I have a terrible confession to make: I hold grudges too long. I don’t know why, but even as a child I remember thinking about different ways I had been hurt by people and writing them off quickly. In fact, my childhood best friend nicknamed me The Grudge! It was only recently I realized just how self destructive this flaw can be. I am writing this post to tell you lovelies that holding grudges; no matter how justified you are, is not good for your mind, body and soul. I hope that the way I dealt with my flaw will help you too.
Let’s start with dealing with hurtful people. While you are right to feel hurt, if you hold a grudge against the person who has hurt you, you only hurt yourself. There is a popular saying that: “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies.” I can attest to that fact. Every time you revisit what a person has done to hurt you, you allow that person to hurt you over and over. Does it really feel better to discuss that pain over and over again? For me, it only made me sad and upset. The other thing to note is that by allowing this person to hurt you after the fact, you are indeed allowing them the pleasure of hurting you more. You are better than that. Don’t give hurtful people that much power over you.
Forgiveness is not a weakness, it is empowering. This is why the best of Creation, Muhammed (saws) forgave those who hurt him in his life. He forgave Hind (ra) for being ruthless after his beloved uncle Hamza (ra) was killed, he forgave the Quraysh even after their boycott lead to the death of Khadija (ra), etc. When you forgive, you actually free yourself from the hurt that the other person caused you. That same childhood best friend (she is a very wise lady mA) told me that when you forgive someone, it is like setting a prisoner free and realizing that prisoner was you. You will find yourself at peace after you forgive someone.
So now that we spoke about forgiving someone, how do you do it? If you can, let that person know you forgive them whether it is in person, a call, or even text. Say that life is too short and that you forgive them and that you also hope they forgive you. One thing to note is that you should not have expectations from this person to respond. In fact, if they have hurt you, they may very well continue in their campaign to be hurtful. But you can be rest assured that you did everything you could so that you can meet God on your terms. In Islam, the way you treat others in this life is how God will treat you in the next. What better way to meet God than as a forgiving person? We all want God’s mercy, but how can you expect his mercy if you are not merciful with his Creation?
Lastly, it helps to focus on the bigger picture and help others. Volunteer, give to charity, or even spend time with your family. It helps puts things into perspective. What are your tips on forgiveness this Ramadan? Share them with me in the comments below!