– the magic potion of life
It seems inexplicable for me to be able to relay my true emotions on the concept of forgiveness.
But I will surely try.
Forgiveness came into my life like a cool, soft morning breeze that soon turned into a gushing wind coursing through my being with such conviction and finality that called out to me – “This is it. You have had your first breakthrough”.
It changed the course of my life and the relationships around me, now feel more attuned to peace and contentment. It is something I propagate to all those around me and hope to advocate the mystic benefits of it till the end of time.
I assume this blog is being read by a multitude of people. Some with an inclination for spirituality and karma and others who possibly need everything to be defined and propelled by logic and science.
I don’t have objections to either thought process and thus I intend to give you justifications and reasoning for both. Whether you are spiritual or hold a scientific bent of mind – I shall put forth justifications for both schools of thought. The choice is yours. Whichever reasoning makes headway into your heart and mind is ok, as long as you can take home the ultimate concept of forgiveness.
What is forgiveness?
The word “forgiveness is multi-faceted. It is more than a mere lip service. It is an active process in which you make a conscious decision to let go of negative feelings.
This concept enfolds within it, forgiveness of 3 kinds. All these 3 aspects are equally important, and one cannot be pursued in isolation from another.
1. Forgiving those that have wronged you
2. Seeking forgiveness of those you have wronged, knowingly or unknowingly
3. Forgiving yourself
This is something that I have touched upon in my initial blog, I Simple ways to sustain a healthy mindwould encourage you to read that too.
What is the true test of forgiveness?
Everyone thinks they can forgive. But how do you really know that you have actually and successfully, forgiven someone.
Are you amongst those:
A. Who forgives and forgets? or;
B. Who forgive and have short term amnesia till another incident comes to the fore.
The true test really is that even the slightest memory or reminder of an incident or person should not sting you in any manner. It should just feel like some factual data that had been buried somewhere under the tentacles of your mind and even though present circumstances may dig up old memories from under those tentacles, they don’t arouse any emotions in you. You are neutral to the past occurrences. The past has officially become just a mundane place of “reference” and not “residence”.
I promise you, if you can master this art – you are in for a magical transformation in your lives.
And honestly it isn’t that difficult. It only gets easier once you see the outcome for yourself.
Forgiveness through the spiritual route
Spiritually, we are much more than our physical bodies. We are souls on a journey on this planet. A journey to experience life and evolve as human beings as we go along. We all make mistakes, sometimes knowingly or unknowingly. Spiritual evolution involves process, time and mistakes. Our time and pace of evolving is different from all other souls. We need to recognise the divinity of each soul that we encounter and learn to see the goodness in each soul.
Developing the virtues
For all those who have troubled you or hurt you in anyway, think about them. Breathe. Breathe again. And sincerely ask yourself: Did they teach you something?
It is not possible that they didn’t. Because each person who is or has been a part of our lives, no matter how momentary or permanent – is an opportunity for you to discover “who you are” and “who you really want to eventually become”. And if you have yet not been able to answer that question, then the pattern of that relationship will not break till you decrypt it.
If you choose not to decrypt it, you will end up carrying it to your next life. In that next lifetime, you wont recognise or be able to identify why a particular relationship is strained because the bodies would have changed again and so you will entangle yourself in this vicious web yet again. So, better now and never.
Once you do finally decrypt this code, thank those people for accelerating your spiritual growth. Sieve out the goodness in that person and try to imbibe that quality. You have crossed paths for a reason. There are no coincidences in this universe. It is all part of the divine plan.
Similarly, for the similar or persistent problems that we encounter in our lives, you wont be able to break the pattern of your problems, till you commit to discovering and understanding the lesson that the universe is trying to bring to you.
Recognise the agenda of your soul.
My personal transformation
Some examples from my own life that have led me to strengthen by belief in forgiveness:
I am an ambitious person and work with tremendous zest and passion. I end up encountering people at work that probably don’t match my fervour and sincerity for work. I would end up feeling like a dumping ground for all things sundry over and above my day job.
Forgiveness, helped me cope with such situations and showed me light. I was able to reign in my feelings and objectively see what I could learn from this.
It taught me 2 lessons:
1. You need to stand up for yourself when needed;
2. These are opportunities to make you and others around you discover your true potential at work and understand your capacity for patience and perseverance.
I have been a victim of sexual assault when I was 16. I have somewhere carried it in the back alleys of my mind for 20 years. I finally decided to take charge of the situation and let go. Yes, I acknowledge that the perpetrator doesn’t deserve the forgiveness but I deserve better. I need to take my power back.
I didn’t want the wretched incident to define my entire life. I had to release the negativity, the venom, the torment I internally felt and the insidious violation of my being. I couldn’t let a person whose whereabouts and identity are unknown, shackle me till eternity. I needed the pain to carve out space for more joy. The negativity within me was only being felt by me. The person who i was harbouring it for, doesn’t even know about it.
And so I forgave him. It was an arduous and an uphill task. It took persistent effort and immense will power. I felt pain that languished me physically for days. But at the end of it, I finally felt lighter and free.
It taught me 2 lessons:
1. Speak up and relentlessly continue till you are heard. Nobody knows what you are going through unless you verbalise it;
2. Learning to take back your power
I have had strained relationships which one cannot choose and may best be described as a part and parcel of this gifted life. They are bundled into this package of life and handed over to you to untangle. I have had years of stewing in the soup of my own bitterness. I have spent many moments with the “Why Me” phenomena. But I never got any answers, till I had an epiphany to embrace them all and was successfully able to identify the purpose with which each one of those people have come into my life. And once I did, I suddenly felt gratitude for how far I had come. From where I started to where I am now. It’s been quite a journey. It is also referred to as the “Reverse Gap”. Analysing the reverse gap always encourages us internally and uplifts our spirits positively in the right direction.
It taught me 2 lessons:
1. To open a line of communication with yourself in an endeavour to find answers, you need to start with forgiveness.
2. Channel your “Why Me” moments positively. It is just about the tonality in which you ask yourself the same question.
Going forward, Perspective shift
The way to reduce your pain is to change the way you behold it. You cannot change an outer event but what you can change, is the inner experience of that outer event.
Where does pain or hurt emanate from? Have you ever thought of it?
It arises from judgement, expectations and our perception of rights and wrongs.
“Pain in life is inevitable. Suffering, on the other hand, is optional,” – Dr. Shauna Shapiro
Remove the judgement and expectations, and the pain/hurt will disintegrate. Your soul is here to understand “who you truly are”; NOT to understand and judge what other people should be or become!
And as far as your perception of rights and wrongs are concerned, these perceptions are subjective and built upon your personal experiences that you are choosing to compound each day. If your rights and wrongs serve your value system, by all means hold on to them but don’t expect others to understand your perception of rights and wrongs that are based on your experiences. Their soul’s journey is different. You are responsible for your actions and your karma, not that of your neighbour or for that matter anyone else.
I will leave you with a parting thought:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that; hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that – Martin Luther King Junior
Coming up next:
Are there really any scientific reasons for forgiveness ? Does it really have any impact on our physical body ?