I read this article last night about forgiveness in relationships and it set my mind thinking. I was working on a new project with a friend recently and we were talking about forgiveness as one of the important qualities of a person. According to dictionary.com, forgiveness means the act of forgiving and to forgive means to grant pardon for, to grant pardon to (a person) or to cease to feel resentment against.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” — Robert Muller, Assistant Secretary – General of the United States

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi said it well when he said that forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. For most people, to forgive is a difficult thing to do. In fact to forgive, it takes a whole lot of courage to do it. However, why do we find it so hard to forgive someone? Is is because of the need to let the person knows that we are angry with him/her? Or is it because if we forgive that person, it means that the person wins? In the article, it mentioned, “you can forgive and not condone.” This couldn’t be more true. Forgiving someone does not necessary mean that we approve or agree with what that person did.

Most people think that to forgive is all about the other person. The fact is when you forgive someone, you free yourself from anger; anger is a very strong negative feeling and it blocks you from loving.

“He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love.” — Paul Tillich

Being angry allowed the person or situation to take over control of you. By forgiving, you are not only freeing yourself but also taking control of the situation and yourself. Being in control will give you the power to choose your reaction. Thus do yourself a favor today and remember that forgiving another person does not set him/her free but it sets you free instead. There is another
point which I agree with the article, that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself instead of something you give to another person. It is the best gift you can give to yourself and you can benefit greatly from it too.

Something from the article, “Learning to forgive those who have attacked me has been a powerful tool in my life. When I harbor anger and resentment toward another person it only hurts me and I am the one who suffers.” What do you think?

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25 Comments so far »

  1. by Laarni, on March 19 2008 @ 4:36 am

     

    so true. but forgiving someone who hurt you is really hard but it takes time. yeah, time will tell.

    Nice post! :)

  2. by Symphony of Love, on March 19 2008 @ 8:35 am

     

    Hi Laarni, you are right. It can be very challenging to forgive someone who hurt you and yet the person who suffers more end of the day is ourselves. I have learnt that and I remind myself conciously on that … guess we are just human. Always remember that forgiving the person who hurt us actually empower ourselves; it allows us to be in control. Cheers!

  3. by Marjie, on March 19 2008 @ 3:28 pm

     

    Hey Laarni…great post. This reminds me of the entry I wrote almost two years ago about forgive and forget (http://so-marjienalized.blogspot.com/2006/10/dealing-with-bitterness.html)

    Certainly, forgiveness is a valuable virtue to give someone not only for the person recieving it, but also for the person giving it. However, what comes with forgiving is the idea of forgetting, and you can’t confuse the two. When you forgive, you set everything asside knowing that future mistakes must be avoidable and that is where the challenge of forgetting comes in. Freeing yourself from anger doesn’t mean freeing yourself from the memories of what had hurt you to begin with. In other words, I always choose the memories. I do forgive because it does free me from being bitter. But I never forget, because it does protect me from future bitterness that would cause me the need to forgive in the first place.

    Great post =)

  4. by Symphony of Love, on March 19 2008 @ 5:57 pm

     

    Hi Marjie, thank you for dropping by. I do agree with you to some extent on the point where you choose to forgive and not forget so that it will protect you from future bitterness. I may be wrong as I usually am, this could be the very reason (not forgetting the incident that hurt) that some people do not have the power to move on because they kept holding on to their past.

    To forgive, one do not necessary forget but I think it’s ‘letting go’ and moving on.

  5. by Elsie, on March 20 2008 @ 2:54 pm

     

    What a lovely post! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Forgiveness is such a challenge sometimes, but it’s true that anger does more damage to those who harbor it (in terms of physical stress reactions and mental anguish) than it does to those we’re angry at, at least if the objects of our anger are no longer in our lives. If they are, then it also damages whatever relationship we still maintain with them.

    The difficulty is that no matter how many times we repeat that it’s better to forgive, the practice of it is a struggle. We have all that anger, hurt, or resentment and don’t know where to put it. Actually, you’ve inspired me to blog on this! Look for a backlink soon!

    Singletude

  6. by Symphony of Love, on March 20 2008 @ 9:34 pm

     

    Thank you Elsie, anger to certain extent is detrimental to health too. One of my friends who is into pranic healing once told me that emotion like anger is closely related to the ‘Wood’ element which represent the Liver and Gall-bladder. This is what some Chinese believe too. Not only does it give you stress, it can also cause health problem in the liver and gall-bladder too.

    Not to mention the negative aspect that anger takes on our relationships too. We must take control of anger or it will take control of us. Forgiving is a good way to release this negative energy and return the power of control back to us.

  7. by sanya, on March 28 2008 @ 5:22 am

     

    I agree to a certain extent with Marjie&Laarni.Its really hard to forgive someone whom u have thought to be ur closest in life,when ur belief in them is shattered.takes really long to get over it.we may let it go owing to circumstances,but cannot forget it.isn’t it??

