Finding Peace Within: Gift of Forgiveness
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”-Mahatma Gandhi
This Year, I Have Given Myself the Gift of Forgiving a Person, a fellow traveler in this life journey I encountered in professional capacity. I realized how liberated I was feeling and how much serenity and calm had settled over me the moment I let go. Was it easy to forgive and move on? Certainly not…A year of sleepless nights, nightmares, anger, resentment, sorrow, pain, and aches sapped my strength, manifested as health problems, and the list goes on.
You may wonder What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness to me has been a gift of acknowledging my feelings and emotions. It’s been like giving up the right to get even. It was finding the meaning of redemption in the experience.
Background: Life’s a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns, and along the way, we encounter countless individuals who leave a lasting impact on our hearts and minds. While some of these interactions may bring joy and happiness, others can cause pain and heartache.
One such individual I encountered during my most challenging phases in life post my Mom’s death. The interaction with her brought joy,happiness,learnings,insights and a lot of growth in me but the abrupt end brought lot of pain and heartache. Professional boundaries got blurred and things got messy. Both of us were not in the right life state to handle the mess and the professional relationship ended on a sour note with lot of mudslinging and nasty exchanges. The friendship which was blossoming amidst the professional association bore the brunt of this mess, which left me more pained. I thought I had lost a good friend who shared with me lot of quirks, similarities and values.
One of the most challenging aspects of our human experience is learning to forgive those who have wronged us. Last year with the help of my therapist and seniors in faith, I embarked on a transformative journey by granting myself the gift of forgiveness to the person who had hurt me deeply.
Penning down my journey towards forgiveness, the profound healing it brought and invaluable lessons I learned along the way.
1.The Burden of Resentment: For a long time, I carried the weight of resentment towards someone who had caused me immense pain. The negative emotions fueled my thoughts and actions, poisoning my relationships and hindering my personal growth. Holding onto grudges can be incredibly destructive, not only for our mental and emotional well-being but also for our physical health. The bitterness I felt was a constant reminder of the hurtful incident, trapping me in a cycle of anger and negativity. Realising the toll it was taking on my overall happiness and wellbeing, I made the decision to liberate myself from this burden.
2.Choosing Forgiveness: Forgiveness is a choice, and it is not always an easy one to make. It does not mean condoning or forgetting the actions that caused us pain, but rather a conscious decision to let go of the anger, resentment, and desire for revenge. I understood that forgiveness was a gift I needed to give myself, rather than a favor bestowed upon the person who wronged me. It was an opportunity to reclaim my power and take control of my own emotions.
3.The Process of Healing: Embarking on the journey of forgiveness required me to delve into the depths of my emotions and confront the pain head-on. It was not a linear path, but rather a gradual process of acceptance and understanding. I allowed myself to feel the emotions that arose, acknowledging their presence without judgement. Through introspection and self-reflection, I gained a deeper understanding of the person who had hurt me, recognizing their own struggles, insecurities, and vulnerabilities. This newfound empathy allowed me to see beyond the surface and approach forgiveness with a compassionate heart.
4.The Power of Release: As I progressed on my journey, I realized that forgiveness was not about changing the past, but about releasing the grip it had on my present and future. Holding onto grudges only prolongs the pain, limiting our ability to grow and find joy in life’s experiences. By forgiving, I liberated myself from the shackles of negativity, creating space for healing, growth, and new possibilities. It was a profound act of self-love and self-care, reclaiming my happiness and reclaiming my life.
Lessons Learned: Forgiveness taught me invaluable lessons that will forever shape my perspective on life and relationships. It highlighted the power of compassion, not only towards others but also towards ourselves. It taught me the importance of setting boundaries and safeguarding my emotional well-being. Most importantly, it reinforced the idea that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves, enabling us to find peace and move forward.
Conclusion: This year, I made the conscious decision to give myself the gift of forgiveness, setting myself free from the burden of resentment and anger. It has been a transformative journey, one that has allowed me to heal, grow, and embrace a brighter future. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness but a testament to our strength and resilience. By forgiving, we choose to break free from the chains that bind us, and in doing so, we open ourselves up to a world of love, joy, and limitless possibilities.