I wish they could teach kids at school how to forgive. Forgiveness may not be a skill to grade a student for, yet it is a better predictor of the quality of individual’s life than all the A+s combined.
Yes, forgiveness is absolutely crucial if you want to live a life of fulfillment. Without forgiveness you just can’t give your true potential to the world…
Why? Because most of your energy will be drained while reminiscing the past and even worse, making up some bitter thoughts about revenge. You will not be able to focus on your life, you will not express your creative potential and you just will not be able to be happy, unless you learn to forgive and let go of the hurt in your heart. As a Chinese proverb goes,
“The one who pursues revenge should dig two graves.”
I do not think anyone will be happy by the end of their life to realize that they have been chained by the wounds, anger and pain throughout their life. It will be just too late to break the chains. Believe me the moment you forgive “the unforgiven”, life will look, taste, feel and even smell differently, much better and much lighter.
The popular expression “It is easier said than done” definitely applies to forgiveness. Forgiveness will take time, it will take efforts, but the results will be rewarding. The most important thing is that you are sincerely willing to forgive.
Remember none of us is born with some supernatural ability to forgive. You may think that such historical figures, as Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King were somehow blessed with divine characteristics of unconditional love and forgiveness. They were not. They just made a choice between living a life of captivity and liberating themselves from the chains of bitterness. They chose liberation. Mandela was one of them:
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
All these heroes of humanity have put tons of efforts to cultivate forgiveness in the garden of their hearts. So can you!
Caution! Do not ever attempt to forgive someone if you have not taken time to forgive yourself for your own mistakes or failures. Please acknowledge that no human being is perfect (including you and me), we all have made mistakes, at some point in our lives we ourselves hurt someone else, whether consciously or unconsciously, and were to be forgiven. This understanding makes us feel more compassion for other people and recognize the human nature of their mistakes.
The more you grow on your humanity, by taking responsibility for your mistakes and by learning to say “I am sorry. I was wrong”, it becomes more and more natural for you to forgive others easily.
One person forgiving the other may at first sight be a trivial issue on the global scale. But it is not, in my opinion. It is vital for the well-being of the particular society and the world as a whole. People who were hurt in the past, and have not been able to let go of their pain and forgive, may grow into people who “enjoy” hurting others. Who knows, maybe the world history would not know Hitler if he was taught to forgive”¦?
If we want to live in a world where people love and care for each other, we first need to give out love ourselves, including to those who have mistreated us. Your willingness and determination to forgive a particular person is vital. However, be ready that the feeling of having been hurt may come to you occasionally, especially at times when you feel low.
Just keep on reminding yourself that forgiveness does not imply that you are weak, or that you do not respect yourself. Your choice to forgive means that you value yourself much enough to free yourself from the chains of bitterness and live the fulfilling life you truly deserve.