How to be Free from Bitterness?

by | Oct 26, 2014 | Newsletter, Sufi Comics | 5 comments


It happened one evening.

I’d just moved to London and was busy settling in. Exploring the city, making new friends – the typical stuff international students do when they first arrive.

I was in a cafe when it happened. Someone put their hands in my coat and stole my things.

At first, I felt violated, then angry, and finally, vengeful.

I didn’t know what to do. Eventually I realized there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Even though the robbery didn’t leave me destitute, it still left a scar inside me. Whenever I thought about it, my heart would feel heavy, as if I was carrying a burden inside me.

Part of me wanted to forgive and forget. But I just couldn’t. How could I? It wasn’t fair. I had done nothing to offend the robber. I didn’t deserve to be robbed.

I wanted justice.

I thought forgiving the person who robbed me was giving approval to their action. That it made me weak. Worse, I feared my acceptance equaled encouragement. After all, if everyone forgave their robbers, people would be going around robbing people without fear of consequences.

It took me a while to realize that’s not what forgiveness is about. Forgiveness is a sign of inner strength and the key to have a heart free of burden.

The following Sufi Comic drove the point home for me:

sufi-comic-forgiving-commander

Here are a few important lessons I learned from this story:

1. Forgiving someone does not make me weak.
2. Forgiveness does not equal acceptance of wrong behaviour. It means not letting someone else’s misdeeds adversely affect my life.
3. Forgiveness is a choice.
4. Forgiveness relieves you from the hurt and suffering of the action.

It’s natural to resist forgiving those who’ve wronged you. After all, justice is the right of every human being.

But the path of forgiveness is divine.

“Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that God should forgive you? For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Qur’an 24:22).

We’ve all been wronged at some point in our lives. Sometimes the effects of these events linger on long after it has passed. And we end up carrying the resentment. I know it has happened to me.

Perhaps you feel bitter because someone said or did something to you. And whenever you think about it your heart feels heavy.

You don’t have to carry that burden. You have a choice. You can become free from it, by forgiving the person.

Yes it can be difficult. And depending on the intensity of that event, it may take time.  But by not trying you’re sentencing yourself to feeling bitter all the time. You’ll become a prisoner of your own painful thoughts.

You don’t have to live like that. Let it go. Forgive.

5 Comments

  1. Masha Allah, very well written. Usually people give lecture on this topic, since you have experienced it yourself and written how difficult it is. At the same time mentioned the benefits of forgiving make a person re-think about it.

    Reply
    • Thank you Br Mohammed 🙂 I try to be helpful.

      Reply
  2. You touched upon a topic which perhaps has been experienced by all of us at some time or the other, as part of our daily life perhaps – and our responses are usually predictable and primitive- that of seeking revenge in some form. However as you rightly shared if Allah Himself is oft forgiving who are we to bear grudges and retain hurt in our hearts- indeed it is best to let go and be free ourselves!

    Reply
    • Thanks Zubair bhai for dropping by & sharing your thoughts! 🙂 Knowing that Allah is forgiving, makes it easier to forgive.

      Reply
  3. Everybody are accountable of their own faults. Believe that Allah will give judgement to those oppressor which is far more painful than what they did in dunya. Pity those who turn away from the truth…

    Reply

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  1. 7 Spiritual Steps From the Qur'an for True Happiness - […] Real forgiveness takes place when we let go of any resentment and feel peace in our heart. […]

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