Forgiveness is the End Result

It comes naturally as a result of removing fears.

Photo by Brett Jordan from Pexels

Some people hold on to a grudge against others for their entire life. Any stimulus that reminds them of the person against whom he holds a grudge, would make the person miserable. The only way to come out of this pain is to forgive the other person. But can this forgiveness be done without working on the issues that caused the person to hold a grudge in the first place? I personally do not think so.

Reason for holding a grudge

I believe fear within the person is the main reason for him holding grudge against the other person. This fear that caused the person to hold a grudge is the result of some false belief. The action of the other person just triggered the fear and the person just blamed the other person for making him uncomfortable.

“Instead of taking the blame on oneself, the person would hold a lifelong grudge against the other person”

Example: Ram is a teenager who lives in a conservative society. He has an infatuation with girls but cannot openly admit it. Shyam is another teenager who lives nearby and is not of the same character type as Ram. Both Ram and Shyam play the game of cricket.

There had been several occasions where Shyam would publicly make fun of Ram while playing cricket. Ram would feel hurt and holds a deep grudge against Shyam.

If we analyze the above story deeply we will come to the following conclusions:

  • Shyam is jealous of the fact that Ram is a grave person and girls find him attractive. This jealousy would result in Shyam making fun of Ram.
  • Ram takes comments made by Shyam seriously as he fears Shyam may reveal his infatuation towards a certain girl to his parents or other elders. The fear of Ram is the reason why he cannot reply back to Shyam and just holds grudge against him.

An analogy to a mutiny within a kingdom

Image by Defence-Imagery from Pixabay

Consider yourself being the king of a large empire. For the smooth running of the kingdom, every province should comply with your needs and work together for the betterment of the kingdom.

Sometimes there may be some province that would revolt. Also, there will be some leader of that province who would be the face of the revolt.

The revolt is analogous to the subconscious fears existing within you while the leader who leads the revolt is like the grudge you hold against someone.

If you want your empire to run smoothly then you would need to fight with the province and eventually make it side with you.

Without fighting the army of the province it is difficult to bring the province in your favor. Only when you are victorious over them can you dictate your terms to the leader of the province and make him side with you.

Directly asking the leader of the province without fighting and overcoming the army may not always work. In a similar manner without attacking and overcoming the subconscious fears existing within you it may not be possible to forgive the other person and let go of the grudge.

Forgiveness would come automatically

Consider you want to ace an exam. You cannot just get a good grade without going through the process of preparation. If you study well for the duration of the course then giving an exam and securing a good grade would come automatically.

Your desire to ace the exam is like your desire to forgive someone while the study required to ace the exam is like overcoming the subconscious fears that caused you to hold a grudge in the first place.

To forgive any person you would first need to analyze the fears existing within you that caused you to hold grudge against the person. You then need to apply the process of catharsis to remove the fear and change the false belief responsible for the fear in the first place.

“Once fears responsible for holding the grudge are gone, forgiveness will come automatically”

Conclusion

Direct forgiveness may not always work. There needs to be a lot of inner work that is required to address the root cause of the person holding the grudge in the first place. If one analyzes deeply then he will come to the conclusion that one’s own fear is the main reason why he holds a grudge. Overcoming these fears by means of catharsis and refinement of the inner child would automatically make the person forgive another person. Another thought that may help the person in forgiveness is the fact that the other person acted the way he did out of his own insecurity hence one should have sympathy against him and not hatred. Hopefully, by addressing one’s fears and having sympathy for the other person, forgiveness shall come naturally.

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Utpal Kumar

Utpal Kumar

Interested in the psychology behind human functioning. I write on a variety of topics with most of them dealing with personal development | MS in CS from UCSD