A to Z of Happiness: F - Forgiveness #atozchallenge @AprilA2Z

Holding on to a grudge is like taking rat poison and hoping that the rat will die. ('Rat' being the person who wronged you, obviously!)

In reality though, it harms only you and, if you allow it to get out of hand, the people in your life who actually love you and support you. The person who wronged you remains oblivious to your pain, and carries on with his life as if you never existed.


I usually don't find it difficult to forgive others. There are two reasons for it.

  1. Being a Capricorn, I tend to allow very few people into my emotional center, where they might have the power to hurt me DEEPLY.

  2. I began to understand, from a very early age, that many of us are weak. And weak people hurt others. Because they need that "power boost" over others to feel strong. Strong people don't have any such power or control issues that they might need to take advantage of others.

Yet, a few years ago, I found myself in an unprecedented position, where I simply couldn't find it in me to forgive someone who had hurt me deeply. Probably hurt me more than anyone else ever had.

Oh I didn't stay up at night plotting revenge or anything. (Capricorns are too practical-headed for that sort of thing. I mean, it's a sheer waste of time, right? And us 'mountain goats' don't believe in wastage!) But, I couldn't bring myself to forgive this person. Not till some time last year.

And during all this while, I realized some important things about forgiveness.

9 Things You Must Know About Forgiveness

  1. It is soooo easy to "preach" about forgiveness, but when you're actually experiencing the pain of betrayal, forgiveness is not even the LAST thing on your mind! In fact, it actually feels like an invalidation of your feelings and your hurt, every time somebody tells you to "forgive"!

  2. Normal unenlightened human-beings don't come with a switch called "forgiveness", that they can just press and instantly move on! They have to first process through all the different emotions involved... hurt, anger, resentment, grief, bitterness, pain, sadness... PLUS all the insecurities and fears associated with creating a new unknown future. This takes time, and every one goes through this phase at his own pace, depending also upon the kind of support network he has.

  3. Not forgiving is like creating this giant wall around us, with all our hurt and hatred and bitterness. It is a kind of defense tactic, to "protect" us from further hurt. We've been violated. And therefore, we realize instinctively that we are weak and vulnerable. So these "walls" stay, until we recover our strength again.

    (I remember my biggest fear during this period was about letting this person back into my life and getting hurt again. I didn't think I had the strength then to walk away. Deep emotional ties ARE hard to break, you know. So I deliberately replayed all the hurt and pain in my mind, over and over again, just to make sure that I didn't forgive. I needed that wall, you see.)

  4. They say that you must forgive and forget, but in reality, you don't need to forget. On the contrary, you should actually remember it, for the lesson it contained.

  5. Forgiveness doesn't mean reconciliation. You don't need to let those people back into your life. You can forgive them and still refuse to talk to them or even answer their emails. Forgiving them doesn't mean you owe them any part or space in your life. (I didn't know this for such a long time! I wouldn't have been so scared of forgiving this person otherwise!)

  6. Forgiveness doesn't need an act of "penance" from the person who wronged you. It doesn't need ANYthing from that person actually. Except perhaps space. All you really need is to be left in peace, to not be reminded of the incident in any way, so that you can heal, and move on.

  7. Forgiveness doesn't absolve the person who wronged you from guilt or blame. There are some wrongs that can't be written off. There are some wrongs that cause permanent damage. Just because you forgive them, doesn't mean that they are not responsible for it anymore. You're not "setting them free" from anything by forgiving them. You don't NEED to set them free. You only need to set YOURSELF free... from that pain and suffering and helplessness.

  8. Forgiving the other person is so much easier than forgiving yourself for allowing that person to take advantage of you, for putting your faith in someone who didn't deserve it, for being so gullible and naive.

  9. No matter how long it takes you, eventually you just have to forgive. For your own sake. Because YOU don't need to be a hostage to a memory. You deserve better than this pain and bitterness. You deserve joy... and hope.

