When we are wronged in some way, it is natural to feel angry, resentful and even vengeful. It could be argued that those feelings are our natural survival instincts kicking in, ensuring that we protect ourselves from further harm.
But what about forgiveness? At what point does it make sense to let go of those negative emotions and move towards a place of peace?
Many struggle with the idea of forgiveness, especially in the absence of the other person’s remorse, or even worse, if they believe they were justified in their harmful behaviour. But forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It isn’t about condoning what they did or setting ourselves up for further abuse. Forgiveness is about our own freedom. It’s about letting go of the hold resentment and the need for vengeance has on us.
The Bhagavad Gita (a Hindu scripture) says, “If you want to see the brave, look to those who can return love for hatred. If you want to see the heroic, look to those who can forgive.”
There is nothing easy about forgiving a wrongdoing, especially when we are in the throes of pain. But with time and space, our wounds do heal. With mindful attention, we recognize that we cannot change what has been done, but we can choose how to live with it moving forward. Bottom line:
Forgiveness is a journey of letting go, and well worth the trip.