Man is complex. We are the best and the worst beings to ever roam on Earth (except of course, if zombies existed which are still human in a way). We are so complicated that we go through everyday always contradicting ourselves. Everyday we live our lives according to what makes us happy or near that even if along the way collateral damage might arise.
In our constant pursuit of happiness we encounter things that change us – our attitude, our life-world, our actions, our decision and even, our concept of happiness. This is a true manifestation of our complexity that despite that lifelong endeavor, the most constant thing will always be change.
We go about life without letting go of this goal that somehow, it makes us short-sighted that we forget the things that matter around us – the people who might get hurt and the hearts that might get broken.
Almost everyone has been hurt by actions or words of another. Perhaps your classmate not cooperating in a group activity, a random stranger who stepped on your foot and “forgot” to say sorry, your father criticizing your ways, or your best buddy who actually stabbed you in the back. The hurt you feel would always be beyond human comprehension. You would always wonder when and in what particular moment did you ever deserve being treated this way. These wounds can always leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness and even, vengeance.
You hold on to that anger so much its making you heavier, the worries and all the hurt makes your heart heavy. You hold on to it for so long because it gives you power – the power to dominate, to have an occasional passport to saying bad things about the person or the power not to give in to our inner voices. We hold on to anger because if we don’t we break down, we cry and eventually, we forgive.
But why is it so hard to forgive when all has been said and done? Is it pride? Forgiving the person would mean you’re weak because you bought their excuse and constant pleading. Is it weakness? Maybe forgiving the person is giving him/her the pass that he/she might inevitably hurt you again. Or is it because it’s the most natural thing we can do and we SHOULD do?
Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.
Then again, let’s situate ourselves in their shoes..would you want to be forgiven? would you want to be given another chance?
When we’re always on the side when we’re the ones seeking for an apology – we always contemplate whether or not the person deserves forgiveness; whether or not s/he deserves a second chance. But who are we to say who deserves a chance and who doesn’t? Would you want your fate be decided that way if the roles were reversed? Wouldn’t it be so ironic and hypocritical to think that we are so divine when God himself constantly forgives for the contradictions we’ve done our entire lives? We are all but sinners and saints in this world.
Yes we have been hurt and the pain never goes away – but in time, you’ll learn to live with it and learn from it. Life’s a constant battle where at some point you find yourself asking – How did I ever get into this position? How did I ever manage to go this far? Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. Its a growth that makes you look beyond what the ordinary see. It makes you understand whole-heartedly what it means to love your friends and what it means to love your enemies even more. For what is the use of using bible quotes and going to mass every Sunday when we don’t put the lessons we’ve learned to application.
Forgiving is hard, all the more when you trust. But then if you don’t – you would be missing out on life. You would miss the feeling of satisfaction of being the better person that you aspire to be. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace hope, peace, gratitude and joy. Before forgiving others, above all – you should first forgive yourself.
Happy Sunday everyone!