It is only when we are seriously shattered by someone that we feel like we'll never be able to forgive him. It can take a long time to pick all the broken pieces of our life together, and even then, we might never recover all that we lost. Things might never go back to being as they were before. WE might never be that same person anymore.

But forgiving that person, despite all this, means that we finally have the courage to venture into the "unknown". It means that our past and the person who wronged us don't have any control over us anymore. We were weak when we were hurt, but now, we are strong. And we look forward to our new "adventure".

Have you ever been in a position where you couldn't forgive someone who wronged you? What helped you move on then? What did you learn along the way? Do you feel comfortable sharing your experience with us in the comments below?

This is my sixth post for AtoZ2017.

I have completed this challenge once before, and published it as a kindle ebook.
You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

(Continued below sponsored content)

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Want to Add Something?

Swathi Shenoy said...

I can forgive easily most of the times but I can never forget! I will remember the hurt and be guarded after that!


Ramya Abhinand said...

It's all about learning to let go. As you say the more we hold on there is more pain and the more hurt we are . Forgiveness may seem to be difficult but well it isn't impossible.

Sheela said...

Exactly, that's the broader and practical picture of forgiveness. Scorpios forgive, but they don't forget...so from here I feel like taking a new turn :) Loved the post!

Chicky Kadambari said...

I think that's only sensible, Swathi, isn't it?

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh I would agree to that, Ramya. It is not only very much possible, but it is the Law of Nature. But I guess we DO need to give ourselves the time to be strong again.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh right! I read that too about Scorpios. Maybe I have some Scorpio influence in my chart then! Glad you could appreciate this, Sheela!

shalz75 said...

Recently had a fracas with sone friends n I am just unable to even talk to them to clear air as I am so damn hurt. I keep telling myself I will talk to sort out things not n not do a postmortem on the fight. But the hurt is stopping me while I am trying to figure out why have I taken it so badly. And my thought is same, how do I let them back in my life ? I fear this might happen again or rather I will fear it's probability to feel uncomfortable in such a relationship, making them feel bad too.
Decided to allow myself sometime to distance from it - ofcourse it complicates things further as they are now thinking I am holding a grudge n being arrogant despite them wanting to talk abt it. I have requested to be allowed some space but that's not been liked at all 😢

Your post gave me verbal diarrhoea - pls take that as a complimen for it really resonated with ne.!

Flower power

Suzy said...

#7 is spot on. In my view, forgiveness is not an action, it is a state of being. It's not something you do, it is something you live in.

Anjali Krishna said...

First of, great post! This one has been my favourite so far. I like this line - 'Forgiveness doesn't mean reconciliation. You don't need to let those people back into your life.'

How apt is that? For the longest time, I worried about the same thing. Some things are meant to end despite forgiveness.


Sreesha Divakaran said...

For me, forgiveness depends on the equation I share with the person. Ironic, but the more I care about the person, the harder it is for me to forgive, cos their betrayal affects me more. The others, I forgive, forget, move on, sometimes even let them back into my life.
I don't carry grudges though; whether I forgive or not, it just fizzles out and I become indifferent towards them.

Vinodini Iyer said...

I had recently mentioned this in one of my posts, that we should forgive but never forget the lesson it taught us. Forgiving a person is releasing yourself from the poison of bitterness. It should be for yourself, first.

Kim Richardson said...

I really like those 9 points about forgiveness. It's not something that comes easily to me. But I've found that sometimes it's the only way to move forward and rebuild a damaged relationship/friendship. I don't forget the hurt someone caused me, and it may change things going forward but if I'm able to, eventually I'll offer forgiveness

Mrs Tubbs said...

Sometimes you start from a place where you want to forgive and then go through a process until you can. It can be a very long process depending on why forgiveness is needed in the first place.

Afshan Shaik said...

Great post, forgiveness is often fr our own peace more than the others'
I am also like U i may not forget but I forgive again just for my peace
Hope u remember me :)
Good luck with A to Z

Deepali Adhikary said...

