Pic.: Pradeep Nanda
I came across these lines from Sue Monk Kidd, this morning:
“I learned a long time ago that some people would rather die than forgive. It is a strange truth; but forgiveness is a painful and difficult process. It is not something that happens overnight… It’s an evolution of the heart.”
Like the majority around me, I, too, have in my life some people whose very thought makes me angry. When I think of them, my body becomes tense, breathing becomes heavy… and I know it is not a good state to be in… I know I have to make peace, forgive…
But, then, forgiveness is not that easy… Often, experience of forgiveness seems more painful than the experience of going through the wounds and hurts itself… Yet, that’s the only way to find peace in my soul… There is no other way.
There is good news, there is hope: To forgive someone is my choice. I do not have to wait for the other person’s – my tormentor’s – consent. And, the good news, also, is: Forgiveness is the greatest service I can ever do for my own well-being… not other person’s!
“Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you,” said Lewis B. Smedes.
How true it is!
Resentment, grudge and revenge… these are heavy loads to carry in life. No matter how brave and tough we pretend to be from outside, we alone know – inside our hearts – that, it is a deep hole we are getting into, a self-destructive hell. Real bravery lies in seeing the reality as it is and letting go… in forgiving. Real bravery lies in making ourselves vulnerable… not defensive. In true love, all defenses dissolve, all guards fall… all arguments and justifications drop.
When my anger ends, compassion begins… The other person’s consent is not required to end my anger… When I ‘see’ what my anger does to me, it ends!
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” said Martin Luther King Jr., “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
True. Love is the light that dispels the darkness called anger and resentment. Yes, the understanding comes through love… The courage to be vulnerable comes through love… And, they all come from the simple yet undisputable truth, that I have to drop my resentment for my own peace, my own freedom.
The words of Sue haunt me still… I do not want to be one of those persons who would rather die than forgive… I would rather forgive and then die!
Let me end this post with another inspiring passage. It is from Dr. Fredric Luskin… Here it is:
“Remember, that a life well-lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving the person who caused you pain power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty and kindness around you. Forgiveness is about personal power.”
May peace be with us.