Forgiveness - A Way to Have Peace of Mind.
Feelings of regret, anger, hatred towards others or yourself are very strong emotions. Fighting them is extremely difficult. The more so because they can bite into the human soul very deeply, destroying its inner peace. Fortunately, there is some foolproof way to combat all anger. It is forgiveness.
One of the things I have learned through my personal spiritual practice is a simple rule: forgiveness has tremendous power. Thanks to it, every person can be truly free. There is no denying that this is what spirituality is all about, right?
Forgiveness - the key to happiness
Eighth Commandment of Spiritual Growth:
Cultivate a forgiving heart if you want to keep a calm mind.
When we experience injustice or harm from another person, we feel very strong emotions. They are extremely negative. If worn in the heart for too long, they turn into a hard shell that is difficult to penetrate. A person who cares about his spirit knows that he cannot allow such a shell to form. Hence, it uses a certain ancient art called forgiveness.
Forgiveness takes place on two levels: intellectual and emotional. The mind can accept logically worked out arguments for forgiveness. It is not even as difficult as it might seem at first glance. It is much more difficult to expel resentment from the heart. Feelings are quite strong in most people and often block them for a long time.
If we are insulted, our self-esteem will not allow us to forget the insult. Instead, we often cultivate negative emotions and build a wall of them against the rest of the world. Or at least from a specific person or people.
This is not the right path, because it will not lead us to anything good.
How to forgive the harm done?
People sometimes do it just for show; they want to be "the smarter" the better. This approach (sometimes completely unconscious) is aimed at increasing self-esteem.
Meanwhile, true forgiveness has nothing to do with self-esteem. It's not about showing the other person that they are worse than us. Authentic forgiveness does not even have to be articulated aloud. It is enough for it to "take place" within us; that we allow ourselves to be freed from guilt, shame and resentment.
Forgiveness is also about accepting reality and not living in the past. What was, is gone. The past does not exist. It is just an image in our minds, and if we don't feed it with emotions (whether negative or positive), it won't take control of our lives.
Forgiveness is an art, as is everything in human life. The art is difficult and sometimes painful, but when practiced by us, it effectively leads to unrestricted joy in life.
I don't want to advise anyone at this point on how to forgive. Everyone does it in their own way. Some people do it completely naturally, finding the strength they need in their heart. Others use various techniques taught by spiritual teachers and personal development trainers (whatever the title means), such as letter-writing and affirmations. Still others pray to their God, asking for their support and forgiveness for sinners.
Either way can be good. Anyone can also fail all along the line. Why? Because the most important thing in forgiving is the forgiving heart. His pure intentions count. If we sincerely wish to forgive, we are on the right track.
Forgiveness and peace of mind
The ability to forgive gives you one very valuable thing: peace of mind. A person who cannot forgive will always struggle internally; will nervously look from side to side in search of more torturers. He will always find someone to suspect evil intentions. In this way, he alone will fuel his fears and neuroses. Could anything good come of this approach? The answer to this question is obvious.
The ability to forgive gives rise to freedom from regret and resentment towards oneself and other people. It is true that it is impossible to avoid harm, but that does not mean that it cannot be dealt with. I would be lying if I said it was easy. It is not so. Pain is hard to bear, but over time you can learn to deal with it.
How to learn to forgive?
Everyone works according to their own pattern. Surely, in your opinion, you are doing the right thing. Nevertheless, sometimes you have trouble learning to forgive. Currently, we can find a whole lot of books and courses on this topic. They can be really helpful. However, I know from experience that it is enough to use five forgiveness techniques to significantly improve the quality of your life.
Analyze your own feelings - absolutely sincere. Don't fool yourself and you will be able to recognize how individual emotions affect your thinking and your whole life. If you feel guilty, it's a sign that something is not as it should be.
Acceptance of mistakes and mistakes - both own and other people. It should be understood that anyone can make a mistake. There is no escaping this. Especially that making mistakes plays a very important role in human life. It allows you to learn the correct behavior.
Self-Esteem. It's very important to know yourself and your strengths (not forgetting your disadvantages, of course). Without this, it is easy to consider that you do not deserve forgiveness. Or (worse) consider yourself incapable of forgiving others.
Awareness of your own freedom. Did you know that you always have a choice? It is true. Moreover, the quality of your whole life depends on the choices you make. In fact, your happiness depends on what life you choose for yourself.
Awareness of unity. Here is the best and surest way to forgive. Especially effective when it comes to forgiving someone else. For if you fully realize that everything is one, you will understand the shocking truth. Well, it turns out that we are all one person (at least on some level). It can be said that we are different "incarnations" of the same being (to put it very simply). So when we hurt someone, we are actually hurting ourselves. When we forgive someone, we forgive ourselves.
The last point, while the most powerful, is also the most difficult to understand. I will explain it more in the near future.