Tag: Forgiveness

Forgiving friends…

It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend. Madame Dorothee Deluzy

Forgiveness does not come easily to anyone. We find it hard to forgive because often the hurt caused is too raw and painful to be condoned. Our ego and self respect won’t permit us to let bygones be bygones. We are seething with anger and revenge is uppermost in our minds and forgiveness will dilute that feeling which we see as a manly sign. There are times when social and peer pressure force us to abandon all thoughts of forgiveness lest we have to face the wrath and fury of our own supporters. Whatever the reason, it takes a large heart and plenty of love to forgive someone who has wronged us.

When we feel wronged by an unknown person we are quick to take affront simply because we believe the other person is careless, inconsiderate and deserves punishment rather than mercy and forgiveness. We would rarely venture to find out the real cause of the problem or misunderstanding which possibly could throw up new revelations. Yet by nature we are quick to condemn and almost reluctant to admit our mistakes if we realize it. If the wrong is done by someone whom we do not get along with or dislike or someone we consider an enemy our immediate reaction is that the deed was done deliberately with wrong intent and with full knowledge of the perpetrator. Our immediate  thoughts are to get even and possibly extract revenge for what we visualize as deliberate acts. At this point forgiveness is far removed from our minds and our fury and rage blind us to any possibility of reconciliation.

Nothing can be as hurtful as realizing that someone who is a friend has betrayed us or let us down deliberately. The hurt stems from the fact that we never expected someone who is close and intimate with us to become a villain in our lives. On one hand we cannot imagine such a situation and on the other hand the reality hits us hard and hurts us deeply.  At this point we believe that an enemy can be forgive because we expect only such behavior but that it would be stupid and spineless to forgive a friend who betrays us.  More than anything else we feel foolish that we have trusted the friend, are embarrassed that we could not see the friends nefarious intentions and connive ourselves that he deserves no mercy and definitely no forgiveness.

If we pause and let our rationality talk to our senses we would slowly realize that by not forgiving all we end up doing is wasting our energies hating someone, constantly imbibe negative thoughts of getting even and taking revenge and perhaps waste our life in the pursuit of an imaginary pleasure got by doing harm to avenge our hurt. On the other hand if we allow ourselves to be pragmatic, down to earth and sensible, forgiveness will knock the sails out of the person who expects nothing remotely as this gesture for his / her deeds. In fact it might shock them into realizing their grievous fault and they in turn could seek pardon. In the end both the person forgiving and the person forgiven would have unburdened their heavy hearts and lightened their conscience and enjoy the rest of their lives.

Remember: “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” Bryant H. McGill

Try this:

  1. Ask yourself if you have the tendency to be sarcastic, caustic in your comments, foul mouthed in conversation or extremely critical about others. This could cause a lot of unwitting hurt to people who are close to you but who cannot really express their hurt to you. Next time be aware of such behavior and check yourself. If by chance you realize your mistake apologize for such behavior and you will find that you will be better accepted and appreciated.
  2. Ask yourself if you still dislike and distrust some of your classmates for some of their comments or behavior that had caused you hurt then. Perhaps they have forgotten those incidents but it is you who is carrying it with you still. Can you make an attempt to meet up with these people or begin communicating with them as if nothing ever happened. You will realize that you feel much more relaxed and relieved when you let go the past hurt.

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Forgive self

They may not deserve forgiveness, but I do. Anon

At first glance the quote is both confusing and perplexing. Our initial reaction is of shock and disbelief that someone can dare to point a finger at others but absolve himself/ herself of the same crime. It is only on a closer second reading and introspection that the true meaning of the quote becomes apparent and deeply insightful. Read the quote again before you read further.

In fact the crux of forgiveness is deeply embedded in the quote. One needs to forgive another not because he/ she deserves forgiveness but because you want to be forgiven and absolved of any ill feelings, anger, guilt and vengeance that you may have felt in your heart. It is quite natural and human to be aggrieved when some wrong has been perpetrated or perceived to perpetrated either on us or anyone close to us or on humanity in general. The resultant emotions of anger, shock, haplessness and revenge instantly come to the fore and  we are possessed by it for quite a while. More demonic thoughts like taking an eye for an eye can creep into our thoughts and in extreme cases we might even contemplate elimination of those who we see as not worthy of any sympathy let alone forgiveness.

