Wednesday, June 11, 2008

HOW TO LET OFF GUILT AND LEARN TO FORGIVE



"It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them. Were you severe or harsh-hearted, they would have gone away from you: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs (of the moment). Then, when you have taken a decision, place your trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who place their trust(in
Him).}AL QURAN:3:159

[Lessons from this verse] It is not the snake bite that kills, it's the venom that flows through the blood. The antidote is forgiving people. Don't let anger rent space in your mind and heart. Forgive and pass over people's faults.

"Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly."

"To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless."

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."

"Do everything. Love as much as you can. it may hurt but it helps us grow. Give all you have...you may be poor but you will be content. Always forgive....your heart can not afford not to. Teach what you know and learn what you don't. Stay open to all"

"Before you speak, listen.

Before you write, think.

Before you spend, earn.

Before you invest, investigate.

Before you criticize, wait.

Before you pray, forgive.

Before you quit, try.

Before you retire, save.

Before you die, give."

"Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work."

A kindergarten teacher decided to let her class play a game. The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato will be given a name of a
person that the child hates, so the number of potatoes that a child will put in his/her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.

So when the day came, every child brought some potatoes with the name of the people he/she hated. Some had 2 potatoes; some 3 while some up to 5 potatoes. The teacher then told the children to carry with them the potatoes in the plastic bag wherever they go for 1 week.

Days after days passed by, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. Besides, those having 5 potatoes also had to carry heavier bags.

After 1 week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended. The teacher asked: "How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for 1 week?" The children let out their
frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they go.

Then the teacher told them the hidden meaning behind the game.

The teacher said: "This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just 1 week, can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime???"

Moral:

Throw away any hatred for anyone from your heart so that you will not carry sins for a life time. Forgiving others is the best attitude to take! Forget & Forgive!!!

WE HAVE ALL DONE THINGS THAT WE ARE NOT PROUD OF. Perhaps we were not there for a friend when they needed us, or we may have been responsible for unhappiness in our family. These sorts of past actions can leave us feeling ashamed and guilty, and we can end up
carrying our guilt for years.

Guilt is probably one of the most debilitating and negative emotions there is – one that can, and often does, destroy a person's life. But if we want to live happy lives, we need to deal with the consequences of our past actions and move on, rather than allowing our lives to be wracked with guilt.

Feeling guilty should not be confused with taking responsibility for our past. Responsibility means "the ability to respond", and therefore taking responsibility means that we actively address the consequences of our actions in whatever way we can, in particular by changing our behavior patterns. Taking responsibility also includes moving on by making peace with the past.

Unlike taking responsibility, which is redeeming and positive, guilt has absolutely no value. Guilt does not encourage us to change in positive ways but debilitates us, leaving us unable to take the
action we need to bring about change.

Breaking out of the guilt cycle

As a behavior pattern, guilt often becomes a self-perpetuating cycle:
we do something, we feel guilty about it, we punish ourselves and, because we feel bad, we end up repeating our behavior at the next available opportunity.

This debilitating cycle continues largely because we do not take full responsibility for our actions or for changing our behavior. So how do we start the process of taking responsibility? By considering, with complete honesty, the part we play in any situation and by accepting our role in creating the events.

The purpose of this self-examination is to evaluate truthfully whatever occurred so that we can learn how we contributed. Through learning and honest self-assessment, we change our thinking and behavior. We can also forgive ourselves and move on with experience and wisdom.

Real forgiveness

In this process, forgiveness is vital. However, forgiveness is not what we generally believe it to be.

Real forgiveness has nothing to do with feeling of "sorry or apologizing" – neither of which actually changes anything. True forgiveness is contained in its literal meaning. The word "forgive" is very old, and the prefix "for" means literally "to reject." So the word as a whole means "to reject the giving".

We need "to reject the giving" because, if we think we have wronged someone, we use our sense of guilt to "give" to that person. By giving, we hope to make it better, and to exonerate ourselves from our actions. Conversely, if we feel that someone has wronged us, we will continue to demand payment for that offense, and thus want the other person to "give" to us.

