Forgiveness – The Golden Virtue 
Self Help

Forgiveness – The Golden Virtue 


Great beings in the past have said that forgiveness is not for someone else but rather for yourself. Harboring anger and hurt is like holding a piece of charcoal in your own hand and expecting the other person to burn. But do we really believe it? And what logical explanation can we give to prove the validity of this concept? Just like everyone else, there must have been a few instances in your life too, when you have had to forgive someone else, from friendly arguments to serious issues. From a vast experience, this is what I came across and discovered. Better late than never! Yes, forgiveness is not for the other person who is being forgiven but rather for the person who is forgiving.

Forgiveness as Karma

For starters, forgiveness is having full faith in karma. If karma sounds too spiritual for you, the scientific term would be Newton’s third law, that is ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction.’ Forgiveness is believing in the power of the omniscient and the promise of the eternal. The fact that every act of ignorance committed by the ignorant will reach them back with more intensity. For every wrong-doing or unwholesome action they commit they shall suffer for it, Forgiveness is having full faith in this law of nature.

Read More: Mindfulness: Why It’s Important and How to Practice

Now that we believe in this law, the key is understanding that my suffering in any form will not alter the course of the horrible outcome, which is already written by those that have hurt me in any shape or form. The moment anyone commits a wrongdoing, which even includes the negative thoughts like anger and jealousy, they have already scheduled a meeting with suffering and punishment their way. It is in knowing that, my suffering will not affect the judgment of nature or god or the universe Call it what you like, has already laid down to the ignorant and the ignorance of their mind.

Choosing Not to Suffer

Forgiveness is the understanding that I have full faith in the divine and I completely trust its timing. It is much more powerful and stronger than me. It knows everything without needing any explanation. So if that’s decided why should I bear the suffering for their karma? As the Buddha said, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. It is in the understanding of the fact that my suffering won’t affect the already laid rule. So, forgiveness is choosing not to suffer any more. And what does that mean? It’s choosing to combat anger, anxiety, frustration and negative feelings that crop up while thinking about the person or situation in the past.

Forgiveness is trusting that equanimity is the key to happiness and I must preserve it no matter what. It will not just ensure that I won’t suffer but rather that I will flourish. Memories related to the event or past might crор uр. These memories will present themselves as thoughts that will eventually show up as sensations in our bodies. As the ancient technique of vipassana states, once we learn to observe these sensations objectively we eventually eliminate suffering.

We cannot control the storehouse of memories that exists and it’s impossible to control the thoughts that arise with them. Understand that, even if the memory pops up, we have the power to neutralize it. Forgiveness is the decision to look at these memories objectively. What happened in the past was the truth of that moment, it was a reality back then, not today.

Read More: Why living a simple life is so underrated?

Then why torture ourselves for these illusions? Today’s reality is that we are powerful from within, and we can become immune to past hurt. Our inner strength has the potential to help us go beyond what happened in the past. Forgiveness is in accepting this reality of the present moment. So if our suffering doesn’t affect the sentence already given, why create pain for self? Isn’t forgiveness beneficial?

The repercussions of hurt, whether it is hatred or anger or the range of various mental health illnesses in the anxiety and mood disorder spectrum like OCD, and post-traumatic stress disorder, sometimes affect the person who fails to forgive. Albeit, that doesn’t mean forgiveness is a sign of weakness but looking at it from this perspective ensures that, even though one has been hurt, on forgiving the person chooses and eventually attains the position of power. The position of power is when one decides consciously that no matter how their circumstances were in the past, they will remain equanimous in the present and future.

Don’t confuse forgiving with the offence. One misconception that people have about forgiveness is that forgiving means putting the ok label to the action committed in the past, the hateful words, the deceit, the jealousy etc. No. that’s not the case. As mentioned earlier, the person who has done wrong has already set the boomerang in motion that will come back towards them. Forgiveness is not punishing yourself for someone else’s mistake. What is wrong is wrong and the law of nature or the all omniscient is looking at it. Oftentimes, the only thing in our hands is trusting this ultimate power. That is where. faith helps us combat through. Forgiveness is the understanding that I have full faith in the divine and I completely trust its timing. It is much more powerful and stronger than me. It knows everything without needing any explanation.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean not doing the right things to fix the issue or defend your truth. In fact, forgiveness is action. Again remember, it is action, not reaction. It does not mean sitting still or quite but doing all you can with perfect equanimity and balance of the mind. And once you have done what you need to do, you are not wallowing in hopelessness, guilt, doubt, anger, anxiety or any such constellation of negative harmful emotions. Action is entering the conscious zone.

Do what needs to be done from any level. Taking action, talking back, defending yourself or anyone else you see in need and your own values, but then moving on realizing you did what you had to and now let nature take over. When people belittle us, backbite us, forgiveness is in ignoring them. When a relationship ends sour and you know someone is at fault, write to them or talk to them and then put the full stop. And once that’s ended, don’t hold them in your conversations of criticism as well. Let go!

Related: The link between Personality Traits and Relationship Satisfaction

Another myth is that forgiveness is dependent on the other person’s apology. In fact, Forgiveness is not about words. Doesn’t mean you have to meet the person and tell them you forgive them or it’s not even related how many times a person says sorry. Or they don’t say it at all or even if they say it do they really mean it or not. It’s not even related to if you have had the chance to talk with them. Forgiveness is the balance or stability that occurs before and independent of all these events. It’s not a verbal battle. Words don’t mean much. Rather, they don’t mean anything at all. You have forgiven if your inner environment is stable, no matter what. Forgiveness is no expectation.

Don’t expect the other person to say sorry. It makes sense in meeting or confronting someone but then, if they seem ignorant don’t bother explaining to them further or waiting till they understand it. They shall realize it someday anyway. Often, ironically if you have truly forgiven them, life will align you in such a way that they shall suffer for their silence and ignorance while you are living a perfectly tranquil and peaceful life. Their sorry won’t make any difference in your life. You would have gone way beyond anything as you would now have harnessed the power within.

Forgive yourself for your failures. Forgiveness is the best gift that only you can give to yourself. Forgiveness is braving the anxiety, hatred and negative feelings, not because someone else was right but rather. understanding that you are now in the position of power to deal with it. Forgiveness is knowing your own value. It’s the best form of self-respect. Would someone in their right senses consume poison? knowing that it’s dangerous? Holding on to hurt by strongly reacting to negative emotions that arise is like consuming poison Why do that, when you have the power within to understand what’s good for you.

Forgiveness is making this choice. It is in making available for yourself the ever-joyful and powerful nectar of peace that lies. within. Forgiveness is in understanding the importance of your wellbeing and the fact that you deserve a better life and every moment is an opportunity to go above and beyond!

Leave feedback about this

  • Rating