Forgiveness does not feature in the dictionary of Scorpios. They are known to hold a grudge. But I realized the hard way that it wasnt helping. It wasnt easy to let go but it did make some impact. Very well written. I am glad I found this.

jaish_vats said...

Going through pain once is unavoidable....but going through it again and again by holding on to the grudge is pure self torture... To relieve us of that we need to let go but its so easier said than done... I am a Cancerian mind you.... Sensitive to the core :D

Both my kids are Capricorns and my brother too


Anita said...

Only the strong can forgive. Forgiveness is divine.
Holding grudges is terrible.
Agree with all your points.
'Fear Of Failure' #AtoZChallenge

Medha Nagur said...

Coincidentally, I have chosen to write about the same word today but I guess there are quite a few things that uncommon in our view points.

It was great reading the same from your perception.

Amrita Basu Misra said...

A very difficult lesson to learn.Specially the worse hurts are from the closest people .We constantly replay it oin our minds.Great post.Favourite part I am quoting "You can forgive them and still refuse to talk to them or even answer their emails. Forgiving them doesn't mean you owe them any part or space in your life""].This is it!

Geetika Gupta said...

It's all heat in the moment I feel! When on fire, forgiveness is the last thing one can think of! Time heals almost every wound I feel! And that is the best one can do to themselves!


the little princess said...

Quite difficult to follow! But forgiving cleanses our hearts and gives us the much deserved peace! Pt no 9..totally agree...It's not for them it's for us.

Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

tulika singh said...

Hola from a fellow Capricorn. Agree with everything you said there. It's HARD to forgive, easier to forget, though.

Meal to the Heart said...

Indeed we must learn to forgive others, otherwise our inner peace will be lost
Thanks for sharing
Dr bushra
Do visit mine
F-Feasible Quinoa – Switch to Good Health with Quinoa

Toni said...

Wise words!

Karnika Kapoor said...

I liked your post! You have been eloquent in your writing. I believe one shouldn't have to brush their own feeling of been hurt to accommodate forgiveness. one has all the rights of register the feeling of betray. Like you said it takes time... eventually anger subsides. You come out stronger.
Enjoyed your write up.
Best Wishes! :)

Pat Holloway said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I'm a Capricorn so I understand exactly what you've said. Point 7 resonates with me, when you forgive, you are setting yourself free not the person who wronged you.

Michael Todd said...

No one ever won a grudge war.

Natasha said...

I find it easy to forgive, let go and move on than to harbour negative feelings about the other person. But I'm wary definitely and won't let them take me for a ride. So yes, i do forget partially, as in don't hold on to the hurt, but then make sure I'm not trampled upon the next time. Oh human emotions are so complex. I wish I was a starfish instead. :-)))


Travel Epiphanies:
Gobsmacked in Glorious Goa

Shilpa Garg said...

I believe in forgiving but not forgetting. While, I can forgive others, it's pretty tough for me to forgive myself. Yes, forgiving others does not mean absolving the other person from guilt or blame, but forgiveness is about letting go of that anger, resentment and bitterness that we feel and it's for our own mental peace and sanity.

Sanch Writes said...

I find that I can forgive but I cannot completely forget. I forgive for myself to move on but I don't forget so that I can continue to protect myself against whoever or whatever hurt me. Not sure if that makes sense!

Fable - One good turn

Rajlakshmi said...

Forgiving is easy but forgetting is tough. But yeah, we can remember it to not do the same mistake again. It's the part when we hold a grudge that can totally ruin our happiness.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hi shalz75! I'm glad the post resonated so well with you, and even more glad that you felt comfortable enough to share this here!
I can understand where you are at the moment. Once the trust is damaged, it can be impossible to have the same relationship with them... unless of course you can see that they are genuinely sorry about it.
Give yourself time. Cheers! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

You might have a point there, Suzy. It is a higher state than where you were when you were holding the grudge, right?

