Forgive and forget

Forgive and forget

It used to be extremely painful for me to be rejected—when someone else less qualified got the job, for instance.

Then, in personal relationships if I was repeatedly hurt by cruel actions and dismissive attitudes, I would just flee from the emotional pain. For years I was a very poor loser. But then I met my Beloved Guru, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and he gently guided me towards a new way of life.

He said, “In spiritual life, the first point of attack for any problem is to observe the situation in respect to oneself, and first improve that situation. If, after that, the other person continues to offend, he may be warned once, twice or three times. If there is still no improvement the person may be removed from organisation (giving an example). Then, the person should be forgiven.

This act of forgiving will bring about a change in the person, and also in the one who forgives. Suppose, someone does something which brings severe pain into Swami’s heart. What is the medicine which will cure the pain—sure and totally remove the pain? The medicine is forgiveness.”

 Living in the Divine Presence of Puttaparthi Sai, the first thing I learned was that I had to forgive myself for all the mistakes I had made, all the pain I had caused to others and to forgive myself with love. Before he took Mahasamadhi Swami in his physical form showered us with love on a daily basis in morning and evening darshans.

I saw him so close, spoke to him, and touched his Lotus Feet. His love of me and acceptance of my imperfections helped me to begin to heal and accept my losses.
“Only a person who has this Kshama (attitude of forgiveness) can be considered to be endowed with sacred love,” the Avatar instructed.

“This cannot be learned from textbooks. Nor can it be acquired from preceptors nor from any one else. It is to be cultivated by oneself in times of difficulties, trials and tribulations that one is forced to meet. Only when we face problems and difficulties that cause grief and misery this quality of forbearance and forgiveness has the scope for taking root.

“When you are confronted with problems and difficulties you should not get upset, and become victims of depression which is a sign of weakness. In such situations, you should bring tolerance and an attitude of forgiveness into play and should not get agitated giving rise to anger, hatred and revengeful attitude. You are embodiments of strength and not weakness. Therefore, in times of despair, you should be filled with feeling of forbearance and be ready to forgive and forget.”

It was Mother Sai who showed me that I could not love and forgive others unless I truly loved and forgave myself. Slowly, by his grace, I began to change ordinary love into something much more