  8. by Symphony of Love, on March 28 2008 @ 6:15 am

     

    Hey Sanya, you are right and just as what Marjie and Laarni said, it can be really really hard. From what you said, it seems to me that you must have gone through similar experience. The fact that you are talking about it now, I sincerely hope that you had already let go of it. As long as you had let go … there should not be any problem with not forgeting it; as most probably you might already be in control. Wishing you goodness in all areas of your life.

  9. by Christine, on August 17 2008 @ 8:05 pm

     

    Brilliant post!

    “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi

    I do believe with all my essence that forgiveness does not condone or approve or forget the harmful acts; forgiveness does not allow you to be abused. We forgive the doer, not the doing. Remembering this helps us to break harmful cycles of behavior.

    Understand that love is what you ultimately want for yourself from yourself.

    Christines last blog post..FORGIVENESS

  10. by Symphony of Love, on August 18 2008 @ 7:41 am

     

    @ Christine, well said! I couldn’t have said it better myself; “We forgive the doer, not the doing.” I fully agree with you on that. :)

  11. by Marcellinus, on May 19 2009 @ 2:12 pm

     

    Forgiveness…It look very simple but it is the hardest thing to do. It is all depends to us whether we want to make a move or not.

  12. by Symphony of Love, on May 19 2009 @ 4:43 pm

     

    @ Marcellinus, probably that was the reason why Gandhi said that Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. On the contrary, most thought that forgiveness is associated with the weak; in fact they could be right at first thought. How can we possibly forgive someone who hurt us? Then when one goes deeper, one will realise that it is not easy to forgive someone … it takes a lot of courage.

  13. by Relationship Tip, on June 5 2009 @ 1:14 am

     

    The ability to forgive is a treasured virtue as it not only wards you off from hard feeling but till some extent also helps the person to be forgiven. It may make him realize his mistake and hold up high esteem for you.
    But forgive only if you can not at the cost of your moral values. Sometimes easily forgiving people are taken for granted, so before you make your move make sure you well acknowledge whom are you forgiving.

  14. by Symphony of Love, on June 5 2009 @ 2:14 am

     

    @ Relationship Tip, do we need to see our targets to be forgiven? If we do, then would it have defeated the purpose to forgive? Some people may take for granted when they are forgave but is it benefiting them or benefiting to you. Down the road, they will meet with people who will not forgive them easily. But when you forgive someone, you will always benefit from it since you let go of the negative feeling.

  15. by Eren Mckay, on July 15 2009 @ 7:36 am

     

    Lack of forgiveness not only hinders our emotional life it also can causes serious health problems. Many times I had found myself overeating because I was angry I held onto resentment from injustices that my family suffered.
    The moment I found this out I just let go of these negative feelings. I forgave and was totally free from all of the bad things that came onto me from lack of forgiveness.
    It was such a light bulb moment in my life. I never realized that lack of forgiveness could do so much harm to myself.
    What you said here is absolutely true and very deep. Thank you for sharing,
    Eren Mckay
    .-= Eren Mckay´s last blog ..Summer Sun Safety Tips for Kids (Plus Activities & Worksheets that Help You Teach Sun Safety) =-.

  16. by Symphony of Love, on July 15 2009 @ 6:45 pm

     

    @ Eren, I couldn’t have said it better than you. Lack of forgiveness could lead to health problems. Too much hatred and too much negativities are bad not only for mental health but also for physical health.

  17. by baby, on September 13 2009 @ 9:33 pm

     

    its really hard to forgive but if you really love the person who hurt you so much you can easily forgive him or her. what matter most is you love the person truely.

  18. by Symphony of Love, on September 13 2009 @ 10:52 pm

     

    @ Baby, it takes a lot of courage and love to forgive a person at time.

  19. by Ben, on January 11 2010 @ 10:51 pm

     

    You hit the nail on the head. The first two quotes really hit me powerfully. I had never thought of forgiveness being an attribute of the strong. But it’s exactly right. Sometimes its harder to ask for forgiveness than it is to be the one forgiving.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..More Thoughts on Life From the Mountainside =-.

  20. by Symphony of Love, on January 12 2010 @ 7:30 am

     

    @ Ben, that is certainly one great quotation of forgiveness by Gandhi.

  21. by angela, on February 13 2012 @ 8:51 am

     

    very true,..i was just forgiven by the only man i love from doing a very big mistake. there’s a lot of people who got hurt, and ive learned my lesson very well. guess if u really love a person,..forgiving is really possible.:))

  22. by Symphony of Love, on February 13 2012 @ 9:06 am

     

    @ Angela, I am really happy for you that you have been forgiven by the only man you love even though you had made a very big mistake. He must love you really a lot. Wishing both of you love <3! :)

  23. by Rufie Gaspar., on April 22 2012 @ 10:08 am

     

    we can forgive people who hurt us,,,but takes time to forget what they do

  24. by Symphony of Love, on April 22 2012 @ 2:29 pm

     

    Rufie, indeed it can take times to forget. We have to learn to let go and let God and learn to trust the person again.

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