It is against such a backdrop that we need to revisit the above quote. If we can control all our negative impulses and allow ourselves to be more rationale it is possible that over time our original angst and anguish will subside and we may possibly look back at the events as a bad nightmare. However it is tougher for us to completely forget the incident and the mental trauma one goes through. It is toughest for an average person to get over the fact that some extremely evil and vile thoughts had crossed our mind with revenge as central to those thoughts. It is then that we search for a way to clear our fragile conscience and realization dawns on us that forgiveness is the only pacifier available; suddenly it dawns on us that They may not deserve forgiveness, but I do.

The only way one can live life in a carefree and oblivious manner is to ensure that we carry no traces of rancor or ill will for another. Forgiving even those who do not deserve it, opens our heart to the power of love, the spirit of giving and the bliss of peace.

Remember:  “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smede

Try this:

  1. Read this article and perhaps you will realize that you empathize with the writer. You will also discover that it is easy to blame another and very tough to forgive them for their acts but it is best that we forgive for maybe we are guilty too. http://in.yfittopostblog.com/2010/07/26/remembering-kevin-carter/
  2. Make a list of people whom you find hard to forget or forgive for the pain they inflicted on you. It could be teachers from school and college days, it could be a parent or a relative, it could be a colleague or a boss or maybe it is former friend or spouse.  Ask yourself if you can attempt to forgive them now and convey it to them too if they are alive?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Forgivness heals us

Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself. Harriet Uts Nelson

It is always a tough call to forgive anyone who has harmed you in any way; be it in deeds, words or indifference. We often end up nursing a grudge and heart of heart seek some sort of revenge failing which we hope the other party gets some divine retribution. In fact should the other party have some unfortunate misery descend upon them, we take a perverse pleasure in their plight and rationalize it as ‘they deserving their punishment.’ Surprisingly what we somehow do not realize is that in the whole process we are the ones who have suffered more for our hearts were filled with the pain of the injury, our mind never letting go of ill will for the other party and life burdened with the challenge of getting even by hook or by crook.

Many a time, we tell ourselves that we have pardoned the wrong doer. Secretly we take a moral high ground that we have done a magnanimous deed. Often our pardon is more out of societal pressures, counsel of elders or a compromise so as to ensure the problem is not escalated. Pardon in most cases is just an expression used to elevate ourselves on a higher pedestal of virtue and perhaps to soothe our own mental turmoil and anguish. A pardon is not really perfect unless forgiveness is central to the process. Pardon is merely forgiveness without love where as forgiveness is pardon plus love.

Forgiveness in essence not only enables us to pardon a person, but it goes a long way in rehabilitating ourselves from the guilt that we still have to take revenge. Forgiveness cleanses us from within, removing all traces of ill will against another, suppresses our ego, seeks redemption of the wrong doer and frees us of the burden of scheming plotting and extracting revenge. Once we forgive, there is a big load off us and we suddenly begin to see our life in new light. We experience joy within and happiness all around. We have no axe to grind, no questions of ourselves and no fear or doubts that remain a Damocles sword over out head.

If we really reflect revenge and forgiveness are human traits never seen in the animal kingdom. Perhaps the fact that the human being is born with an ego that needs to be placated at all times is the reason for us getting caught up in the mire of seeking revenge and wishing ill to another. No sooner we forgive; we attain peace and experience tranquility for we are have now discovered our real self. If forgiveness can give us such bliss we need to practice forgiveness more and enjoy the fruits every moment of our life.

Remember: “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”  Bryant H. McGill

Try this:

  1. There are many times we can’t forgive ourselves for simple lapses like not meeting up with someone who was on death bed and who has now died or not taking the effort to keep in touch with close friends who have moved away or you have moved away from them.  How about forgiving yourself now, by writing a letter to the loved ones of the deceased appreciating the deceased. You can also write to long lost friends and if possible pay them a surprise visit.
  2. Make it a point to also read the earlier posts on Forgiveness by clicking on this link https://actspot.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/forgiveness/ There are more posts related to forgiveness that you can access in this blog by clicking on the word Forgiveness on the tags on the right of the blog page.

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You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Being good everyday is…

It isn’t hard to be good from time to time … What’s tough is being good every day.  Willie Mays

Look back at your youth and when you reminiscence about the wonderful years of your school days, the most enduring images will be of the numerous times you got into trouble because of your misadventures and naughty pranks. This despite the entreaties of your loving parents, grandparents, teachers and well meaning friends and relatives who always advised you to be good, studious and avoid all mischief. Surprisingly whenever you were appreciated for the good deeds and behavior you felt very very nice but when you got away with your mischief you felt elated and wonder of wonders when you got caught and punished, rather than remorse most times you were plotting another dare devil forbidden adventure.

