THE INSTINCT OF FORGIVENESS…..
The days could be dazzling and the nights serene, the mind clear and the soul purer, the hearts could feel lighter and the bodies healthier if I could learn to forgive….yes, our lives would be so much lighter and freedom would color our essence if we were to practice the beauty of forgiveness.
At the end of a weary day, before we cradle into sleep, a brief forgiveness practice can do us wonders. By bringing to mind the movements of the day, by being a nonjudgmental observer to our own actions and those of others, it is possible to declutter ourselves of unrequired grudges and bitterness.
In forgiveness, we attain true freedom. Because we become mere observers and free ourselves from the conditioned responses of anger, guilt, and frustration. In forgiving, we liberate ourselves and others from further entanglements in the action-reaction cycle. We break the chain and, and become fearless to make new commitments. Sometimes, out of our previous bitter experiences and our inability to forgive, we fear to enter new relationships, and thereby expand our lives. Also, being in the safe cocoon of this agony becomes like an addiction. Its generally simpler to hold others responsible for our pain and sufferings, rather than taking the reign of changing things in our own hands. It shifts the onus to the other fellow and we become the suffering soul, gathering our own sympathy and those of others.
In holding grudges, we have a false sense of empowerment but practicing empathy and forgiveness melts all the wrong notions of feeling victimized, empowered etc. like a wave that erases all that’s written on sand, it erases and dulls the seeping wounds of our soul and embalms it with the elixir of compassion and empathy.
In all of it, an important component is to remember to include ourselves in the process. There are many ways in which we have dishonored ourselves by rejecting our choices, disapproving of our heart’s desires and sacrificing our happiness for the sake of others. At other points, we have denied ourselves love and care because of our distorted belief of our not deserving enough for it. For all these and much more, we need to forgive ourselves.
At other times, in our own confusions and fears, our own frustrations, we hurt and betray others. We inflict pain and hurt. Through words and deeds, we cause misery and anguish. Against our default setting of kindness, we vent out hatred and indifference. We need to ask forgiveness from the bleeding hearts.
At various points, due to unknown reasons, people lash out at us and in their rage, and fury, cause us grief. For years, we might sob and mourn and hold on to the pain. We are captives of our own unforgiveness. We carry the weight of all these burdens when there is no need to. Release all those who gave you pain, and you will be released too.
The heart of forgiveness stems from compassion and gratitude. If we have compassion springing from our being, then forgiveness is only like a sequel to it. Gratefulness leaves no room for complaints and our heart is singing its own melody of bliss. There is no desire to latch onto the reactions of others and a strength of spirit easily deflects all weapons of anger and curses sent to it. Its only response is to send positive and loving vibrations of love and light to the ones who despise.
Compassion and forgiveness may seem like a meek ammunition, but it is truly the empowerment of a strong and healthy spirit.. only the strong can forgive, the weak can only remorse.
We have a long way to master this art, but until then, let’s make fresh beginnings, every day.