Have you ever “truly” forgiven someone?
The person may have hurt you, several years ago – could be one or several things – cheated you, misled you into doing something you did not want to do or plain hurt you physically.
Does that memory of the hurt still remain with you?
If yes, then it is possible that you have “not” truly forgiven that person.
I see that holding back memories, especially negative ones is akin to riding a powerful motorbike that is chained to a large iron pole! We only spend mental energies but there is no real output. This means wasting energies and being totally unproductive. Usually, such negative memories arise due to certain associations /experiences that we would have undergone in our lives in the past.
As age goes by, we need to ‘grow up’ and start feeling that the experiences we have gone through (especially bad ones) are part of our growing up and don’t harbor any negativity about the person or the situation (place, for example) that we may associate that negativity with.
We can do all this, by simply letting go & forgiving the ‘source’ of our unhappiness /bad memories. This is the first step towards forgiveness. If you find it tough to let go, then practice mindfulness of your breath – just notice how your breath is when you are ruled by such emotion and over a period of time, you will automatically ‘let go’ of that emotion.
People /events and places can hurt us, can trigger bad memories in us but it is important to understand that we have a choice always to get hurt or not. This is the second stage in our spiritual growth. In the first step, when we ‘forgive’ the ‘source’ of our bad emotions, we are making a conscious choice not to linger on that emotion anymore and waste energies. This volition itself is amazingly liberating as we are able to redirect our energies onto something more productive.
Emotions are powerful and we always have a choice to decide which emotion we should focus on and which we should not. Emotions that are triggered by unhappy memories need to be managed by compassion & an attitude of forgivenness – this in some ways ‘eliminates’ the memory from your system and makes you happier.