Friday, August 19, 2016

To err is human and to forgive is a real stress buster!   

" I can never everrrrrrr forgive you.'' " I am gonna show it to you exactly the way you did it to me.""Argh, I hate that person." "Its over, our relationship is OVER."

These above sentences sound so familiar to all of us. We all as humans have gone through instances in life where somebody has wronged us, hurt us, abused us and misused sometimes. The closest people in our lives have more power to hurt us and the people we love have most. The harder part is to forgive them and to love them again.  When we choose to forgive somebody, we give up our revenge and the bitter feelings that ensue. We replace them with compassion, generosity and forgiveness.

Wait a minute, are you thinking like... What new Fizz? Same rubbish, easy to say and hard to do. I am gonna never forgive that @%$# . I just closed my ears and you quickly close your mouth. My dear friend, yes you. The one whose heart is heavy and full of resentment towards somebody. Let me enlighten you scientifically, spiritually and psychologically.

Scientifically, it has been proven by research that people who chose to forgive - lived longer. The most funny part about forgiveness is that we feel we are doing a favor by forgiving them. On the contrary, it is receiving the biggest favor. I'll explain. It has been proven that harbored resentments, hate, hurt cause disruption in our biological system leading to disease and anguish. By cursing and blaming others, we are ruining our peace. To forgive is to rebalance oneself.  Here is the catch, forgive with your heart not your mind. The heart can forgive, but the head makes empty promises that do not complete and sooner or later negative feelings creep up and blow it all. Forgiving is like a mental and emotional bath to remove the toxic thoughts that can tax the body over a period of time. That is where the quality of our happiness and life begins. The heart, hormones and immune system starts improving.

Spiritually, we all know almost all the religions speak about forgiveness.
  • In Christianity, Jesus has repeatedly emphasized about forgiveness. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
  • In Buddhism, Forgiveness is a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc of mental well being.
  • In Hinduism, Forgiveness is one of the six cardinal virtues. One of my favorite quote is from Mahabharata. 'Righteousness is one of the highest good, forgiveness is one of the supreme peace, knowledge is one of the supreme contentment and Benevolence, one sole happiness.
  • In my religion of Islam-  Allah has given us intellect that holds us responsible for our actions. We humans, sometimes err by mistake and some times deliberately. We are responsible but we do mistakes and hence we also need forgiveness. Islam speaks of  two aspects of forgiveness, one is Allah's forgiveness and the other one is Human forgiveness.  Allah is most forgiving, he is also known by the name Al Ghaffur (oft-forgiving) and repentance is considered a great virtue in Islam. Human forgiveness means that we muslims believe that it is necessary to base the relationships on forgiveness. We cannot expect Allah to forgive us unless we forgive those who have done wrong to us. In the holy Quran there is a verse that says - 'The reward of the evil is evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon Allah' (Al Shura 42:40)
Psychologically, the people who forgive are less likely to be depressed and anxious. They are happy and live longer. The response of forgiving and seeking forgiveness for doing something wrong has various mental health boosting effects.

  1. Remember- what happened and what emotions you felt.
  2. Understand- what the other person thought and how they felt as they experienced the emotions.
  3. Identify the reasons that stop you to forgive, how you expected them to act.
  4. Choose to accept responsibility of your life, free others from your expectations.
  5. Release and let go, inhale- forgive- exhale. Ex: Shake hands, share a hug may be.
After forgiveness comes reconciliation, it means the next time you see the other person, there is no burning desire to kick him or her, no foul words dancing on the tip of the tongue neither you feel like a vulnerable puppy. Now, you have reached the highest point of healing. I know it is normal we do want apology from the person who wronged us. Please don't wait for that and don't expect a promise that they will change. Forgive for a healthier and happy you! Please note, criminals and law breakers should and must be punished accordingly. The judge cannot say I forgive you.

Congratulations, you have successfully completed your workshop on Forgiveness. All cheques and cash towards this course can be converted into flowers and cards towards someone you have wronged or a retail therapy to make yourself feel better if you have been wronged ;)

Till next time, keep showing that wonderful smile:)