While a good person is what we all seek to be, for that is the acceptable norm of society, the person in you craves for excitement, adventure and possibly attention, all of which one gets in ample measure the moment one dares to bend the rules and skate on thin ice. Perhaps you can recollect the exasperated exclamations of your mother shout, screaming, raving and ranting at you, correcting you and fervently pleading with you to fall in line. It is not that one wishes to annoy others or behave irresponsibly, but being good for an extended period is neither a natural trait of an average human being nor is it the best honed amidst the chaotic and competitive pressures of the materialistic world.

Even today irrespective of our age, position in society or gender the two thinga that we often plead guilty to is telling lies and using profanity. Some may argue that not all of us tell lies but not revealing the truth when required is as good as telling a lie. One must also accept that we often carry ill will for those whom we dislike or despise; we are liberal with our gossip particularly about those whom we perceive with jaundiced eyes and behave insolent and defiant when things don’t go our way. Yes it is really tough to be good every day for it takes great effort to love unconditionally and accept all situations with a cool and calm temperament.

So does this mean that we have no hope from the clutches of evil? Repentance and forgiveness are two blessing that we are showered with. We have the freedom to use it liberally provided we are sincere and committed to using these blessings in the right spirit and right manner. To be good every day requires great forbearance; first to attempt to be good, secondly great honesty in admitting our folly and finally the courage to be repentant and large-hearted to forgive all those who have wronged us.

Remember: When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.”  Stacey Charter

Try this:

  1. Carefully observe your behavior for a couple of days. Note the areas where you know you have slipped and not been good. Even getting irritated, using a loud tone, expressing disgust all qualify to be unbecoming of you and hence tarnish your image of being good throughout the day.  DO you think you can be better?
  2. Make it a point to appreciate the good behavior of people you deal with particularly when they are harassed or victimized. Also appreciate those who go beyond the call of duty particularly those at the operational level who deliver more than what is expected of them. Eg.  A pizza delivery boy who is well groomed. polite and serves with a big smile.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Degree of forgiveness

One forgives to the degree that one loves. Francois de La Rochefoucauld

An interesting aspect of forgiveness is highlighted by La Rochefoucauld, when he proclaims that the ability to forgive is directly proportionate to our ability to love. If we stop to pause and examine our own behavioral pattern we might find that his observation is almost spot on. The most simplistic example is the mother’s ability to forgive her child whatever the crime and that is just reflective of the deep love she has for her child.

We may be tempted to state that we have experienced sharp jibes, a nasty scolding and perhaps a caning in extreme cases from those who love us very very deeply and so we wonder if that is their way of expressing their love? There may be exceptions like some people having a quick temper or others adhering to near impossible moral / behavioral parameters and then can be pretty sharp in their outburst. Yet, the vast majority of those whose forgiveness includes appropriate punishment actually are expressing their love and seek to provide the deterrents to ensure that you are aware of the mistake and will make efforts to correct yourself. A good teacher who is relative strict, is in fact a blessing for many, for we value the discipline much later in life, though during our school days we may have taken a complete dislike and antipathy to him/ her.

The mistake many make is in equating forgiveness with love.  Yes when we love we are duty bound to ensure that the forgiveness must be in inverse proportion to the crime for that is a mark of showing our deep love for the person. If we equate forgiveness with love, there is a very real danger that our love blinds us to the infractions of those we love. We would also be siding with the wrong doer and thereby stunting his/ her ability to discern wrong doings and worst of all complete forgiveness without punishment would embolden the guilty to wrong rationalize his/ her act and falsely believe that their act is legitimate.

So that bring us to another dimension of forgiveness; the correlation between punishment and forgiveness. Punishment should be in proportion to the infraction and that would be the right measure of  forgiveness which in turn is equivalent to the love that a person shows to another.

Remember: “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”Paul Boese

Try these:

  1. How would you deal with the following
  • Your younger brother is caught telling lies.
  • Your best friend gives you a black eye because of a misunderstanding.
  1. What punishment would you suggest (if you’re a teacher / a parent/ a classmate / counselor)for students who do not do their home assignment.  Would your punishments vary depending on which role you choose from the roles given in the bracket?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

The weak can never forgive

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

It takes a lot of inner strength to forgive simply because it is human nature to seek revenge. Even as I write this post, the verdict on the 26/11 accused Kasab has been delivered and he has been sentenced to death. The TV channels have extensive coverage going on and interviews with next of kin or friends of the victims are passé. The overwhelming majority of those airing their views are satisfied with the verdict while a miniscule lot maintain that it is life sentence that is more appropriate mainly because they are opposed to the death penalty on grounds of extreme cruelty and not at all on grounds of mercy or forgiveness. In this context many of you reading this post will be asking how one can condone such a dastardly act and forgive the perpetrators.

