On the second day of my little weekend getaway, I was finally doing what I had been daydreaming of doing for weeks now – I sat in my comfy knitwear for hours to read a book, enjoy a pretty view and gorgeous weather, drink some tea and stab a voodoo doll (okay kidding). It was the best, serene feeling of doing nothing, and my mind was now free to revisit some of the things I had thought of reflecting on, but had no time to do so. I have an imaginary shelf in my head where I would store thoughts ‘to be revisited’ when the time and space allows me to. So far the top 3 things are; ‘do babies cry in the womb?’, ‘foreign exchange policies’(snore fest) and ‘forgiveness’.
Forgiveness is an even more daunting task than apologizing. Apologizing requires surpassing one’s ego to do it, but forgiveness requires surpassing one’s ego to do it AND choosing to see a person in a positive light AND giving others the benefit of the doubt. But newsflash; it is made even harder when the person you are trying to forgive is yourself.
Like a lot of other people, I am perhaps my own worst critic. When something does not happen the way I had hoped or planned, I am quick to turn the blame on myself first. Perhaps it is due to the opinion that although I can’t control situations, I can certainly control me. Why did I act out of anger? Why did I say that? Why did I do that? Why would I make that bad decision? Sometimes there are words I expressed that I wished I had not said, circumstances I wished I had handled better, or even things I wished I had fought harder for. It is true that the heart is the mind’s braver sibling, but sometimes it deludes us to make hasty emotional decisions and reactions we later regret.
In circumstances such as these, it is helpful to perpetually remember this – there is always a reason for why people are the way they are. Understanding this makes anger more irrelevant and forgiveness more prominent. Perhaps a person did that because they have fears, just like we all do sometimes. Perhaps we ourselves acted a certain way fuelled by our disappointments of an expectation, and isn’t that natural? I realised that the twenties is a crucial time to experiment with the concept of empathy, and the balance between heart and head (in between the raging hormones, the self-searching and the quarter-life crisis. How exciting.).
As a conclusion, I once came across a beautiful saying, which have evidently helped me through countless times. It says, “How many times should you forgive yourself and others? As many times as you would like God to forgive you”. I find that it speeds up my own forgiving process, even that one time a mean boy came up to me when I was 15 and called my face ugly. I still despise you, you punk.