Spirituality is more essential to us at times of pain, loss, suffering, struggle, and illness because it connects us to both our higher power and people around us, helps us discover meaning and purpose, and provides us with hope and healing. These same circumstances can make us doubt ourselves, our spirituality, and everything we know. Our clinicians and chaplains discuss what it means to be spiritual beings, how it affects our interactions with the world, and how we sometimes struggle with and doubt our own spirituality in our Spirituality and Emotional Health blog series.
Today, we’ll look at the human capacity for forgiveness.
One of the things about our emotions is that we can feel emotionally inhibited if we’re in a relationship with someone we haven’t forgiven. It stifles genuine emotion and our ability to interact in a healthy manner with the emotions of others as well as our own.
The foundation of healing is forgiveness. When you forgive, you allow your soul and heart to heal, as well as your body to heal.
Whether you’re asking someone to forgive you, forgiving someone who has wounded you, or forgiving yourself, forgiveness is the best remedy for this toxin.
Before you begin your healing path, it’s crucial to understand that forgiveness is not the same as a clean slate. The words “forgive” and “forget” don’t go well together. You must accept the truth of what occurred in order to go ahead. When you accept what happened and understand that you can’t change the past, you gain the incentive to do something good for yourself, such as forgive and heal.
It isn’t always essential or practical to express your forgiveness directly to the person who has wronged you. It is for your benefit, not theirs, to forgive someone. It is possible to forgive and let go of thoughts and sentiments that have kept you bound to the past without involving the other person. Forgiveness permits you to let go of regrets and resentments that are draining your vitality.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FORGIVEN?
To forgive means to let go of resentment or anger toward someone because of an offence, blunder, or shortcoming. It is a trip that we must decide on. “Even though you did something wrong, I still choose to forgive you,” forgiveness says. “Even if you don’t realize you’ve wounded me, I can and will move forward,” forgiveness means. “Although you have insulted me, this scenario will not keep a grip of my heart,” forgiveness says.
WHAT IS NOT FORGIVENESS?
Recognizing what forgiveness is not is just as vital as learning what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is a state of mind, not a sensation. You’re looking for the wrong thing if you’re hoping for a moment when you suddenly feel like forgiving, or when they hurt and resentment vanish. Forgiveness is not a passive experience.
When we forgive, we must keep in mind that this does not imply that we are pardoning wrongdoing. It is not intended to imply that whatever was done to us was appropriate or acceptable. Forgiveness does not necessitate a return to an unhealthy environment or relationship.
Receiving an apology or witnessing evidence of remorse should not be prerequisites for forgiveness. Our act of forgiveness has little to do with the individual who caused the transgression because it is between ourselves and God. Forgiving them does not absolve them of responsibility or indicate that we trust them.
HEALING AND FORGIVENESS
We must remember one more thing as we choose to forgive. The terms “healing” and “forgiveness” are not interchangeable. Even if you’ve decided to completely let go of the offence, the anguish may linger for a long time.
Someone purposefully treading on your toe and breaking it is distinct from them. You may forgive the insult and be ready to move on if someone steps on your toe. However, regardless of whether or not forgiveness has occurred, if the toe is broken, there is still a healing process. You may also require surgery to get back on the road to full recovery.
Even when it’s difficult, practice love.
Authentic forgiveness springs from a deep belief that we are enough, that love is abundant, and that even if we have been mistreated, we don’t have to spend our emotional energy trying to get our “debt” paid off. This level of trust isn’t easy to come by! It takes time and effort to train our thoughts to let go of the things that don’t matter in order to make room for the ones that do.
Releasing resentments toward others necessitates focus, prayer, and, in many cases, communal assistance.
It is critical to remind yourself on a daily basis that you are and will always be positive, that you will let go of the pain caused by any person or incident, and that you will not give that person power over you. As you practice this every day, you will notice how empowered and emotionally strong you feel over time.
ASK GOD FOR FORGIVENESS FOR YOUR ACTIONS/KARMAS.
After feeling burdened by the weight of our acts, the act of seeking forgiveness provides the openness we require. Forgiveness entails a way out, a second chance, and a sense of hope that can be used to start a new chapter in one’s life. We learn to understand that there is no need to despair of God’s mercy via the process of seeking forgiveness. Islam, like all other religions, encourages us to turn towards God rather than away from it, as a baby would run into its mother’s lap. Allah, Most High, addresses His followers with such tenderness: “Say (to humanity, O Muhammad): O My servants—those (of you) who have committed (severe) sins against their own souls—never lose hope in Allah’s love! Allah does, after all, forgive all faults. He is, after all, the All-Forgiving, Mercy-Giving One. So turn to your Lord in repentance. And you must submit to Him.” (39:53 in the Qur’an)
A Forgiveness Prayer
Astaghfir Allah al ‘Azim wa la ilaha ila huwa al al hayy al qayyum wa atubu illay, astaghfir Allah al ‘Azim wa la ilaha ila huwa al al hayy al qayyum wa atubu illay.
I ask God for pardon, and there is no God but He, the Living, the Everlasting, to Him I turn in repentance (palms turned upward).