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The Enigma Of Forgiveness

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by satchitananda, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    God bless technology! What would I do without it? Had it not been for technological progress, I would not be here to bore you folks, without it I would have been 'dead' bored.

    As is amply evident, I am still here to bore you, and that means that I am not bored. Social media have saved me from that terrible fate. It is amazing how easily we find so many articles, documentaries, news items etc. to read without having to go in search of them. All this is just by the by. Now coming to the point.....

    Yesterday I chanced upon a real life story of a young lady and her father (Hmm..oxymoron: real life, story). Anyway it certainly reads like a story - father abandons daughter, leaving her homeless and dependent on others, years go by, daughter turns into a photographer doing photo stories of homeless people, chances upon her father - now on the streets, homeless, dishevelled, emaciated, suffering from mental illness - makes an effort to rehabilitate him and does. Story of karma biting back, forgiveness and all ends happily after.

    More than the karma angle, it was the angle of forgiveness that really hit me. Is it possible to forgive someone who left you out on the streets and to give them a home in your heart? Forgiveness is one of the most difficult lessons for me to learn. I am still struggling, so much so that I still have not felt the need to forgive (not something to be proud of, I know, but the rage is overwhelming) those significant individuals in my life who really screwed things up for me and have ensured that I will be haunted by those memories till I breathe my last. But these are not my 'blood relations'. Such incidents by other 'watery contacts' against 'blood' who have passed on stay in my memory too, but do not rouse such strong feelings of anger, resentment and hatred in me today as they did when they were living. Maybe my hisaab-kitaab with them is over and it really does not matter whether I forgive them or not. They can answer for their deeds wherever it is they have gone.

    I can recall quite a few if not as many things about my own parents that have left a mark on me to this day. But I love them dearly. Once in a while the bad memories resurface, but mostly the good. I miss them. I wish I could have them back. So is that 'blood relationship' really that important to forgiveness? I used to keep bringing up these issues with them when they were alive and mentally healthy. When they were sick, in coma or ravaged by dementia, there was no possibility of doing that. So in that sense, no, there was no closure to the events, but I still loved them dearly enough as to do whatever was in my capacity to take care of them. Today too, I do occasionally look back on certain events with resentment but that is short lived. Is it because of my shared genes or is it because they are not here to split hair with?

    Just food for thought.

    To this I have added a new breed of people whom I truly 'forget and forgive'. They just don't matter.
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Satchi,

    I carry an impression forgiveness is not for the benefit of those who caused harm but for our own moving on with our lives leaving behind the legacy. I am a strong believer that it is not the action of someone that hurts us but our mind which analyzed it through prolonged reactions filled with emotions. Three "Rs" in life are Receipt, Reaction, and Response. You have a choice to receive something or not. If the mind received it, then the Reaction part starts. That Reaction if it is daunting, then, response becomes hostile. When this Reaction period is long, it affects our mental and physical health. So forgiveness is a solution to cure ourselves than being generous to people who hurt us.

    When the mind gives so much importance to the person, when it reacts strongly to something adverse we have received from them. Isn't it by nature conflicting that we have given importance to that individual but was hurt badly for what they said or did? That reconciliation becomes easier if we begin the forgiving process.

    Let us take the example you have analyzed. The father deserted the daughter and later daughter became a photographer who studies the life of the homeless and happens to come across the father who at this point is homeless. She works towards the rehabilitation of her father. Now let me try and address your question.



    The daughter was hurt badly by the father deserting her. But her reaction to that action caused pain in her heart conflicting with her parental attachment. She forgives him and moves on to succeed in life helping homeless people. When she comes across her father, she does an action to rehabilitate him that further emphasizes the forgiveness she did earlier, strengthening her resolve to continue her parental love. She removed the conflict in her mind by her action but the world perceives is an exemplary and commendable action.

    Let us assume we continue to hate a person and respond to them badly every time we get an opportunity to meet them for what they did earlier. It only confirms to them that their hurtful action has produced the desired results. If that person is in a position to do more harm repeatedly, we can eliminate that altogether by demonstrating our courage by being unaffected by their hurtful action.

    Not really, if you look at it from the angle of relieving ourselves from the pain caused by anyone by forgiving them. But act of forgiveness need not be necessarily through communication to the person concerned and it can happen inside of us. The memories in our mind recalls such hurtful actions, forgiveness reduces analysis of those memories for a prolonged period of time.
     
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  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks a lot Viswa for a beautiful reply. Yes, that is what everybody tells me above forgiveness. Why then is it such a difficult lesson for me to learn. What worries me even more is that unless I learn that (maybe that is the reason I am here, seeing at how bad a student I am proving in this matter) I may be faced with more and more such situations and might even have to repeat the course after a short vacation, given what a tough task master Karma is. All I can do is pray for help from above to learn this lesson sooner than later. Can one outsource this assignment??? :p
     
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  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes. the learned master calls it "Saranagadhi" and being a more modern old man, I call it as help from the guy upstairs (in Kamalji's language).

    The forgiveness lessons we all learn inside of us have no external evaluation and that is sometimes a blessing as no one is judging from outside other than the guy upstairs, but other times, it is hard as we have no external example to measure.

    The moment you start thinking about it, you are already a student who passed the qualifying exam. :)
     
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  5. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Satchi,

    The title ceratainly got my attention. Forgiveness is essential for our own peaceful existence. You are right, blood is thicker than water and we often find it easy to forgive our own, yet take more BS also from our own. But, if we realize that that is what others are doing too towards thier loved ones (looking with forgiving eyes), we might look at everyone with some compassion :) This karma and all that....very fascinating ! And Satchi there is that thought that I would want to be forgiven for the wrongs I might have commited no?

    Of course, I completely understand that this topic can cover a vast area. My response here is based on my understanding that you are speaking of immediate relationships from the example you have given.

    And Satchi, children are so innocent
    . I think the beauty of it is, what a lovely heart the girl has. I can't help but feel "that man must certainly have done some good things!" :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  6. stayblessed

    stayblessed Platinum IL'ite

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    Nice one Satchi. I am in the same boat. Even after knowing carrying the hurt and anger for people is doing more harm to me than them I am finding it difficult to forgive people. May be because I expect a closure for few things or may be because I lack the communication skills to confront those people or may be because am scared to express my anger openly. Reasons are many and different for different people. I truly do not want to rehash things and loose my peace of mind but do not know how. I sometimes wonder is it really possible to forgive someone even without a proper apology. I dont think I am capable of learning forgiveness in this jenma.
     
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  7. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    You are right, Sabitha, it does have to do with immediate relationships and the issues that cause me most pain, grief, anger and stir up strong feelings of hatred are not things they did to me - those get forgotten with time and once forgotten, there is not much left to forgive - but things they said and did to my nearest and dearest. I smart for those people who were wronged and when I try to forgive or to be nice to these people who wronged them, I feel I am being disloyal to those nearest and dearest of mine. Might sound extremely childish, but well .....
     
  8. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    I can totally understand that feeling, stayblessed. It is for that very reason (I don't want to rehash things and lose my peace of mind) that I bury it somewhere inside of me and get on with life. That leads me to eventually forget such incidents so there is nothing left to be forgiven. The only thing I never forget is the nature of the people who are around me and then I am eternally on my guard against them.

    It is unfair isn't it - first be wronged, then have to forgive and if you don't, then be punished with karma and more cycles to come.
     
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  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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  10. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks a ton for sharing that video, Viswa. It came closest to making sense to me. Must watch it over and over agan to remind myself.
     
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