One of the most difficult things we humans are faced is to forgive those who pained us. We love to read stories and incidents about people who have responded to hatred with love, but when that very thing is demanded of us personally, we seems to be anger, depressed, and hatred, etc.
Forgiveness is a divine choice. When you say, "I can't forgive that person," what you are really saying is, "I am choosing not to forgive that person." If you say, "I can forgive", you will find yourself forgiving soon.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the quality of the strong.” Hatred can cause minor and major health issues. Forgive and Forget is a divine strategy for a healthy and happiest life.
Seven Ways or Steps to Forgive and Forget
Step 1: Realize that the hate you feel towards opponent does not harm him or her. "Hate is like an acid. It damages the vessel in which it is stored, and destroys the vessel on which it is poured." (Ann Landers)
Step 2: Stop telling "the story." How many times this week did you tell "the story" about how badly you were hurt and how horribly you were wronged? How many times a day do you think about this hurt?
Step 3: Learn that the Aramaic word for "forgive" means literally to "untie." Your hatred has tied you to the person responsible for your pain. The fastest way to free you from an enemy and all associated negativity is to forgive. Forgiveness is for you and not the other party.
Step 4: Forgiveness is not acceptance of wrong behavior. If you must continue to interact with someone who has wronged you, who has offered a lame apology only to follow it up with more bad behavior - you must keep a respectable distance from the person.
Step 5: Understand that the best revenge against your enemies is to live a successful and happy life.
Step 6: Realize that the second best revenge is to turn the evil into something good. Think of your enemy as someone who has helped you to grow. Take what you learned and become a better person because of it.
Step 7: When your enemy and his or her evil actions come to mind, send him or her a blessing. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-29)
Fr James Kozhimala