Forgiveness is an act of imagination. It challenges one to give up his destructive thoughts about a situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do for someone else. Forgiveness has little or nothing to do with another person because forgiveness is an internal matter. You cannot undo any thing you have already done, but you can face up to it and tell the truth and seek forgiveness and then let God do the rest.
To practice forgiveness is the true fast, good conduct and contentment. Disease or the pain of death does not afflict me, nor does the pain of death. I am liberated, and absorbed into God, who has no form or feature. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 223-15
The Forgiveness Process is a freely made choice and decision to continue to harm or punish oneself any longer, or to continue to diminish his overflowing love and joy. Real or imagined wrongs or misconduct by the others can sap the vitality running through oneself. Outer circumstances too can have the same desultory effect. But forgiveness can set one free.
Everyone is the field of the God; the God Itself cultivates this field. The Guru oriented grows the crop of forgiveness, while the self-willed loses even his roots. They all plant for their own good, but the God causes to grow only that field with which It is pleased.-----Guru Ram Das, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 304-7
There should not be any further expectations after the other person apologizes. One should not worry whether they finally understand you or not. You can love them and release them. Truth comes to people later in its own way and time.
Forgiveness is one of the attributes of God:
Immortal God is Supreme, Transcendent, Treasure of mercy, Compassionate and Forgiving.-----Guru Arjun, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 283-19
Kabir, where there is spiritual wisdom, there is righteousness. Where there is falsehood, there is sin. Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God It self.-----Kabir Sloke # 155, AGGS, Page, 1372-15
Forgiveness further is:
1. Moral: It is a response to an ethical injustice.
2. Goodwill: Merciful restraint from pursuing resentment or revenge. If we practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless.
3. Paradoxical: As we give the gift of forgiveness we ourselves are healed.
4. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. -----Gandhi
5. Beyond duty: It is overcoming others’ wrongdoing with good.
6. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” ----Mark 11:25
He who forgives, and reaches reconciliation with his enemy, shall receive his reward from God. This is because God loves not unjust doers.-----Surah 42:40-Quran.
Forgiveness is not:
1. Forgetting or Denial.
2. Condoning what had happened or pretending that it happened only this time.
3. Excusing the wrong-doer believing that it was not really his responsibility.
4. Concluding that the guilty one deserves to know that we have been wronged.
5. Seeking Justice: It was not a quid pro quo deal -- it doesn't demand compensation.
Forgiveness should be distinguished from:
A. Forgiveness is one person's moral response to another's injustice
B. Reconciliation is achieved when two parties come together in mutual respect.
If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive. Forgiveness works! It is often difficult, but it works! To err is human, to forgive is Divine. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do for someone else. It is not complicated. It is simple. Simply identify the situation to be forgiven and ask yourself: "Am I willing to waste my energy further on this matter?" If the answer is "No," then that's it!
Forgiveness is an act of imagination. It challenges one to give up his destructive thoughts about the situation. It urges him to believe in the possibility of a better future. It is not necessary for forgiveness to begin the process that heals the hurt. You do not have to forgive but there are consequences if you do not forgive. Holding on to anger, resentment and a sense of betrayal can make your own life miserable.
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” There is nothing so bad that cannot be forgiven. Nothing!
When you forgive you do it for yourself, not for the other. The person you have never forgiven owns you! The choice to forgive is always yours and yours only. The hurt won't heal until you forgive! Recovery from a wrongdoing that produces a genuine hurt takes time. For some, it may take years. Regardless of the situation, making peace with past love partners, your parents, children, your boss or anyone who you think may have "done you wrong" is the only way to improve your chances of a "healthy" relationship with yourself or anyone else for that matter! You can't undo anything you've already done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness. And then let God do the rest.
Non-forgiveness keeps you in the struggle. Being willing to forgive can bring a sense of peace and well being. It lifts anxiety and delivers you from depression. It can enhance your self-esteem and give you hope.
Forgive and forget is a myth. You may never forget, but you can choose to forgive. Forgiveness is a creative act that changes us from prisoners of the past to liberated people at peace with our memories. It is not forgetfulness, but it involves accepting the premise that the future can be more than dwelling on memories of past injury. You can never live in the present and create a new and exciting future for yourself if you always stay stuck in the past.
To attain a peace of mind, one must forgive. The amount of energy you use to hold on to a hurt by not forgiving is the same as you need to create a new and exciting relationship together. So, why not choose a relationship anchored in unconditional love instead? Forgiveness is not the same as surrender. Instead it is a conscious decision to cease to harbor resentment.
Forgiveness is the key to your own happiness. Forgiving someone else takes moral courage. But its power can change your misery into happiness in an instant. Forgiveness means choosing to let go. It allows you to move on, and favor the positive. The act of forgiveness constitutes a mental bath, letting go of something that can only poison us within.
Research has shown that people who are deeply and unjustly hurt by the others can heal themselves emotionally and in some cases, physically by forgiving their offenders.
Reinhold Niebuhr writes:
Nothing worth doing is completed in one’s lifetime.
Therefore we are saved by hope.
Nothing true, beautiful or good makes complete sense in the immediate context of history.
Therefore we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friends or foe as our own.
Therefore, the final form of love saves us, which is forgiveness.
It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend. The weaker ones can never forgive. It is an attribute of strength. The secret of forgiving is to understand nothing. There is no revenge as complete as forgiveness. No weapon is more potent than forgiveness. It is not an emotion but a decision. Nothing annoys an enemy as forgiveness. Forgiveness is giving up a right to hurt you for hurting me. Once rendered it should never be brought up. It warms the heart and cools the sting. He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass. Eventually there comes a time for forgiveness – a time for emotional resolution. Forgiveness is the only thing which can move us out of victim stance and free us to move on. It may require psychological and deep spiritual work. It will lead to a feeling of strength. It helps one to become a more loving person than would be possible if he were to cling to his hurt. Forgiveness leads to gratitude. Anger makes one smaller, while forgiveness forces one to grow beyond what one is. Forgiveness can be how the mind is returned to humility.
Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra. Wear these three robes, O sister, and you will captivate your Husband God.-----Sloke of Farid # 127, AGGS Page, 1384-15,16
Forgiveness breaks the cycle of hatred and resentment. It means more than letting frustrations roll off one’s shoulders. It involves creating a habit of leaving the past in the past and moving forward with a clean slate and seeing well in the present. As a first step in forgiveness one should take out a self pitying victim mind set and people around are spared the anger and pain through his forgiveness. To exercise forgiveness is a great act and no other virtue comes close to forgiveness.
Who have truth as their fast, contentment as their sacred shrine for pilgrimage is the finest people. And those who have spiritual wisdom and use meditation as their cleansing bath. Their deity is kindness, and forgiveness becomes their chanting beads.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1245-10