In my view as long as we have a robust and fair judicial system, as is the case in India, the system must be left to take care of the matters of law and justice. More importantly forgiveness should not be confused with pardon; forgiveness is not holding a grudge and ‘not seeking revenge’ as in an eye for an eye, whereas pardon is ‘condoning the crime and the culprit’. As Gerald Jampolsky says Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Quite often we are so obsessed with the crime that we let it eat up our life. When we can’t forgive, we are actually torturing ourselves for we try to rewind the past and pretend to live in the present and in the process end up neither living nor being realistic.

Often the hurt is deep because the incident is too personal, the act could have been deliberate and premeditated and the logic or reason for the crime too trivial to rationalize. It is but natural for most mortals to feel cheated, brutalized and terrible pained by the event and then forgiveness becomes a very tough choice to exercise. When our spirits are drooping, our pain too numbing and anger seething we are extremely vulnerable to irrational ideas and revenge is one of the immediate ideas that comes to mind. Forgiveness demands that we sacrifice this idea of revenge but then unless we are strong enough to put up with the pressures of societal pressures and our inner turmoil, we can’t ever forgive those who have brought pain, suffering and misery to us.

True forgiveness is in making peace with ourselves. It demands equanimity, resolve and above all self belief. This implies that we reconcile to the new change that is thrust upon us, being pragmatic that the past cannot be relived and that we need to put the past firmly behind us and proceed ahead with hope,  faith and charity. Hope in the future, faith in ourselves and charity for the sinner.

Remember: To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” Robert Muller

Try these:

  1. The best therapy for a guilt ridden person is a good confession. While Catholics can go to a priest for confession, the non Catholics have to rely on a good counselor or confidant or on your honest self to list out your sins. When you acknowledge your vices and sins and unburden your  heart, and feel truly repentant you will find your heart feeling a lot lighter, your conscience clean as fresh page and a song on your lips. Begin by forgiving yourself.
  2. Click on the link ‘Forgiveness’ on the right of your screen. Go through the various posts listed there and attempt the various Try These mentioned therein.

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You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Reactions

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger

Like marriages, life may be made in heaven but has to be lived on earth; this poses a dilemma for many; for we are forever oscillating between heavenly bliss and earthly reality. The wonder of living is that every moment brings about surprises, pains, hurt and hope. While one moment we maybe up in the skies the next moment we could be down in the dumps; ruing missed opportunities, cursing fate or wistfully longing for the good old days. The key to happiness therefore lies in our ability to react to our circumstances in the same manner as Rudyard Kipling says in his poem IF  ‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two imposters just the same’   Click here to read the poem  If_by Rudyard Kipling.

Unfortunately for the vast majority of us we are swept away by the momentum of triumph and then when disaster rears its ugly head, it pulls us down to the depths of misery. It is our ability to squarely meet our challenges, the difficulties and the ill luck that is the reality of life that will determine our strength of character and steely resolve. Levinger has wonderfully juxtaposed the learning through the example of how one deals with married life, He cleverly underscored the point that when there is compatibility and things go right, everyone is perched on the tall branches of comfort, peace and happiness; it is when we are not compatible, when there are differences, when we have to cross the bumpy roads on the highway of marriage that the true test of understanding, trust and belief in the other is put to the test.  It is that point which charts out the course for two lives to meet in unity, two hearts to beat as one and one life to reflect the light from two souls as a lighthouse would in the midst of thunderous storms and rough seas.

Sometimes we are caught up in a battle of wits when faced with the awkwardness of differences of opinion. Often it is selfishness and our personal ego that blinds us to our folly of reacting impudently. Most times it is our inability to discern and listen to the voice of reason that brings about our downfall.  Reactions are by and large spurred on by impulsive thought and compulsive action, a potent and dangerous mix if any, for the effects are no less toxic than if one were to consume poison or be bitten by a rattle snake. Alas ill timed, ill conceived and foolhardy reactions are worse than poison, for when we consume poison there is only one fatality but here the consequences are deadly; it might involve more than two lives and affect many more and the repercussions could be felt for a lifetime nay possible for generations.

Remember: “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.” Bertrand Russell

Try these:

  1. The next time you go to a dentist or have to take an injection be aware of your reaction to the process. Do you dread it? Are you terrified? Do you look away from the needle? Do you sweat long before the syringe is even unpacked? Do you put up a brave front and smile nervously while the doctor banters with you? There are no right or wrong reactions; just be aware that your reactions are unique to you and could wildly differ from another close relative or family member.
  2. Look back at the times you have panicked; perhaps before a major examination paper or on hearing news about the sudden accident or death of a close relative or loved one.  Clinically examine your actions and reactions. Did you go blank? Were you hysterical? Were you too emotionally drained to react? Were you composed and be able to comfort others in distress?

