Forgiveness: The Reality

By Christina Kim - August 07, 2018


Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future
- Paul Boese -

Everyone has a past.
We all have something that we have been through, which have formed the memories in our mind. They are not always good nor happy, and there are those which will evoke feelings of pain, hurt, and anguish when they come to mind.
It is not something we would have wished for, but life is never a bed of roses.
Even roses could be trampled upon, bruised or mishandled, leaving permanent damage to the exterior and the unseen heart of the beautiful flower which may not always be visible.

There are things that we wish we could forget, but sometimes it is never easy, especially for those blessed with capabilities in the memory department.
Forgetting sounds so easy when it is spoken, and while many could say they forget, is it truly the case?
Can one truly erase the past, the things which haunt them, or those that have already left a dent and an imprint in their mind, their heart and lingers in their very soul?

Forgive and forget, they say, for one cannot always hold on to the past.
It is always easier said than done.
It is why, forgiveness is always a virtue; a goal and an ultimate spiritual achievement.
Forgive, for it is not about the person who hurt you, it is about freeing yourself of that hurt and memory.
It is about healing oneself, and letting the past be in the past.

Forgiveness is never easy, and make no mistake, it is never about forgetting either.
Of course the old adage is about forgiving and forgetting, but notice how the two are broken into two distinct words.
They are not the same, one is to take precedence over the other and if the first does not happen, you cannot move on to the next, which presumably will be even harder.
Think of it in terms of a game challenge, one moves on from one level to another with higher difficulty and this elevates the challenge the more one proceeds.

The first stage is about forgiveness.
Forgiving a mistake and forgiving the person who made the mistake, the one who created the pain and all that sorrow you are feeling.
Forgiving is about letting go of that feeling that gnaws at you inside, pricking needles in the depth of the soul and tears you inside, bit by bit.
It is a burden, it is an emotional weight one is carrying and it is heavy, it is daunting to even feel its presence.
Forgiving promises that freedom from that emotional baggage, it is about letting it all cut loose, and slowly losing its toll on your well-being.
It does indeed sound promising, but it is way more than the words or assurance of its promises.

To be able to forgive is to come to terms with one's past and that brings one to remember.
It is not a choice, but the first thing is to recall to mind, the feeling and its source to be able to seek closure and drain it out of our system.
It is going to be agonising itself in that part of the recollection.
Sometimes it could even trigger the aggravation from back then, and you're left wondering why do you even need to forgive in the first place.
You will move away again, firmly negating the need to forgive.
After a while, you will come back once again and try this again.

No one ever said it is going to be easy.
No one ever said it is going to be a one time deal, it could be for some but not for all. Some may take longer time to come to terms with forgiveness and some, just never will.
It is not mandatory, but rather, it is personal.
No one can tell you when that time comes, when you are ready but yourself.
You don't have to do anything if you don't want to, don't force yourself to comply.
Take things in your own way, and your own pace and you will find your own peace in that way.

Forgiveness is never a one time deal, it is a process.
One goes through the journey of reliving, of confronting the pain and sorrow, of navigating one's mind through the need to let go, to coming to terms with the act of letting go in reality before finally feeling free of it all.
The freedom takes a long time, and that freedom is accompanied by the healing.
One can take as long as it needs to finally spell forgiveness.

I can't tell you how long it takes, or whether you should or not to forgive for everyone has their own misgivings and their own calls in deciding to forgive.
I can write a long post to tell you all about forgiving like this one, but the truth is, nobody can ever practise forgiveness easily in reality, me included.
Forgiveness is truly a challenge, and it can really take a toll on a person.

However, forgiveness is essential not for the person who hurt us, but rather, for ourselves.
I have personally experienced my own share of hurt and anguish (who hasn't?), and I have my own struggles with forgiveness.
But as time goes by, I look back at some of these memories and wonder, are they truly worth my time?
Maybe some people never deserve to be forgiven, but the act of forgiveness is not about their deserving, rather, do we deserve to always be enveloped by these heavy feelings of disappointment, hurt and anger?
They don't deserve it, but do we?
Don't we deserve the feeling of leaving them all behind and walking forward without luggage?
Travel light, and life is indeed a long journey, it will be more strenuous to lug these luggages, which, keeping our fingers crossed, may become heavier when new stories latch itself upon it, whether we can help it or not.

As we journey through life, we will collect mementoes from aspects of our life, our experiences, bitter tears, endearing smiles, and warm touches from the little to big things that come our way.
These become our luggage, checked in or hand carry.
Some we will always carry on our hand, ready to bring that smile to our face whenever we need it and some will seemingly disappear into the back of our mind but come back to haunt us whenever it can.
We cannot help it, there are just some things that we can never control, but forgiveness is something we can make a choice about.
It is something doable, though not easy, but it is not impossible.

To be able to forgive is doing ourselves a favour.
It is about putting it behind us and not let it bother us.
It is not about forgetting, for our memories are biologically programmed that way unless we lose our memories, pathologically.
To forgive is come to terms that it is no longer in the present, it is something which happened in the past, was in the past and should stay in the past, including the person who caused it.
To forgive does not mean forgetting everything that the person has said or done, which caused our pain, but to say, it is over, it is not relevant anymore and it will not affect my future which I decide will be without this unhappiness.
What has happened in the past, I cannot undo it anymore, but I can choose what to fill in my future.
A future which I want to see with colours and bright daisies, decorated with my smiles and happy memories I choose to paint on my walls.

Yes, I cannot see my future just yet, nor can I dictate whatever happens, but I can see that bit of the past which is in the way, and that is something I can decide on.
To remove or to let it go with me, is entirely a decision that only I can make, for only I can see that bit of my past.

It will take time, and it takes a big heart and a lot of patience.
The person won't thank you for it, or he/she will but most of all, your future self definitely will.

To be able to forgive is the greatest virtue of all.
It is not as easy as it gets, but when you get to it, you will find the peace like no other.
You will no longer be imprisoned by the past.
You will come to terms with that part of the past, and make you look forward to the future.
One that you want to see, without sadness and pain.

It will take time, and it is worth it.
You will come out a stronger person than ever, and that is your reward.

The weak can never forgive. It is the attribute of the strong.
- Mahatma Gandhi -

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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