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Nokuzola Maphanga
 
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The Path to Forgiveness

09 January 2014, 15:24

I haven’t written anything in a very long time, my heart is fuming. There is so much I want to say that if I don’t, I’m sure to explode. I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness. How it has set me free from my anger, renewed my faith in life and has given me a better outlook on everything. A massive weight, burden has been lifted off my shoulders


 Forgiveness is very tricky, most people tend to get it wrong. How I see it is, forgiveness is for me. I will forgive you not because you are deserving but because I deserve inner peace. It is a long and difficult process. It starts with acceptance, accepting things as they are, exactly as they are. Know that you can’t change the past and that you have to look upon the present moment.


Secondly I find that separating the person from their actions helps. No matter how wrong their actions, a person is not their actions, a person is not their words, a person is the soul that lives within. Once you understand this, it makes it a little easier to pave the path to forgiveness.


People react a certain way because of their life experiences. Our experiences in life pave our views, opinions and character. At times you will say someone to a person and they will react in a totally different way to what you had expected, that’s because of our different experiences in life. So being angry at a person is at times the same as being angry at them for having gone through the things they’ve gone through in life. No one is bad, no one is horrible, I do however believe that people can hold on to bad views. If you have the wrong view, you will act accordingly. So it is important to understand a person’s point of view. You don’t have to agree, just try to understand. 


The next step is to understand a person’s intentions. At times the intent is right but the outcome is wrong. Try to understand what was the persons intention in acting in the way that they did. Was the intention to inflict pain and suffering upon you or was it the opposite? It is very important to understand this. Just to make a broad example, people who are unfaith to their partners, the intent is never really to inflict pain and suffering to their partner, that’s why they hide the cheating. The intent in most cases is purely selfish, it has absolutely nothing to do with you as a person but rather themselves.


Forgiveness is not the same a restoration. As I previously said, forgiveness is for yourself. It is to lift the burden of anger and resentment off your shoulders. Sometimes a person hurts you so deeply, they shake you to the very core of your being. Forgiveness is making peace with what is, it is freeing, in your heart, all feelings of anger and resentment that you are holding on to as a result of another person’s wrong doing. It’s as simple as that, it doesn’t mean all is well and that we can go have coffee but if you can manage that, by all means. 



When I’ve been deeply hurt, I find that praying and blessing the person who has hurt or betrayed me helps. Prayer is a very personal thing, you can’t facade when you pray. How I see it is, God is my “Psychologist”, with him I’m deeply honest. He can see what’s in my heart so what’s the point in fronting. I tell him everything as it is, exactly as it is. At times I’m so hurt that I will say; “God, So and So has done this to me and it hurts, I want the worst faith upon them, I wish they would die”. God knows what’s in your heart. He knows you, he can separate you the person from your words and actions, so he knows that it is the pain and anger speaking and you will not be condemned for it. Then I tell God , “ Dear God, I do not want to feel this way, I do not want to wish such horrible things upon someone”. I find that saying this reactivates my humanity and puts me in line with God.


Also, I find that it helps to tell the person that you forgive them, depending on the extent of the betrayal or pain I say, “ You have hurt my heart, my spirit and soul and with all my heart, spirit and soul, I FORGIVE YOU” . If you can’t tell the person, say it out loud to yourself, write it down. As you do this, it is very important to remember that you are doing this for you.


Lastly, be honest to yourself about the extent of the pain you feel, don’t overstate or understate it. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Try to understand what you feel, do you feel angry? do you feel sad? What do you feel? Label it. Say to yourself I feel sad, I feel angry, I feel this and that. This is very important because you will be thrown in and out of all sorts of emotions and if you can identify what you feel, you can shut down a lot of the noise in your head. Also, as you go through the healing process, you will be able to identify as your mind shifts from a state of disorder to calm. 


 Ms Maphanga

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