Finding Faith: Forgiving yourself and those around you
Written by: Chereen
Your ability to forgive says a lot about the strength of your heart. Forgiveness means letting go and moving forward. At times, it means letting go of your anger, resentment, frustration, hurt, and pain. Other times, it means letting go of the situation or the person, so that you can start a new page and carry on with your life. There is also the importance of being able to forgive yourself. Forgiving your flaws and imperfections, and understanding that it’s okay to make mistakes, is essential to your journey of growth and contentment. Aside from all this, the most important aspect of forgiving is that you obtain faith. You develop more faith than you essentially had, because forgiveness is a matter of the heart. Without it, your faith is weak.
I noticed this about myself. There were moments years back when I would have trouble forgiving others for wronging me. It was a challenge that I could not always overcome, because I could not comprehend why people so easily injected others with emotional pain they did not deserve. It was not until I realized something about my own self. I had difficulty forgiving myself. There were times were I would lose faith in myself, and I would feel hopeless. It could have been the simplest circumstance, like making a B instead of an A, even though I knew I worked as hard as I could. There was the time that I beat myself up over being a good friend to a girl who took me for granted and treated me badly for being present. I blamed myself, and my faith in people became weak. But now I know better. I know that it’s normal to be hard on yourself. To a point, you should be harder on yourself than you are on others. However, you cannot let this weaken you. You cannot let the hardness break you, and you should not blame yourself for the way that others choose to incorrectly treat you. It took a while for me to forgive this friend, and sometimes when I think of her, I still wonder why she would act in such a way towards someone that wanted the best for her. Reflecting has taught me that people have their own inner battles that they project upon others. It’s isn’t always you; sometimes it is them.
The most valuable words of wisdom come from God. The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When God decreed the creation, he wrote in his book with him on his throne: My mercy prevails over my wrath.”
God wants to grant you His mercy, and He wants for you to seek His forgiveness. This spoke to me, and from it I realized that forgiveness is a beautiful gift. Being able to give it says a lot about your soul, and accepting it says a lot about your heart. So I learned that when our hearts are weak, it is difficult for us to forgive. We are ashamed to turn to God to seek His forgiveness, we are too resentful of ourselves to forgive our own souls, and we are too angry with others to forgive them. While it might seem difficult, taking the first step forward and accepting forgiveness, whether it is being given or being taken, is the first step towards healing. Always remember that God is merciful, and remember that in order to open your heart you have to give and take with forgiveness.
There are certain things that prevent us from finding faith and keeping it. There are circumstances that hold us back from discovering more faith, because we restrict ourselves from accepting happiness correctly. Sometimes it is our ego, and sometimes it is our fear. Whatever it might be, finding faith becomes easier when you learn how to forgive yourself and those around you.