Forgive them, free them

So a couple of days ago, I found myself wanting to cry. Phone in hand, I was staring at the whatsapp chat.

Why was I being replied to in such a curt, formal manner? Aren’t we really close? How?  How had her behaviour changed so much ? She used to be so cheerful towards me. Always. I was her confidante. She was mine. Everyone had joked that only death could do us apart.Then why was I receiving cold vibes that were strategically distancing her from me, pushing me to the periphery of her circle of friends?

I concluded, for the umpteenth time, that I am in one of my weak, vulnerable, over-sensitive moments, and that I am only imagining this. As my heart reached this conclusion ,my mind chuckled softly, wryly. For it knew, that I was really being ignored by a friend who had previously been very, very close to me and that it wasn’t just this whatsapp chat, but many other incidents that had made me want to cry. And such an event was happening to me for the third time in a year.In fact, I have even mentioned one such event in a previous blog.

So why do I have so many friendship heartbreaks in my life? I loved these people so much. The doors of my handle-with-care heart, I opened to them. I let them in. I gave them time.Made their problems my own. Made their worries worry my soul. Then where did I fail? Lying down on my bed, I consoled my heart with new conclusions.

The truth is, loving people simply means not expecting from them. So when I say,” I loved these people so much ” I am not really talking about pure, pristine love. I am talking about a love and friendship my generation is used to—a love that binds. It binds you with expectations. It is not a love that is healthy for any relationship.

I realised, that if I truly love people, then I have to forgive them with all my honesty. When you forgive people for their small and big mistakes, you truly liberate them. And also yourself. With forgiveness, when we allow the ones we love to choose their paths, we free them. When we allow them their space and privacy when they want to be alone, we free them. When we forget about the times they had vented out their frustrations on us, we free them. When we accept that they don’t need or want us anymore and want to move on, we free them. Freeing people we love,quietly, is true love!

By any stretch of imagination, mopingly going through the history of your whatsapp chats with your friend, is no declaration of mountain-smashing friendship. Being patient with your friend is. Well, friendship and love is really, being there when they least expect you to—with a forgiving, liberating smile!

So with this thought, and an insignificant, inhuman, electronic whatsapp chat deleted and erased from the memory of my phone and mind, I was able to console my heart. And if you yourself are reading this with fissures created in your heart by people whom you love, then try forgiving them. Try freeing them.


4 thoughts on “Forgive them, free them

  1. Yash Agrawal says:

    You wrote a very apt and meaningful article. It reminded me of the concept of detachment in Buddhist philosophy that was taught by our teacher in class (yes, again Buddhist philosophy! Though similar concepts exist in other philosophical systems like Bhagawat Gita perhaps). A sadhaka (one on the path of Buddhism) has to renounce all attachments. We are attached to people, to living and non-living things. We are attached to materialistic pleasures and our belongings. We are also attached to our emotions, feelings, likes, dislikes, ideas and beliefs. We get angry when a friend talks to a person whom we don’t like. When we have attachment, we are insecure. We value our possessions, and so feelings like jealousy arise. The solution is to turn our sense organs inward. We are clinging to outside sensations which our sense organs want to experience. However, we can experience joy and peace only if we don’t cling to exterior things, if we don’t have attachments or expectations.
    A student then asked the obvious question in class – Does it mean that we shouldn’t have friends? Does it imply that we should take sanyas and go to forest? No it doesn’t, replied Himani ma’am. Detachment does not mean that we can’t love anyone, or that we can’t or shouldn’t have friends. It means that we must not love someone or be attached to them so much that it becomes suffocating for him/her or oneself. Not so much that you go to commit suicide if you are not loved back. ‘Love’ should be defined accordingly, i.e. without expectations. We should not be so attached to someone or something that we are unable to live without those things/people and that suffering comes into our life. There should be moderation. It is called Middle Path or Madhyama marga in Buddhist philosophy, that we must take.
    Note – The above sentences relating to philosophy are (almost totally) copied from my note-book notes as taught in class. 😛 I wrote this comment as I found this philosophical concept relatable to what you said.

    Liked by 1 person

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