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You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Mistakes

Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good. Bertolt Brecht

No one can go through life without stumbling or falling down. Mistakes are but a stumble in judgment and must be viewed as glitches that have to be set right. Very often, when we stumble or slip and fall down, we get up looking around with a foolish grin, to see if anybody noticed us fall and we try to make light of the incident. Alas, when we make mistakes we are often beset by the fact that they are pointed out to us by someone else, usually a person in authority, who will then proceed to chasten you and then rave and rant about your inefficiency and casualness.

While the superiors retain the prerogative of pointing out our mistakes, apportioning blame and suggesting corrective action, you must correct the same if you are responsible for it or have the ability to rectify it. Prudence demands that we have the heart to accept a mistake, feel remorse for it and then have the courage of conviction to burn the midnight oil and be able to rectify the error. Quick corrective action has two advantages; the mistake is rectified and the damage minimized and it also limits your own feeling of guilt and remorse, thereby enabling you to chanelize your energies into more productive tasks.

What if you are not responsible for the mistake and yet you are caught in the crossfire? Your feelings will range from dismay to annoyance and then move on to defiance and aggression. If you persist with these feelings, there is a remote possibility that  you may win the battle, but there is every possibility that you will lose the war. The best way forward, therefore,  is to do your best to correct the mistake. Once that is done, perhaps others will see your point of view; some might even feel guilty enough to own up. Thereafter, if things go on smoothly, who knows, you might even become a hero for initiating the corrective measures.

There are times when a mistake cannot be rectified. In such cases, the only possibility is damage control and salvaging what ever is possible. These are short term, possibly face saving remedies. The real learning comes from analyzing the causes for the mistake and focusing on putting in place a system that can flag of anomalies, trigger alarms to alert those in charge of the system and in extreme cases have a self correcting solution like shutting of the entire system like an automatic aborting of a space missionwhen the computer detects an anomaly or flaw. Intelligence is therefore not just new creation, fresh perspectives and thoughts and / or leveraging of brilliance for wealth creation, but it includes putting in place checks and balances to minimize mistakes,  shock absorbers to cushion the impact of mistakes and alternatives to salvage and rectify mistakes in the quickest possible time.

Remember: Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.” -Swami Sivananda

Try these:

  1. What are the mistakes that you still regret? Do you think you can do anything to minimize your regret or let bygones be bygones? Do you think that you need to say sorry and or apologize to someone for a mistake that you did but refused to take blame for or your ego did not permit you to say sorry?
  2. Do you still hold a grudge that you were unfairly blamed for a mistake that you did not commit? Are you harboring ill feelings and feelings of revenge for those responsible for putting you in a spot? Can you forgive all those who knowingly or unknowingly have accused you of mistakes and tarnished your name / image? (See the post here on Forgiveness dated 4th Jan 2010)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog   www.poweract.blogspot.com 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness means letting go of the past.
Gerald Jampolsky
Forgiveness is a tough act because of the following :
  • Our egos wont permit us to excuse a wrong doer.
  • Our so called rational mind tells us that every mistake must be punished
  • We get a psychological high in extracting our pound of flesh for the drop of blood we lost

What we forget is that, often in our self centered pursuit of awarding punishment to what we perceive as a serious infringement of our rights by another party, we miss out on opportunities to rise above our pettiness and to enjoy the moment. Once we realise this, it is easier for us to visualize forgiveness as an honourable, dignified and self satisfying method of curing our inner hurt.

Too often tho we rationalise that we can forgive but we cannot forget – alas that is when forgiveness is only symbolic and  peripheral for the hurt of original act remains like scar on our minds marring what can always be an otherwise carefree life of contentment and rejoicing. It is only when we forgive and forget that we really let go of the past and LIVE the MOMENTS.

Remember : “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Try these :

  • List out the people whom you are not fond of or dislike immensely. Then ask yourself if they have hurt you in some manner and you have been unable to forgive them?  ( You will be surprised by the answer)
  • List out people whom you have hurt knowingly or unknowingly. (Dont forget that most people are hurt by your words rather than by actions.) Do you think you can meet up and apologise or write to them and seek forgiveness?
  • List out those actions or words of your, that irritate and annoy others the  most and outline steps you will take to reduce or marginalize these.

Igniting your thoughts – Encouraging you to ACT SPOnTaneously

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