by Honey Kaur

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਬੁਰੇ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ ਕਰਿ ਗੁਸਾ ਮਨਿ ਨ ਹਢਾਇ ॥
Farid, answer evil with goodness; do not fill your mind with anger.

Forgiveness is is a gift from Waheguru. We can also consider it a precious gift from a generous heart. Forgiveness is not a reward; it is not something that we give to someone based on her/his good behavior. Rather, it is something that you give whether he/she has deserves it or not. Forgiveness is also not based on whether the person has asked for it or not.

Forgiveness releases you from the burden of bitterness and hate. Forgiveness brings freedom. Forgiveness is an act and process, which often takes time. The deeper you are hurt, the longer it usually takes to completely forgive. It is not just the words you say but it is your actions, which show that you have really forgiven.

ਖਿੰਥਾ ਖਿਮਾਂ ਹੰਢਾਵਣੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਤ੍ਰ ਭਾਉ ਭੁਗਤਿ ਬਿਲਾਸੀ।
Forgiveness is their patched blanket, love their begging bowl and devotion in the trumpet ~ Bhai Gurdas Ji, Var 29, Parui 15. 

Revenge is neither sweet or enjoyable. Revenge is just a hollow feeling. Feelings of revenge put unnecessary stress on your body and sometimes make you sick, spiritually, meantlly, and physical. The moment you forgive and let go of hate, you will start to get well. Forgivness is not a sign of weakness. To forgive anyone takes courage and extra effort.

ਜਹਾ ਲੋਭੁ ਤਹ ਕਾਲੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਖਿਮਾ ਤਹ ਆਪਿ ॥੧੫੫॥
Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself ~Guru Granth Sahib, 1372. 

Experts have found that forgiving those who have wronged you help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart rate. One study found that forgiveness is associated with improved sleep quality, which has a positive effect on overall heath. The benefits are not just limited to the physical health but impact mental health too. Letting go of old grudges reduces levels of depression, anxiety, and anger. People who forgive tend to have better relationships, feel happier, and are more optimistic.

ਖਿਮਾਂ ਧੀਰਜ ਲਖ ਲਖ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੋਭਾ ਸਰਮਾਹੀ।
If the combination of forgiveness, patience, and myriad modesties put grandeur to shame ~ Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 38

One of the best way to forgive someone is to first recall the incident in question, including all of the hurt. Then, give that person the gift of forgiveness, perhaps by recalling how good it felt to be forgiven by someone you yourself wronged. Secondly, commit yourself to forgive publicly by telling a friend or the person you’re forgiving. Finally hold onto forgiveness.

ਖਿਮਾ ਗਹੀ ਸਚੁ ਸੰਚਿਓ ਖਾਇਓ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਨਾਮ ॥
Adopting an attitude of tolerance and gathering truth partake of the ambrosial nectar of the name ~ Guru Granth Sahib, 261.

We cannot embrace Waheguru’s forgiveness if we are so busy clinging to past wounds and nursing old grudges. Consider a dank, dark room with closed the windows and curtains, keeping the breeze and sunshine at bay. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and curtains. We need to open ourselves up to the possibility of forgiveness and inner peace. One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody, everything, every night before you go to bed.

ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਪੰਚ ਪੰਚੇ ਵਸਿ ਆਣੈ ਖਿਮਾ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
Whoever overpowers the five sense organs, is blessed with forgiveness, patience and contentment, through the Guru’s Teachings ~ Guru Granth Sahib, 1334.