I read this statement the other day and it truly resonated with me: “Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be any different.” It sounds kind of harsh and even negative, however I believe it could not be more true.
Often times when people we once loved become the very same ones that torture & break our souls, there’s a level of disbelief we inhibit. Disbelief in the fact that they were capable of hurting you to such an extent and maybe even disbelief in Allah (SWT) and how He could allow this to happen. Speaking only from personal experience, it’s extremely difficult to grapple with the fact that sometimes the plans we create and the people we hold near to us, are not in line with the path or qadr (decree/destiny) that Allah (SWT) has written for us — no matter how hard that is to believe.
When people hurt us & exit our lives, we can easily get into this never ending mindset of, “maybe if I had done xyz differently,” or “if I didn’t say that one thing, maybe…” or even “they might still be in my life if I hadn’t stood my ground or protected my values.” We start sinking deep into these unrealistic scenarios in our heads that we could have done or been something different and that person would not have betrayed us. We put blame on ourselves to rationalize someone’s betrayal against us. These questions inevitably trap us from moving on and living the life with recognition of the blessings we have been given.
I will be the very first to say that I have a difficult time fully forgiving those that have truly destroyed me in the past. However, I am learning that forgiving does not mean being open to letting people walk all over you again nor is it a sign of weakness. Being able to forgive is strengthening your own soul and life. Learning to forgive yourself and others allows you to be free again. Healing from heartbreak is a real process and the truth is, forgiveness does not just come overnight. Forgiveness is more for your own self more than for anyone else. Understand that everything was written by the greatest writers of them all — nothing is by chance or coincidence. Our circumstances of the past are not supposed to be different so we should really stop tiring ourselves out with the “what if’s” and impossible scenarios that only lead us towards sadness and attachment to a reality that has come and gone. Be thankful for the hardships that may have taught you in unseen ways. Be hopeful that whatever is to come is from Allah (SWT) only and that alone should ease our minds. He is with us through it all.