Friday, May 8, 2009

Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong

Last night I couldn't sleep well. There was something going on in my mind. To keep the story short, a friend of mine betrayed me and lied to me. He's one of those friends that I thought can be trusted but what he did to me was so unbelievable that I don't exactly know how to react. My boyfriend knows that I was really upset and disappointed because of my friend's action. But then I try to calm myself down last night, I took a deep breath and told myself that I must forgive him. I know I will forgive him because he's my friends. But up to this moment I couldn't believe that he could do such thing to me. I don't need to tell the whole story but once again I really need to say that I am very disappointed that I can't even be angry. Have you ever had the feelings when you get really disappointed that all you can do is just sit there, think about what happened and smile? That's what happened to me now.
However, I keep saying to myself that I'm a grown up lady who must be able to think that there must be something behind every action. I dig and dig into my disappointment and I finally found that this really is a valuable lesson to learn...FORGIVENESS. The quote below really opens my eyes about what forgiveness is. I learned that forgiveness is not for other people who make the mistake but for me. I have to learn to let go of the things that disappoint me and I have to be able to give other people a chance to fix the mistake. I am strong! And thus, I must forgive...And therefore create calmness in my heart.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)
Forgiveness is letting go of the need for revenge and releasing negative thoughts of bitterness and resentment. If you are a parent, you can provide a wonderful model for your children by forgiving. If they observe your reconciliation with friends or family members who have wronged you, perhaps they will learn not to harbor resentment over the ways in which you may have disappointed them. If you are not a parent, forgiveness is still an extremely valuable skill to have.

Forgiveness can be a gift that we give to ourselves.
Here are some easy steps towards forgiveness:
  • Acknowledge your own inner pain.
  • Express those emotions in non-hurtful ways without yelling or attacking.
  • Protect yourself from further victimization.
  • Try to understand the point of view and motivations of the person to be forgiven; replace anger with compassion.
  • Forgive yourself for your role in the relationship.
  • Decide whether to remain in the relationship.
  • Perform the overt act of forgiveness verbally or in writing. If the person is dead or unreachable, you can still write down your feelings in letter form.

What Forgiveness Is Not…

  • Forgiveness is not forgetting or pretending it didn’t happen. It did happen, and we need to retain the lesson learned without holding onto the pain.
  • Forgiveness is not excusing. We excuse a person who is not to blame. We forgive because a wrong was committed.
  • Forgiveness is not giving permission to continue hurtful behaviors; nor is it condoning the behavior in the past or in the future.
  • Forgiveness is not reconciliation. We have to make a separate decision about whether to reconcile with the person we are forgiving or whether to maintain our distance.
  • Forgiving and letting go can be very difficult challenges, but it’s even more stressful to hold on to grudges. There are several symbolic letting-go rituals that can help with the process. If you are having trouble forgiving someone else, write them a letter expressing all of your feelings and explaining why you need to let go. You don’t need to mail that letter — it is cathartic just to write it all down. You can also write down all of your excess “baggage” on a piece of paper and burn it or cast it into the sea in a bottle when you are ready to really let go.

(source by Lynn Ponton, Ph.D from psychcentral.com - images via justbesplendid.tumblr )

9 comments:

Rain said...

I'm sorry that your friend betrayed you, but kudos for being able to forgive! Once again, I feel like parents do not do a good job in teaching their kids the basic morals and lessons for being able to live a happy life. I was taught that forgiveness was that you have to allow the other person to walk all over you and never complain about it because that is what Jesus taught...we both know how warped that sentence is, but remember I was taught by child-abusers. That definition of forgiveness is exactly how I can forgive the people who hurt me. I haven't quite got to the point where I smile about it!!! :-) I still feel I want revenge, and I do fantasize about it, but the anger goes away quicker now, and I can forgive and let it go much easier that I used to be able to. I hope you can work it out with your friend and that he understands what he did was absolutely wrong.

Randeep said...

Hmmm.. I too felt this. Anger and sadness together. And helplessness too. All I did was love them more. Some was disturbed by it and left me. Some realized what they did and apologized. And whats life without situations like this ;) Enjoy each moment..

Cheers
Randeep

boya arsila said...

Rain:
I still feel like doing a revenge but then I remember what I've promised to myself about kindness and forigiving. I don't care if I seem to be the losers. If I forgive someone, I did it for the inner Me..for the stronger Me. Thank you so much for the support Rain. It really is giving Me courage to let it go =)

boya arsila said...

Hi Randeep...yes I agree completely with you. That's exactly what I'm trying to do now. Pretend as if nothing happened and try not to hate the person. I guess that's what moral punishment feels like..but I do have to let it go. Thank you for sharing=)

Rain said...

You know what? There is NOTHING wrong with having a little revenge fantasy moment at first. It's a way of letting go of the anger right? The only thing I would caution is to make sure you don't push the anger down by trying to forgive too quickly. You know I say that out of concern because I basically did that for 35 years! You're a strong woman!

boya arsila said...

Rain..hmm..maybe a little revenge fantasy would be able to release me from the real revenge itself. But the feeling has been erased little by little now. I will try not to fill my thoughts on the dissapointment feelings again=)Just like you said...I am a STRONG woman! Thank you soooo much Rain

Rain said...

Your welcome! Time does help too! You have to remember, I have Scottish blood in me, so our first instinct is "Seek Revenge, Kill!" Lol! Crazy Scots! My clan's warcry is "Battalia-abu!" which means To Battle Clan of the Ax! My ancestors used axes! Now that's revenge! Ha ha.

boya arsila said...

Hello to you My Scottish friend=) Yes Rain time does heal..for sure...

Anonymous said...

Battalia abu fellow MacSween.