Forgiveness as defined by wikipedia is the renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, disagreement or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. What those big words mean is, forgiveness is letting an individual who has wronged you go scot-free without holding any grudge against the person or wanting to take vengeance. take note of how the definition doesn’t involve “re-befriending” the individuals that have wronged you
Like other topics, i will talk about this from my personal view. When I was younger, I found it REALLY hard to forgive my brother or anyone really for that matter (but mostly my brother Tunji *narrows eye*) when tHEy upset me. I could go for days, even weeks (well, I could have, if my mum didn’t always force me to forgive ) without speaking to him and holding on to the grudge for something as silly as not letting me watch the cartoons I wanted to watch because he wanted to play FIFA.
MY GOD, I remember walking around with a permanent frown so my parents would notice that something was wrong, ask me what it was and then (I always hoped) punish him and make him suffer *insert evil laugh*.
I felt a sort of tightness in my chest and anger whenever I laid eyes on someone who had wronged me and I was yet to forgive. I actually remember my mum sitting me down and telling me “inu e ma n le ni igbami sha iwo omo yii, just ignore him and forgive” that means (not literally) that I held on to things too much and I needed to learn to forgive.
It was actually after she said that that I made an active effort to let things go; it was really hard at first but I learnt. The trick for me is, I don’t genuinely care about the actions and words of people that aren’t members of my immediate family and aren’t my friends (I have like 3 real friends so the list isn’t really long); this way, when “outsiders” say or do something offensive, I don’t care enough to let it get to me and that helps me forgive them.
Now, with “family and friends”, all I do is:
1. Think of the fact that they wouldn’t have actually done what they did to hurt me intentionally.
2. Remember the times I did things to hurt them and they forgave me and then I don’t have it in me to stay mad.
There is actually a particularly mean thing I said to my elder brother when we were much younger (he might have forgotten but I never will); I have actually never felt so sorry in my entire life and he found it in him to forgive me. I think of him forgiving me for that and I can’t stay mad at anyone else. That’s my trick to forgiveness.
3. This is for when the grudge-holding spirit is serious Think of the fact that you want God to forgive you for your many many many many many many many sins so you can go to heaven; why should God forgive you when you can’t forgive someone.
There are studies that show that it is in the human nature to not want to forgive and (definitely not) forget. Its how we make sure we don’t get wounded or hurt by the same thing twice; for example, a baby that found out the hard way the fire burns won’t go anywhere near a fire after the first lesson. Its the body’s way of protecting itself so don’t feel bad that you find it hard to let go of things.
Personally, I can say I’ve become a happier and more relaxed person since I learned to forgive people. You could try the above listed steps if you also find forgiving people hard. (Let me know if they work 🙂 ) . Remember, you don’t have to forget, just forgive ¯\..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯ .
If you have any tips on how to help people forgive others, please share them. You can also leave any comments or suggestions. Thank you.