written by Princess R. Lakshman
This Ramadan, let us try and understand the meaning of True Forgiveness and how to cultivate a Daily Forgiveness Practice. Before we proceed further, let us imagine four scenarios:
Your friend borrows a piece of clothing from you. When your friend returns it to you, you notice an irreparable rip in the fabric. Initially, it bothers you and you let your friend know how you feel. Your friend apologises and you decide to let it be in the past and move on. You accept the apology and forgive.
Your friend borrows a piece of clothing from you. Again, upon return, you notice an irreparable rip. When asked about it, your friend dismisses it and does not accept any responsibility. Your friend apologises for the inconvenience without accepting the responsibility of the rip. Again, you decide to let it go and accept the indirect apology.
You confide in a friend and later find out that the friend accidentally let it slip in a group conversation. You feel hurt and tell your friend you are disappointed by the event. Your friend realises and apologises. Even though you are hurt and find it difficult to forget the incident, you decide to accept your friend’s apology.
You confide in a friend and later find out that the friend intentionally told another person and now the secret has been passed around in a group of other people. You tell your friend you feel deeply hurt and betrayed. You demand an apology. There is NO APOLOGY. Your friendship is ruined as a result. You lose trust in other people of that group and you begin avoiding gatherings where any of these people are. Every time your former friend’s name is mentioned you feel anger and hurt.
Now, in the first three scenarios, it was easier to let go off the hurt and carry on with life as well as maintain your friendship. In the last scenario, however, you did not let go.
Why? Because there was NO APOLOGY. You became deeply affected and restricted your life because of another person’s actions – you let that person affect you and your decisions.
|LETTING GO WHEN YOU HAVEN’T RECEIVED AN APOLOGY IS TRUE FORGIVENESS|
True Forgiveness happens when you can no longer feel a person’s or incident’s control over your response to life’s situations. True Forgiveness happens when you no longer blame a person or circumstance for how things are turning out in your life. True Forgiveness happens when you no longer NEED an apology because you have decided to have a NEW PERSPECTIVE of the situation – the perspective that lets you be FREE from carrying a grudge or resentment of any kind whatsoever.
|Forgiveness does NOT mean you need to start having dinner parties with that person or start re-connecting. NO. |
Forgiveness is to NOT LET THEIR PAST BEHAVIOUR AFFECT YOUR PRESENT LIFE.
Four Steps to Practise Daily Forgiveness
Forgiveness gives you freedom. Forgiveness is for your benefit alone. There are four steps to practise daily forgiveness. Cultivate a forgiving attitude by practising these four steps daily.
Step 1 – Think of the person who has hurt you, the person you need to forgive.
Step 2 – Now think of this person in a child form as if they were a little girl or little boy.
Step 3 – Now, in your mind, say to this child: “I forgive you; you did what you because someone hurt you too. I forgive you”.
Step 4 – Now imagine this person back in the adult form and in your mind, say to him/her: “I forgive you. You have no power over me. Your words and your actions have no power over me. I release you from my mind. I forgive you. ALLAH guide you to the path of love and peace.”
Sometimes we feel guilty for something we have done and we find it difficult to forgive ourselves. Try practising this affirmation to yourself. Close your eyes and say: “I forgive myself and set myself free. I seek refuge in ALLAH’s mercy.”
For more inspiration, check out the YouTube Channel for Muslimah Mind Matters
Photo from Canva (free images)