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Anjali. I don't know how I ended up with the idea that true forgiveness happens only when you are willing to take them back in your life! But when I realized that's not true, then forgiveness came quickly enough!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Same here, Sreesha. We don't expect our close ones to betray us. That is why, the hurt is unbearable, and it is also more difficult to forgive. Thank you for sharing your views! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Exactly, Vinodini. It should be for ourselves. So that we don't have to carry that burden anymore. Thank you! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you for sharing your views and feelings about this, Kim. Yes, it really IS the only way forward, whether with them or without.

Chicky Kadambari said...

I never thought of it that way, Mrs. Tubbs! That we start from a place where we actually WANT to forgive! Do we really? When we are so hurting?
I don't know. In this case, I just wanted to be free of this experience. That's all.

Chicky Kadambari said...

I hit submit without completing my reply! :P
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your views, Mrs. Tubbs! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

Afhsan! Of course I remember you! Where have you been? I thought you stopped blogging or something!
Good to see you again! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hahaha! Another Scorpio... eh, Deepali? :D
Actually, it is easier after we let go. Like a huge weight off your shoulders!
Glad you stopped by to share your views! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

I know, Jaish! And I actually put myself through this self torture 'coz I was so completely misguided about having to let them back in my life! This self torture was easier to bear than my fears!
You are surrounded by Capricorns! How do you manage? We can be so stubborn at times! :P

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Anita. Glad you could relate with this. :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hi Medha! Yes, I only wrote about it from my personal perspective. I'm sure it varies for everyone. Thank you for stopping by and reading this! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Amrita. The part you quoted is what finally helped me to forgive. Happy blogging! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Agree, Geetika. Time is a great healer! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

I only found it difficult this once, Princess! But I had to do it... for myself! :)
Thank you for stopping by!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hey fellow Capricorn! :D
We're tough as nails, aren't we?

Chicky Kadambari said...

True, Dr. Bushra! We must... for our own peace!
Thanks for stopping by! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Toni :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you for understanding it exactly as I wanted to convey it, Karnika! :) I'm glad you could relate to it! Happy blogging! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Well hello, Pat! I always love to meet other Capricorns! :D
I'm glad you could relate to this post! Thank you for stopping by! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

No one ever did, Michael! :)
Thank you for stopping by! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hahaha! A starfish? :D
Your approach regarding forgiveness is just perfect. Partially forget, be wary next time!
Human relationships ARE layered!

Chicky Kadambari said...

You and I think exactly alike about this, Shilpa! :O

Chicky Kadambari said...

Same pinch, Sanch! It makes perfect sense! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

I guess so, Raji. So maybe we should just let go of the grudge, but remember the experience, with emotional detachment, to avoid falling in the same trap again. Right?

Sue at Space, Time, and Raspberries said...

Forgiving is an act of love.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hi Sue! If you mean "love for our self", then yes, it sure is. :D
Thank you for dropping by!

Anmol Rawat said...

The problem with me is that I can forgive almost anybody; I take my time and then we can go back to square one. However, I never forgive myself and that guilt keeps coming back to haunt.
Nice post :)

Debbie D. said...

These are all excellent points, especially numbers five and seven.

I forgave my father when he quit drinking in 1987 and we became closer after that. My mother, well, I'm not sure I ever truly forgave her, but I still looked after her as best as I could and felt somewhat vindicated when she finally acknowledged everything I had done for her. She's gone now and I feel like a weight has been lifted...The only other person capable of causing deep hurt for me would be my husband and that's an unlikely scenario. Minor squabbles with friends are easy to overlook and not worth destroying a friendship over.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Same here, Anmol. Forgiving myself is more difficult for me than forgiving others. Thank you for stopping by! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

True Debbie. Minor squabbles are not worth holding a grudge. Thank you for sharing about your family. It is strange, isn't it, that we even feel guilty about not being able to forgive?

Menaka Bharathi said...

I always try to forgive, but I keep things hoarded back somewhere, well the best I do is to Forgive
Launching SIM Organics This April

*Menaka Bharathi *


Chicky Kadambari said...

Well I guess as long as we don't hoard the negative emotions associated with it, there is nothing wrong in remembering, right Menaka?

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