We’re all protagonists of our own journeys, so fond of ourselves, still desperately trying to fall in love with ourselves. Weaving memories of how we react to everything that passes by us. Brushing, bruising, caressing. Sometimes gently, sometimes furiously.
Other than living under the same sky, walking under the same moon, what else do all of us have in common? The desire to be loved. The desire to feel belonged.
While we embark upon the journey to quench our thirst for love, we tend to get deeply hurt at times. People hurt our feelings, shatter our hearts, let us down. Sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly. Regardless of how much it hurt, regardless of how long it takes for us to get there, eventually, most of us learn to forgive. For our own sake, if not for theirs. After all, we need to learn to let the past be in the past since that is where it belongs.
Forgive, don’t forget
Forgiveness does not erase the past, instead, it teaches you to look upon it with compassion. It does not in any way mean that you approve of whatever happened in the past. Rather, it helps you let go of it instead of allowing it to eat you up and poison your present.
Despite some people’s perception that to forgive means to forget, the essence of forgiveness still lies in letting go of the grudges and hatred, allowing it to heal you in a way that nothing else can. So just forgive, don’t forget. The wound will heal with time and you’ll be ready to let go, ready to forgive. Forgiveness and letting go run parallel and that is why to forgive is to let go, not to forget.
Remember what is there that scars you and make peace with the scars. The scars are the testimony of your strength. It will be a reminder that everything that made your heartache at that time, you were strong enough to come out of that, to find a way back to peace and healing. Once your heart starts blooming again, you’ll find solace that you grew into the person you’ve become today.
Initially, when you’re hurt and your heart bleeds, life seems bleak at that moment. With a sinking feeling in your heart, you struggle to escape the pain and wish for the darkness to end. Sometimes, the feelings of helplessness, agony, and fury, might also be accompanied by feelings of resentment, an unwillingness to let bygones be bygones, and bury the hatchet. What you need to realize is that by holding onto the pain and resentment, you are the one who suffers more than anyone else. That resenting a person not only keeps the hurt and sorrow alive but also ends up intensifying it. Letting something go is not synonymous with forgetting it. Letting it go is a choice you make for your own self. It’s a choice you make to set yourself free. So, take your time, embrace your scars, and forgive whenever you’re ready to let go.
More than a destination, forgiveness is a process
Forgiveness is an invincible part of healing. It opens your heart to see the light beyond the darkness and heal your deepest and most painful wounds. Healing is an intriguing process. As beautiful as it is to watch yourself shed the cocoon of pain and hurt, and emerge stronger than ever, ready to spread your wings and take the flight. It might also be frustrating at times. It is easy to beat yourself up for not being there already. What’s important is to understand that the graph of forgiveness and growth is never linear. You might feel like you need to let go on various levels, multiple times. Some days might be harder than the others. The feelings of resentment and sorrow might resurface, certain situations might trigger the pain, leaving you more hopeless than ever. If you ever feel like giving up, just stop for a while and look back, okay? Look how far you’ve come.
Remember, you’re doing this for yourself. You are a phoenix, who is going to come out stronger and more powerful from all these circumstances. Just have faith in the power of forgiveness, and trudge past this road at your own pace. There’s absolutely no rush, no comparison, and no timeline. Every time you fall back, just remember that for every peak, there’s been a valley. And at the end, two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward, right?
Forgiving without closure
Sometimes, when you are left with too many questions and your heart yearns for answers, you find yourself in uncharted waters. Some things are left unsaid, untold and they’re never spoken of again. We as humans have a tendency to try and find the easy way out. And holding on to the past might seem like an easy way out, but it can prove to be destructive in the long run. In the words of Rumi, the wound is the place where the light enters you. Don’t escape the pain, feel it. Don’t suppress your wound just because you don’t want things to go downhill. Let it hurt until one day, it just doesn’t hurt anymore.
Once you start letting go of the past, the emptiness in your heart will morph into something beautiful, something precious, something that is lit up by sunshine and rainbows. Once you finally learn to forgive, you’ll find your heart at peace, the long-forgotten peace that you’d have built through all your sorrows, the peace that would feel truly yours.
Written by Sanchita