If one of your close friends betrayed you by speaking ill of you, will you accept her/his apology after the remarkable episode? What if somebody accidentally spilled hot chocolate to your dress in a party, can you just simply say “It’s okay. Don’t bother? ” Your father turned to have a second family aside from yours; will you accept his words of apology and act as if nothing bad had happened? In these common cases, one may simply say, “Oh, I’m fine. ””Don’t bother, you are forgiven.
” How many times do you hear a person profusely apologizing for something wrong he has done while the other person simply says “Don’t worry you don’t owe me an apology. ”Most of the time, it is easy to say that we are fine, yet, inside we really feel wrecked, hurt and deceived. Hurting someone intentionally or unintentionally is never good, but I think faking our true feeling about a particular situation is even worse. How can you forgive the sins that are unforgivable? How can you forget a specific event that is unforgettable? How can you say that you are fine, even if you are not?
Forgiveness is one of the vague concepts that any reference book cannot give a concrete definition. It is very similar to love—both are difficult to define and to give. According to Klimes, forgiveness is dealing with the offence or hurtful act of a person to another person in a helpful manner (2006). Saying “It’s okay” is not always tantamount to saying “I forgive you,” for the first simply comes out of the head while the latter is to be said after a thoughtful judgment. People, until now, needs an understanding of this powerful word—forgiveness.
The rewards of forgiving or the costs when one refuses to forgive, are yet to be determined. People think that forgiving is equivalent to forgetting the past and ignoring the pain that the bad experience in the past had brought. Klimes argues about what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not forgetting—bad experience especially when it caused unbearable pain cannot be easily erased in the memory of the person hurt. Forgiveness is not condoning—it does not close the eyes of the suffering individual to the harmful and painful behaviors.
Forgiveness is not pardoning—it is not a legal transaction that may allow the injuring person be free from the consequences of his actions. Forgiveness is not necessarily reconciliation—forgiveness is part of reconciliation, for in reconciliation, the relationship between the two persons involved must be restored (2006). Why forgive? You forgive because you accept that the pain you are feeling inside subsides. You forgive because you welcome healing. When to forgive? Forgiveness may be granted when the pain is over, without any expectation of compensation.
What comes after forgiving? Once you forgive, it’s time to move forward and to set your self free of the hurts that were inflicted by the experiences in the past. To look back in the memories of the hurtful past is not healthy. What have been done, were done. What’s wrong will always be wrong. Leave the person who hurt you—for it is difficult to invite him into your life again and reunite with him. To really forgive is to let yourself release all the negative pictures, events and emotions that you can associate with that person who hurt you.
As long as you carry the load of pain in your heart, you are letting the person who hurt you to continuously wound you emotionally. Forgive! As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ” If you can able to do that, you can say head up, “I am now free from the pains of the past. I am healing and I am moving on. ”
Works Cited Klimes, Rudolf. “Forgiveness Therapy: The Healing of the Wrongs. ” 23 December 2006. LearnWell Resources, Inc. 11 June 2008 < http://www. learnwell. org/forgive. htm>.