But giving from a sense of guilt can never lead us to forgiveness. Neither can forgiveness be bestowed by another; it has to be brought about by ourselves. In the end, unless we can reject all this giving and truly forgive ourselves, we can never really move on and be free of the past.

How does forgiveness work in practice? Say that you have had a history of being abusive towards others, but have started to take responsibility for your past by changing your behavior. The reality is that you can still have unresolved feelings about what you have done. The process of forgiveness enables you to resolve these unresolved feelings so that you can move on.

It is important to remember that feeling bad about the past never really allows us to move on. What's more, if we indulge in feeling bad, this implies that we view our past as meaningless and of no value. What a waste! For, if we have caused harm, surely we should try to learn from our actions rather than living with a heap of regrets?

Forgiving ourselves involves finding value in our experiences. Instead of just writing off an experience as a painful episode, and trying to forget it, we should look for the value in that experience and try to take out of the experience whatever we can learn.

Toltecs look upon life as a journey of learning, and say that all true learning or knowledge is experiential. Because we are stubborn and tend to avoid change, much of our learning does come about through painful experiences. However, if we wish to grow and to use our experiences as a learning curve, it is vital that we focus on what we have learned, rather than the pain.

By searching for learning and value from our past, we ensure that there is no more need to give or demand payment - we can, indeed, "reject the giving" and so forgive.

To take meaning and value out of any situation, simply ask, "What has this taught me? What lessons can I learn: about myself, about others and about my life? How can I use this new knowledge to change my thinking and behavior and help others avoid the same trap?"

In this light our past, instead of being meaningless and shameful, has a positive and life-enhancing value. By learning to handle our past, and by taking the steps to forgive ourselves in the true sense of the word, we can let go of the debilitating consequences of guilt,
and finally move on.

"Say: 'O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." Surah Al-Zumar, chapter 39 verse 53-55

2 comments:

Muslim said...

Alhamdulillah. Sensible, purposeful writing. Just what i needed to read on a sleepless night due to a "guilty" episode the day before. Keep at it, kindred spirit :-)

DRS ZAID said...

Assalamualaikum wbkt'
Saya telah membaca artikel ini dan beberapa artikel serta vedio yang terpapar mengenainya, kepada saya kententuan kiamat itu bukanlah di sebut tahun 2012, kerana dalam islam kita tidak diberitahu tarikh kiamat, cuma kita di beritahu mengenai harinya itu hari Jummat, namun kita memang pecaya kiamat pasti datang, banyak surah di dalam al quran di firmankan oleh allah s.w.t.
Paling menarik mengenai isu ini adalah kepada saya adalah melihat beberapa golongan manusia;-
1. manusia yang berilmu dan tidak berilmu.
2.Manusia yang merasa insaf dan tidak insaf
3.Manusia yang pasrah dan berusaha untuk mendapatkan nilai baik.
4.Manusia yang coba meneguk keuntungan di dalam menyibarkan peristiwa yang di anggap di dalam kesempitan.
Namun apa pun golongan manusia itu,kita tidak perlu khwatir di sebabkan Islam telah memberikan kepada kita petunjuk yang jelas;-

1. Al Quran dan Hadits.
Petunjuk orang yang beriman,telah digariskan bagaimana kehidupan dunia dan tanggungjawabnya,manakala nikmat nikmat yang akan di perolehi di akhirat. Apapun yang akan terjadi kepada bumi ini,sudah sememangnya di beritakan oleh Al Quran dan kita bersyukur mendapat panduan yang sangat tepat menerusi segala aspek kehidupan yang kita hadapi pada masa kini. Insyallah Ummat Islam sentiasa akan mensyukuri nikmat yang allah berikan kepada mereka, dan banyak gerakan dakwah dan tarbiyah kepada ummat mansuia di dunia ini harus di perpanjangkan oleh orang orang yang beriman. Maka perisitiwa dan cerita mengenai planet X adalah ruang terbaik kepada kita untuk menyampaikan dakwah secara bijaksana. Amin semoga di bukakan pintu hati ummat mansuia untuk menyelami kebenaran Islam.
Terima Kasih.