To Forgive

by Urban Samurai on May 20, 2011

In the eyes of mercy, no one should have hateful thoughts. Feel pity for the man who is even more at fault. The area and size of mercy is limitless. It is because mercy is so profound and expansive that the holy men of Tang, India and Japan are still respected to this day.

As to what to do for the good, simply, we must withstand pain. If we cannot stand pain we are wrong in everything.

Hagakure

The samurai Way is one of compassion, one of forgiveness. If the victims cannot withstand the pain, than they are in the wrong. We’re not talking about the person that started this whole thing in the first place. This isn’t about them.

I started thinking about this passage and my first real thought was that I truly do not know forgiveness. I don’t understand it. I’ve never experienced any type of forgiveness in the core of who I am.

After I continued to contemplate it, I realized that with those thoughts, my idiocy gets shown in full light.

Because I do know forgiveness. I have certainly done wrong in my day and others have forgiven me. They have withstood pain. I didn’t think I knew forgiveness, but that’s not it. It’s just that my relationship with it has been very one-sided.

For the longest time, I believed that forgiveness was a sign of weakness. But it takes the greatest strength. I thought it was a sign of a lack of pride in one’s self. But it takes someone extremely self assure. I thought it was a sign of a lack of guts. But it takes infinitely more guts than any strike with one’s sword, swung in revenge.

Forgiveness is not about you, the forgiver. It’s not getting past something that someone did to you, so YOU can bury the hate. Or so that YOU can move on. True forgiveness is for the benefit of the wrongdoer. Embracing someone who has done something terrible to you, so that they can feel better. And do better the next time.

If you can get there. Your forgiveness will return huge benefits. Mental peace. Happiness. The absence of hate. And not the least of which speaks to the author Catherine Ponder’s quote, ‘When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.’ You will be free.

It is worth as much energy and strength as you can give, to forgive someone.

Can I ever get there? Can I ever get to the place where someone I know, can do something completely wrong to me, and I can try to heal them through forgiveness? I honestly don’t know. I hope so. But the samurai Way is in forgiveness. Maybe it is one of the hardest things a samurai must learn.