From forgiveness to freedom

The painful path of forgiving is what frees us from further pain.


He was the master. I was the slave. The stench suffocated me. My soul was decomposing. Till the day I decided to exercise my will. I took the leap of faith. I pried open the cage.

Today I am divorced. With a child. The decision of changing my status, however, was anything but an easy one. And the life after was far from that. The day I crossed the threshold of my previous life, it had felt like cutting off my right hand. A hand that had gangrened, so I had to stop the spread. But that act meant much more than just the pain of severing. It meant learning to live without my dominant hand. And making the most with the other.

I accepted my reality and devised two specific strategies to deal with it. First, I would never compare myself to an individual with two hands. The comparison itself was lame and lost. Second, I put my less dominant hand through a spartan schooling till it would emerge as the dominant one.

When I crossed the threshold of my previous life, it had felt like cutting off my right hand

The ‘change’, to say the least, was not one from pain to peace or from suppression to emancipation. It was a process and is an ongoing one. What I am doing right now, consciously or not, is also a part of it. In fact, the new me emerged like the phoenix from its own ashes. And I don’t regret any bit of it. I don’t regret my past or my present. I don’t regret getting married, getting divorced or getting to know myself. I don’t even regret the stagnation that brought about the flow.

Through this entire phase, an interview of Nelson Mandela, which I had come across during my growing-up days, played a rather remarkable role. After Mandela’s release, the world’s most famous prisoner ever, he was asked how he could forgive the people in the jail. The reply was humble and honest. He said that he had forgiven them for his own self. He explained that if he walked out of the jail that day without forgiving the people, he would have to carry the burden of the inside into his new, free, outside world. Such wisdom and clarity of thought had overpowered my adolescent mind. I had learnt a new lesson and a new way of living that day.

Forgiving is beneficial to your own self. However, it neither comes spontaneously nor can be enforced. It needs awareness and conscious practice.

My initial days after my divorce was tough. Emotionally, financially and socially. I was seething in anger and experiencing lacerating pain. My mind was getting filled with toxins. I didn’t know how to flush it out.

I reached out to therapists and psychiatrists. They taught me to look unabashedly at my scars, accept them as a part of me and then move ahead. My process of healing was initiated. Forgiveness was its foundation.
I learnt to cry. Not the adult’s sob but the kid’s howl when his favourite toy is in pieces. I learnt to scribble away mindlessly in my diary. I learnt to mercilessly tear away the pages. I learnt to dab with colours (though I was far from mastering the art.) I learnt to scream (when nobody was hearing) and sing aloud when all were around. I learnt to acknowledge my emotion. Not bury it.


For the past three years, this has been my journey. A constant endeavour towards forgiveness. For the self and by the self. The painful past is just a fact. No pain percolates. I have achieved my own happiness and peace. I am free.

By: Quotidian Tales

Disclaimer:
This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.

Comments

  1. I liked your hand analogy... it describes the process best... it's been 10 years since I've left my husband and I can now safely say I am free of hate, toxicity, negative feelings and even bad memories of the time... it takes time but you get there eventually... 😊

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your comment. It feels nice that you could connect to the story. Please stay with us and enjoy the tales together.

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  2. Please pat and hug yourself from my side. It takes guts to step out of such shackles and forgive too. Keep bettering yourself. Lovely writing. Keep writing too.

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  3. Hey Nilima, you are so encouraging. It’s people like you who have helped me conquer my pain to find my peace.

    ReplyDelete

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