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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Forgive Yourself


 
A man may commit many mistakes and learn many lessons in life, but the heart of it all, the core of every mystery and wisdom shall come to him in the commission of a certain wrong, one which turns his life upside down. When the world crumbles around you, when a harsh life coerces you to live it, you may confront the realization that certain things happen in life not for what one thinks they do but for a higher purpose, beyond common understanding and ordinary perception. It is in such realization that the soul which undergoes suffering, can find its true meaning and solace and the ability to welcome that pain as part of the purging and endure it. You may be chained by seemingly inescapable stifling forces in your despair, which make it appear impossible to break free. But if you calm yourself and close your eyes and think sensibly you will sense a miraculous freedom amidst your imprisonment. It is the freedom of choice. To remain tied or break free, to lie buried or rise above your personal abyss, to move on, to let go. The freedom to forgive those who cause that torment and most importantly to forgive yourself. When the frustrating consequences of a wrong choice engulf your life, you often find it hard to choose who to forgive. Whether it is the person who became the motivation of that wrong choice or your own self who made that decision in the first place. When the tentacles of that decision simply do not deliver you, but they keep you in their grasps; when the past and the present are so indistinctly mingled that it becomes difficult to assert one’s presence without the other; when it becomes impossible to let go of a certain thing despite it having been reduced to a mere skeleton without any true implication, it is then that compassion for yourself comes to your rescue. 

Sometimes the seed of that compassion is planted in forgiving your own self. Sometimes the beginning of our journey from a point where we are cluelessly stuck at, starts with our forgiveness. Forget about forgiving others. Absolve yourself first. Be it a broken bond, a failed relationship, a belied expectation or a fallen hope, do not be unduly harsh with either yourself or anyone. Give yourself that chance you still deserve. In times of despair I have always come to understand one infallible truth of life. That there will always be a reason to give up, to surrender to darkness and to break. But there will also be a reason for hope, for breaking free and for embracing the light. For it is alright to err, since it is in the follies of our judgment that we are fated to find our true selves. For our faults mould our character and shape our purpose and nurture our strength. These answers have dawned on me only in the twilight of insanity and prudence brought about by unspeakable desolation.

Take kindly the counsel of your mistakes. You don't have to be disenchanted. Foster strength of your spirit to shelter you in sudden adversity. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many suspicions are the children of fatigue and loneliness.  There is a beautiful change awaiting you. Believe that. Let the change come over. Take in its gifts. Surrender gracefully what it wants to take from you. No matter what your doubts are in the cacophony and confusions of times, be at peace with yourself. It is very important for every person to find that peace. If we hold on to our pain, we won't see our own brilliance in our reflection because we have the mist of denial inbetween.  In the blinding agony, when you are having a hard time in forgiving and forgetting, you will foremost have to release yourself from the clutches of the bygone. And that will happen only when you learn to pardon yourself, be kind with yourself, come to terms with the unchangeable truth instead of struggling with it. You may give in to the immediate circumstances but in the greater scheme of things you will emerge a winner. Know that no matter howsoever bitter things may be, it is part of life and like all good things this too must be lived. Tell yourself that it is alright and that you can still go ahead. You may ask for forgiveness of others, or think of forgiving others but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. Because if one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because when one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because once one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her. Only when you have moved your face away from what is behind you that you can look forward and visit what is ahead of you. Sometimes that is possible only after you have said "I forgive myself".


I’ll part with the words of Gautam Buddha for your reminiscence in times of need.


‘You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.’


39 comments:

  1. Nice post. As you let go, you leave the bitter experiences of past behind to make way for the future. Many times the person who needs forgiveness the most is you. Be happy with the lesson learned and move forward.

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    1. Agree Devangana. Thanks for reading and sharing your views.

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  2. Great life lessons. Forgive and be kind to yourself!

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  3. Yes, forgiving yourself is the toughest thing to do...but once you are past it, you realize the worth of it all.

    Nice post! :)

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  4. Sometimes we are so engrossed in the clutter that we create in our mind that we just do not realize we deserve forgiveness. But yes, self love is something that one has to develop, may be right from childhood.

    Nice read.

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  5. Very nicely written . A great motivational read.We tend to stick,at least I do.

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    1. Thank You for reading Ankita. We hope we stick.

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  6. all said and done, the hardest part is to forgive yourself

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    1. Can't deny that IB. Thanks for reading

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  7. I don't know anupam, if it's just me, or if people are being modest! The easiest person, I could ever forgive, and which I invariably do, is me! Maybe I'm too light on myself, or maybe I havn't thought it through, like, ever! But haan, something to think about...Hahaha

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    1. I can say only this, that you are fortunate for having the ability you say you have Jitesh.
      Thanks for reading Jitesh.

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  8. Great article for day to day survival tip with an important aspect of self improvement....awareness and acceptance and being thankful about what you are or have is an art towards self contentment...and the people who have it are much happier.

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    1. Thanks for reading Chaitali. I agree that people who are able to forgive themselves and embrace their reality are supposed to be much happier.

