Remembering the offense without hatred is the key. However, it’s important to note that this act is not forgiveness but an act of prudence. It can be seen as an opportunity given to the offender to rectify their actions, and you can choose to label it as you see fit. Ultimately, it involves granting the offender the possibility of making amends.
Society today defines forgiveness in this way: “A process of letting go of negative emotions, cultivating compassion and understanding, and finding inner peace. Allowing coexistence despite of differences.”
This definition is not forgiveness. It is simply and act of “tolerance”, of “moving on” or simply “letting go”.
It is prudent to be patient with the ignorant who offends you. It is healthy. It allows the victim to move on without the burden of hate. However do not mistake tolerance, moving on, or letting go for forgiveness. Remember, forgiveness can only be possible through apology and atonement.
It is ok NOT to forgive, if the offender refuses to sincerely apologize and offer atonement or to make it right. But for the sake of your health (physical, mental and spiritual) it is wise to be patient without hate or holding a grudge. Holding grudges builds bitterness and hatred and they all feed on each other. However, this does not mean that you have to forget the offense, on the contrary, you should remember and learn from it. Learn from the cruelty of the past to be better and not bitter. Never ever mistake forgiveness or being patient for tolerance. Patience carries the ingredient of love whereas, tolerance does not. Patience assumes a connection, tolerance does not.
It is always good to forgive but do not dwell on the idea of forgiveness. It has a tendency of giving an individual a sense of “holier than thou” attitude. Instead focus on being nice, kind, respectful, and grateful. Do not focus on the idea of forgiveness, instead think about why you feel the way you do. Why are you hurt? Is it a mental or emotional pain? Is it about your dignity? Were you physically abused? Most of the time the answer is not forgiveness but rather the understanding of the things that happened the way they did because from there your answer (solution) will be crystal clear. When you understand, the healing process can begin. Forgiveness alone does not heal. Knowing the “why” starts the healing process. You begin to let go of the pain, the anger and hate. Wisdom grows.
Listen quietly. Listening can work wonders. Listen to the person who wants to be forgiven. Learn to accept the apology with atonement without bitterness. Forgiveness opens the path to a better and meaningful communication. Learn to apologize and then to forgive yourself. Give yourself a chance to improve, build self-respect and be a better person.
When an individual maliciously deprives another or himself and in the process hurts himself or the other person, retribution is usually sought after by the person who is hurt. Retribution is not only outwards, it can also be inwards. People hurt themselves because of guilt. However, retribution can be averted through forgiveness via atonement or repentance for the violation(s) committed. KINDNESS is the best form of atonement.
The law of the universe listens to “apology” and our ability to forgive. Our inability to apologize or forgive will only create the same results for our actions. We are emotional creatures and anger is one of our strongest instinctive defense mechanism. Anger can be controlled but when left to fester it can grow to become hatred. Anger passes but hatred lasts a lifetime.
It is easier to forgive an outburst of anger when later followed with a sincere apology. More often than not the outburst of anger had no attachment to hatred. It was but a negative reaction to some words or actions. The uncontrolled manifestation of anger is the problem in our society.
If someone, particularly a “holy man,” asserts that “forgiveness is better than vengeance,” they are only partially correct. Similarly, if they advocate forgiving your enemies without causing them harm, they are only partially correct as well. In fact, they may be misleading you. It is important to be cautious of those who place the burden of forgiveness solely on the offended party. These individuals preach forgiveness even in the absence of remorse from the wrongdoer. They often promote tolerance towards intentional and consciously harmful words and actions. Their preaching of tolerance serves as a means to exert control over others. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, they enable the malevolent individuals and contribute to the presence of evil in society. Forgiving a malicious offender without requiring atonement is essentially aiding them, conveying that their actions are acceptable and permitting them to repeat the offense if they choose to do so.
“Add-ons and comments”:
From a reader on Facebook:
“However part of forgiveness is that one cannot be around that person anymore. Or the forgiveness becomes foolishness. “
“There are exceptions. You or Your loved one can make a foolish mistake that will hurt each other and break you apart. Apology and Forgiveness most of the time will patch things up and make a stronger bond. The scar or patch will remain as a reminder of your mistake. “
Last Updated on June 4, 2023