Forgiveness to me personally, means that you’ve accepted what has happened, do not want to prolong the situation and make matters worse, even when the words “I’m sorry” were never uttered. It’s something that you do for yourself, for your heart and to clear your mind. It’s closure.
It’s not easy to come up with reasons to forgive people who have hurt you, because let’s be real. It may be the last thing on your mind when someone does something absolutely cruel to you. But one might overlooked that forgiveness isn’t just for them, it’s for your own well being.
Some might think that to forgive someone means that the person has to apologize or acknowledge their mistake, so some tend to wait for that apology. Truth is, forgiveness is not about the other person. It’s what you do and it’s for yourself, especially. You hold that grudge and carry it around, feel hatred and roll your eyes so hard, it would touch your brain, whenever you see them. You end up being bitter and just not happy. It’s not good for your health and carrying that negative feeling is simply not right.
Why is it hard to forgive someone?
The words “I’m sorry” is not difficult to say, but somehow, this one short sentence can be exceptionally difficult slip from the lips, even more so with sincerity. Whenever I think back of what had made me angry, it gives me those sudden flashbacks and how hurt I was, sometimes, I just would want to immediately stop thinking about it because recalling it makes me angrier and hurts even more. It would affect my mood. All the built up anger is just there and can not seem to go away. My heart is hard when I see the person, hear about them or see their picture surfacing somewhere. It isn’t healthy, I know.
Forgiving people is hard to do for a few different reasons.
- Sometimes you really believe you are forgiving someone, but you keep rethinking it back to back. You start to remember what happened, and it triggers why you resent them so much in the first place and then you realized you can’t get over it yet and find it hard to move on. It’s fine and it’s normal.
- Sometimes, whatever the person did might seem unforgivable to you. If that’s the case, maybe it’s a sign that you just can’t be associated to them in your life anymore.
Although, it is normal to be upset with someone who has hurt you; we must remember that the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) told us that a Muslim is not allowed to break off ties with another Muslim for more than 3 days. It is unhealthy and often ruinous to have the inability to forgive and move on.
So how do we open up our heart to forgive?
- Take yourself back to the moment that angered you. Accept that it happened, how you felt about it and how it made you react. Why is it such a big deal to you? You need to acknowledge the reality of what happened and how affected you were.
- Recognize what the incident taught you and how you have grown from it. Maybe you know how to choose the people you’re surrounded with cautiously now, you know your limits, and you learn something about yourself.
- Think about the other person involved. Human beings have flaws and makes mistakes. Ponder on why he or she acted in such a way that it hurts you. Perhaps, he or she had a need to be met that they did what they did.
- Questioned, if you have be wronged someone by any chance and asked for forgiveness and are awfully sorry about it, would you not want the person to forgive you? What is it that makes it unforgivable to forgive?
- For me, writing down my feelings helps a lot. I like to write in a book every night to clear my mind. Do this, write down all your feelings and imagine you’re saying everything to the person that wronged you. Include every detail. Once you are done, read it back and you may realize that you don’t need to say it to them at all, just to get it off your chest.
Forgiveness puts closure on what happened that hurt you. It is certainly not easy to forget, but you will no longer be bound by it, if you let go of everything and wholeheartedly forgive. Once you do, you’re doing yourself a favour and letting go of what keeps you feeling negative. Forgiving others teaches us sympathy. Letting go of anger, we get to learn that everyone has their own baggage that caused them to act in a certain way. Let go of the past and move forward to the future. If we can not forgive someone, how do we expect the Almighty to forgive our sins?
“. . . and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran 24:22]