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  9. Brilliant piece of writing. "There will always be a reason to give up, to surrender to darkness and to break. But there will also be a reason for hope, for breaking free and for embracing the light." Absolutely loved this line. Above all one learns from each and every mistake in ways one won't if that mistake isn't committed and that's the process of life too. So forgiveness is one thing one should learn and that automatically paves the path for moving ahead in life :)

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    1. Thank you for your appreciation Yamini. I agree with what you've shared.
      Thanks again

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  10. Forgiveness - it's difficult to achieve.... It's even harder to forgive yourself... but when you can, you can achieve Nirvana

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    1. That is perhaps the truth. Thank you Rajrupa for reading and for your words.

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  11. Nicely said and agree that we should move to live a happy life but you know forgiveness is never easy with common people. People like me can not easily forget our deeds/past and easily move and so we suffers.

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    1. It's ok Sunny. We are what we are. All I can say is that when it becomes difficult to move on, come to terms with your state and say to your worries 'For all the pain you'd give me, I'd still look forward to touch the light".

      Try this and let me know.

      Thanks for reading and candidly sharing your view.

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  12. A wonderful post, as always. I just have a discussion to start here, if you don't mind. It is related to your post and the core message and life's philosophy in general.

    Why is that, in life, we have to go through the troughs to learn about the peaks? Why is it that we have to learn only when we are down and low? Why can't we have the moment of self-awareness at our peak? Why can't we learn the most from life when we are at the zenith of our being? Why does it have to be at the abyss of our life?

    Would love to get your inputs this...

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    1. Dear Siddharth,

      Have you heard of the saying 'share you sorrows they will lessen and share your joys they will multiply"? Ever wondered why it is said so. Perhaps the answer lies in the most basic truth of life, that man is more drawn to happiness than sorrows. Which is why there is a greater chance of ending up lonely in your sorrow than in your happiness, which in turn is why all the great proverbs are based on man's teaching in how to deal with difficult times as he is likely to require much greater strength and summon much more will to confront challenges than he is in dealing with joyful times. Once it is done, once the phase passes, it is natural to feel enriched in wisdom and experience. And it goes without saying that experience becomes a learning automatically. This is where, according to my humble opinion, lies the answer to your very thoughtful query.

      Having said that, there is no reason why we cannot learn from our highs also. I mean, to start with, one can learn what it took him to be happy and elated and joyous, and he must then keep that learning in his mind and try to stick to it.

      "twas lovely to read your views Siddharth and thanks for your continued encouragement.

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    2. Hey Anupam
      Yes it does make a lot of sense to me now and it does resolve a lot of my apparent confusion. However, your point raises another corollary - if a person is so drawn to happiness, is it that people closest to a person will begin (albeit unintentionally) to shun the person in distress, allowing him the opportunity to discover himself and gain that wisdom and experience you spoke about? Your example cites a person in the midst of life's lows who has to endure and forge his own battle to come out wiser and more experienced.
      Is it possible for an entire group of people to be in the same low at a point of time, become wiser together and come out with a fresher perspective to life? Do you think people will also stay together during such times of distress or will the typical self-sustaining principle come into being stronger than helping others in need?

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    3. When a person is going through tough times, it becomes a test for true companionship as it is then only when a true companion will stand by you. So it is not a rule of thumb that sorrow repels close ones, although the real struggle is always of the man himself who is facing that misery no matter how many people may give him emotional support. Therefore, and I say this from experience, notwithstanding the company one may have at times of distress, he alone must face it and emerge with his own learning. No one can ofcourse deny that the presence of a supportive friend or a partner may ease my pains to some extent and help me fight my challenges. But my learning will come from my own struggle alone nevertheless as I will be the one who will actually be facing the difficulties.

      Abut the struggle of a group, one example which comes instantly to my mind, is that of our struggle for our independence. A great many men of courage and conviction fought together side by side for our independence. They stayed together and led support and contributed to each others' struggle and in turn it became the struggle of the nation. And we all emerged free and wise. I wonder if there were another struggle for freedom (God forbid) we will use our learning, taught to us through history, from our first freedom struggle and fight unitedly.

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    4. Yes Anupam makes sense. A person who is in the thick of things has the best idea of what he is enduring. It gets worse when people act differently, allowing speculation within that person to breed. It just takes its toll on the adversity of the situation.

      And yea, I think we ought to learn from our history to take a stand on matters as they are and not be allowed to sway where the mob does. In contemporary times, I think the problem has been the mass following of misled ideals and the (mis)allocation of resources for the benefit of the nation.

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  13. Such a positive post!! Yes forgiving ourselves is the best gift to ourselves

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  14. Fortunately I have forgiven myself & moved on. Few of those memories still haunt, but I shrug them. We are here to make mistakes n keep going!

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    1. That's right Sweety. Good for you that you could forgive and move on. All the best

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  15. Profound--you say it like no one else can

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    1. Thank you Induji. Good to read your feedback as always.

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  16. At times you know you need to forgive yourself. But your heart plays the party-pooper, it doesn't let you forgive nor forget. You land up blaming yourself all ur life.

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    1. Cant deny that Renu. Thanks for reading

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  17. A moral lesson here to be learnt :) A person should always love himself/herself which makes them lovable.

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    1. Absoultely Saurabh. Thanks for reading and sharing your views.

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