There are times when we get into arguments with a family member, friend, boss, colleague, or anyone for that matter. We feel that either we are right, or we have been wronged with an insulting remark, or rudeness. And we choose to hold a grudge. Is this right? We all know somewhere that forgiving is right. Why should we forgive? One of the pillars of Ramadan is forgiveness and it is a wonderful time to open our hearts and cleanse them of grudges and bitterness. Forgiveness gives you peace, serenity and joy, says Saima Malik.
We go through minor incidents or major upheavals in our life and believe that this is what life is all about, but we are always advised to let go and move on. And we say “yes, easier said than done”. We face financial stress, relationship breakups, complications, conflicts, delays in commitments, betrayal, health issues and so much more! We often get hurt by people we care for; spouse, partner, family, siblings, friends, relatives, children, acquaintances, colleagues, boss and more. When we go through these situations or confrontations or events it affects our lives and our inner world is badly disrupted because the only thing we do is to focus on the turmoil, the pain and even as days or weeks pass, some stormy events leave a horrific scar on our souls and makes it difficult for us to continue our lives and achieve our goals.
We start living in a bubble of fear and self-doubt and either way it only leads to our deterioration slowly; physically, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
FORGIVENESS IS THE ONLY ANSWER
The only key or cure to protect ourselves from collapsing and moving on in our life is to adapt the concept of FORGIVENESS. If we wish to restore harmony and peace in our relationships and live a blissful life we have to start forgiving.
FORGIVENESS IN THE LIGHT OF ISLAM AND OTHER RELIGIONS
The word Islam is derived from the Semitic word slm meaning “peace” and forgiveness is a prerequisite for genuine peace. Just as it is important to believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness, it is also necessary to base human relations on forgiveness. Islam emphasizes justice and punishment of the wrong doers, but it equally strongly emphasizes mercy, kindness and love and states two aspects of forgiveness:
a) Allah’s forgiveness;
b) Human forgiveness.
We need both, because we do wrong in our relations to Allah as well as in our relations to each other. Be it Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity or Judaism, forgiveness is a practice for removing unhealthy emotions that would otherwise cause harm to our mental well-being. It is viewed as the remedy to anger as we forgive when aroused by compassion which generates peace, tranquility, humility and co-operation in human interactions. No doubt the act of forgiveness is a divine gift.
Forgiveness is not to pardon a serious offense but it is to cleanse our souls. Rather than asking and blaming each other that “why me or why did you do this” we need to forgive and let go. Let us start a healthier life from this holy month of Ramadan, which is one of the distinguishing features of Ramadan. As the Prophet explained in one Hadith that Ramadan is a month whose beginning is Mercy, whose middle is Forgiveness and whose end is freedom from the Hellfire. This makes it a great time to ask God for His Forgiveness. Let us all focus on the fact that if people sense trust in relationships and with each other, have a willingness to sacrifice, willingness to forgive surely our everyday life will be lot happier and calmer.
The choice is ours; forgiveness drives happiness or happiness drives forgiveness. Either ways we all deserve to be happy and healthy. “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” Paul- Boese.
BENEFITS OF FORGIVENESS;
1.PHYSIOLOGICAL: Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, immune response, increase risk of depression, heart disease, PTSD, cancer, diabetes, and many other major and minor ailments. If in a confronting situation or relationship we program our mind to forgive; it immediately calms stress levels, leading to improved health, helps in better sleep and decision making.
2. LONG AND HEALTHIER LIFE: Being hurt by someone, particularly someone you love vand trust, can cause anger, sadness and confusion. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for improved health and peace of mind therefore “Forgiveness” can lead to healthier relationships, stronger immune system and improved self-esteem.
3. MENTAL PEACE and EMOTIONAL HARMONY: Forgiveness helps to reduce anxiety, depression and major psychiatric disorders leading to better anger management.
4. HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIPS: Forgiveness is the most important tool to balance the wellbeing of all relationships. Learning to forgive and asking for forgiveness helps to keep relationships healthy by allowing them to heal and grow. We learn from our past experiences and can react positively towards conflicting people or situations and allow the relationship to move to a deeper level of trust and intimacy.
5. TRUE HEALING: When we pray we receive peace and divine love in return. It spiritually cleanses us from within.
HOW TO BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE A HAPPY AND HEALTHIER LIFE WITH THE ONE BASIC KEY CALLED “FORGIVENESS”;
1. With the power of prayer and meditation
2. Exercises, deep breathing and different kinds of healing techniques to calm your mind.
3. By undertaking volunteering works and donating to charitable organizations
About the author:
SAIMA MALIK is a gifted, intuitive counselor who incorporates the skill of psychometry, with intuitive insights and tarot reading.