I came across a case study about a betrayal by a friend. And as is the case with humans, it is easier to sympathise, but when we empathise with a person, we truly understand him or her. And the source of that empathy is our own sorrow, our own trials and tribulations, and betrayals we never talk about.They can be small, and they can be big, and the big could be small for someone too, but a betrayal is just that: a betrayal. I independently asked two-three people as to what their course of action would be, as far as the case study was concerned, and they were unanimous.
It is not difficult to understand how it feels to not being able to forgive someone. Sometimes, our emotions become so mercurial under stress that we confuse a momentary decrease in the intensity of pain with the idea of forgiveness. Something as refreshing as travelling or pleasant weather can make you think as if you’re ready to fly and soar high in the sky. But as I said, we are humans, and if a person can make a ‘mistake’, so can we. The only difference is, our mistake is our inability to forgive, which does not harm anyone but ourselves. We soon realise that we were so wrong about that one moment..our flight soon turns into the umpteenth trip straight into the doldrums. The betrayer never cared, so even if they say that they care about your forgiveness, truth is, they will get over their ‘mistake’ sooner or later, by rationalizing that they no more regret their action. Yes, there are those ‘moral’ criminals, who will feel guilty for a long time, but ask them if they think about their action, or if they learnt anything about themselves, and they will go mum. They lack the courage to be honest with you, and with themselves.
That case study and the reactions of people made me realise that maybe, sometimes, mere forgiveness does not solve problems. Yes, it will make you feel better. But it is essential to not forget, because that’s where lie plenty of lessons. And we refuse to forgive because maybe, at a subconscious level, the pain demands to be felt. If that betrayer is guilty about rationalizing their shortcomings, we are guilty about escaping our pain. And then one day, we realise that there are actually two people we are required to forgive: ourselves, and them. Forgiving them suddenly seems easier, but forgiving ourselves seems infinitely impossible. “How can you ever forgive yourself for the shortcoming in your own self which made you trust them in the first place?!” is what runs through our minds.
There are problems galore in the world, which makes our own problems seem miniscule. Will the Syrians ever be able to forgive the people who destroyed their homes, and forced them to leave their homeland? Does it really take a child’s death to wake up the conscience of a ‘humanitarian’ society? Will that woman whose husband and children got killed by the negligence of a merciless car driver, be ever able to forgive? What about the caretaker, the doctor, who showed his true colours in a moment of sheer irresponsibility? So many problems, no solution in sight, and still, nothing works to mellow our heart. Either it drowns in pity for the betrayer, or it burns with anguish. Our wounded, bruised souls travel through the earth, clothed in flesh, often fantasising about giving them a taste of their own medicine. But what good would it be? It is always a waste of time talking to people who cannot distinguish between human reason and ego. It is downright exhausting to even attempt it. Possibly, you are struggling to get back on your feet, let alone chasing them till the ends of the earth. Why should you even hope for any sincere apology, when their avarice, egoistic tendencies, materialistic attitudes and selfish natures blinded them enough to see how blindly you loved them, and cared for them? Hope suddenly becomes an illusion which helps you survive.
For those who have a limited and superficial range of emotions (for example, the betrayers in this world) : trying to forgive someone is a struggle in itself. You will never appreciate it because you believe in winning a battle instead of finding a solution, in proving a point rather than improving, in destroying temples, in destroying purity, innocence and naivete, in friends of convenience and lust, in abuse and illicit sex, and in the easy way out in life. You will never be able to appreciate the depth of the ocean, not because it doesn’t ‘appeal’ to you, but because you are intimidated by the unending depth of the waters. You’re scared, and will always be scared. Because you will never find it within you to be the better and magnanimous person, since you have given up on yourself. You don’t know what true forgiveness means, because you haven’t experienced what true betrayal feels like. Trying to forgive someone is somewhat akin to wading through deep waters, where you struggle to catch your breath and breathe in fresh air. The salty water is reminiscent of your toxic nature, and drowning gives a taste of you, but rest assured, those who cross the seas and oceans are those who survive. Be it the Syrians, or their less fazed well-wishers.