She said she wasn’t feeling well, she felt dizzy. I didn’t take it seriously, like many other things in my life — When my nose sometimes bleed when I suffer from a severe cold or why do I keep having the same dream since the past four years. Her state remain unchanged as I left early the next morning; I was excited for a meeting with a group of people from the church.
“Go to a doctor if this continues,” I said as I stepped outside.
The meeting went amazingly well. I was asked to be part of a new project, I met a senior pastor and we discussed some issues and in between, I had the most amazing lemon tea; gosh! What was in that thing?!
As I left the place to get to work, I spoke to my sister. She was in a terrible state and most importantly alone; she urgently needed to see a doctor. I was faraway from home so I called a person whom we assumed will be able to reach faster.
When my sister was a child, she used to suffer from crazy headaches. A silly doctor misdiagnosed it as brain tumour, when in reality she needed reading glasses. Even though we all laugh about this incident, on this day it didn’t seem as funny as before.
I made the call and when I told the person what happened, to my astonishment I heard a flat ‘no’. I repeated myself, thinking I heard it wrong, the ‘no’ was repeated too. I called my sister back, telling her the person will not be able to come so I am going to take a detour and come home but she would have to wait for at least an hour. She suggested I call this another person; and when I did, I heard to my relief “I am going to rush back home and take her to the doctor”.
That was taken care of, but what I found hard to control was my anger, anger at that person’s failure to rise to the occasion. “This isn’t the first time it has happened. It was a no when I had to be taken to the hospital when I had chickenpox some yeas ago’. I was angry and disgusted; I wanted to turn back the clock. I had just got done with a meeting that made me feel awesome and right after that I found myself in a situation that was so infuriating. I wanted to call back and demand an explanation for such an insensitive answer. I didn’t with the reasoning that such situations are best dealt face-to-face.
Hurt and angry, I reached work. But I was unable to concentrate. Anger has a way of eating up your insides without showing its affect on the outside.
My friend pinged me:
Dude. I wanted to say something.
Whenever you’re free, can you write about why it is so difficult to forgive. I’ve been thinking of this for a while. And I can’t think of the reason why people hold on to things for so long.and don’t forgive. Like, why the process of forgiveness is so difficult.
I replied: You read my mind. I am actually going through it right now 🙂
This person that had angered me… we have had our share of disagreements, fights, misunderstandings; but we’ve also had our happy moments. But on this day, I wanted to be reminded of only the wrongs.
1) I wanted to remain angry, I remember saying this to myself: ‘I am not going to forgive because this is going to repeat in the future’. I was trying to channel my anger to protect myself from future hurt.
2) I wanted justice because I felt the person’s reaction was wrong. And by not forgiving I wanted to teach this person a lesson. I was ready to burn the bridges based on an interaction of a couple of minutes in comparison to the shared history of more than 25 years.
3) Based on the previous instances, I was being judgemental. I was measuring the person’s behaviour on a scale based on the past experiences.
4) I was riding the wave of self-righteousness. ‘How could someone behave in this manner?’ ‘I would never do this.’
I left early from work as I had to meet a friend, a distraction I needed the most. ‘Talking about things helps’, so I told her how I felt, without withholding any bitterness. She listened, sympathised and very wisely didn’t pass any judgement.
Later in the evening, I realised that talking about it didn’t help as much as I wanted it to. I was still angry but in a situation that didn’t allow any confrontation. “Please God! Take this bitterness away. I don’t want to yell or scream. Let me talk about this situation in a respectful manner, one that doesn’t ruin things between the two of us,” I whispered as I watched tears stain my shirt.
And I did. I spoke to the person and came to know that during the phone call the person was at work and at a place where cell phones weren’t allowed. To pick up my call was a tricky thing to do and to get out of the place at that time would have been difficult too. Hence, the abrupt ‘no’ as the person quickly wanted to hide the phone before being caught with it.
It made sense but since I was riding the wave of self-righteousness, I didn’t want to listen to that tiny little voice. But what I did immediately was thank God for not letting me get ahead of myself. Making an ugly sense earlier would have been the worst decision ever, one I am glad I could avoid.
Forgiveness, unlike many other things, is a one-way street. The person who has offended you might never feel sorry despite your forgiving him or her. The ‘give’ in forgiveness stands for a reason — it’s an act of giving, selfless giving. Like how my friend gave me her share of cheese cake just because she wanted to, not because I did something to earn it.
Similarly, forgiveness is usually not earned. Even if a person feels sorry, you might not be able to forgive them. It takes time because it’s an act of supreme giving that no money, time or extravagant actions can match.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
True happiness lies in giving. Haven’t you ever experienced this happiness when it comes after a random or even planned act of kindness? But we forget this lesson the moment it is about forgiving. It never helps holding on to the anger, it’s like this never-ending fire that we never forget to fan. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is one where the essence of true happiness really lies.
My sister was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia, low levels of glucose in the blood, and low BP. But she is doing fine and is recovering pretty quick.