I have a hard time letting go of grudges. It’s not a pretty thing and I am not proud of it but I let myself care about people so deeply that, when hurt, I can never regard them in the same way again. Time may pass and memories may fade but I hold onto hurt and anger like buoys, reminding my heart to steer away from pain. Worst than the grudges I hold is my desire to get even; to hurt those who have hurt me in the same way, as deeply and as long as I’m hurting. Some people don’t hold onto pain as long as I do, which often serves to make me resentful and feel I should punish them some more. This is not a pretty side of me. And try as I may to forgive and forget, in my heart and my mind it is hard to let go. This is not an Islamic part of me. It’s not even a kind and compassionate human side of me but I must admit to this side.
Sometimes, not often, I am able to let go of some hurt and anger and feel the need to share my forgiveness with those I have felt wronged me. That is not always smart. The people who wronged me may not have realized that I was hurt or entitled to hurting me; regardless, it often leads to further hurt and anger.
Recently, after overcoming a hard challenge and achieving an important milestone, I felt a place of peace and kindness in my heart, able to let go of hurt from the past. I reached out to someone that I had love kindly and who I’ve hurt and hurt me deeply, and expressed my forgiveness. He received it in kindness and forgave me in return.
I cannot say that I will ever forget the hurt nor will I ever feel for him what I dealt in the past, but my heart is grateful for his humble acceptance of my forgiveness and his kind forgiveness of my own shortcomings. I haven’t changed; I am still feisty, fiery and sometimes even nasty in situations of injustice, hurt and pain, but my heart is lightened by holding a little less resentment in it for someone who has also done me great good.
I pray that all those who have wronged and been wronged can taste the sweetness of forgiveness and may we learn from the hurt and use it for good. May it enlighten and empower us rather than detract and stifle us and may we find in each other kindness.