t you? Instead of being angry with the person who hurt you – and I don’t doubt at all that you’re sad and hurting – why not find it in your heart to forgive him instead? Think of him not as someone bigger than you who had the power to hurt you, but as someone smaller than you, deserving of your pity, because he doesn’t know any other way to be but a bully or a hurtful person.

No matter how much you love someone, there usually is a core inside of them that you cannot reach, perhaps a place they have bottled up a part of their self that they are too ashamed to face themselves. And so maybe this person who hurt you so much knows, deep within him, that he is not a very good person and has probably just lost the best thing to have ever happened to him – you. He probably does know you are hurting and that he is the reason. But his own demons stop him from saying this to you or soothing away your hurt. You know his situation from what is apparent, what is tangible. Who knows what all those complicated secrets are or that tangled fabric of family and society that some people wrap around themselves? Knowing they are trapped and there is no way out in this life at least due to their own cowardice, they pick on someone else they can bully or have power over. The power you have given him because of the love you bear him.

To loosely translate an Urdu couplet by Bashir Badr: “He must have been helpless in some way, nobody is faithless just like that.”

Hell, what do I know? Maybe I’m just a naïve, idealistic idiot! Maybe. But I have to say that I’ve found a semblance of peace after forgiving the person who hurt me so very much that I was on the brink of sliding into a deep depression. Sure – there are times I still rail at him in my head. And sure – I go through moments when I think I’d like to hurt him back too. But when I am in those moments,  I also tell myself that such thoughts are harming only me, because I find myself getting all uptight and tensed when I think harshly about the one who hurt me. So, if at all you’re thinking of him, better to tell yourself out loud, “I forgive you.” The sound of your own voice will startle you and save you from the negative energy you were about to generate.

Besides – never forget that you once loved this person. If you love, can you not forgive?

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