Eid Mubarak is the day to celebrate the victory against human urges towards hunger, thirst, lust, anger, greed, and all the things that can lead us to greater sins. It is also the time to seek forgiveness and forgive others for their past mistakes. This is the part where it gets rather tricky.
How come? What does it mean to forgive and be forgiven, but still unapologetic?
I once asked my friends this question through social media:
“How do you forgive anyone who always lies to you without a sense of guilt nor remorse?”
One of them had brilliantly answered:
“Forgiving is for you. It’s to help you to let go of your anger. If they continue to lie, you don’t need to trust them. Forgiveness doesn’t mean starting from zero. You know they lie. You don’t have to be sucked back into their lies again. Some limitations are needed on your part.”
(from Michele Tambunan)
I’ve seen someone so vengeful that they end up avoiding more people in their lives, in order to maintain the belief that they’re always right. Their world is getting smaller by the day. I’ve seen someone so vindictive that they always feel the need to retaliate. They’re only happy when they see their enemies suffer.
And for what? The vicious cycle never ends. It only takes all energies around into its bottomless black hole. How pathetic.
I’m not going to lie to you, though. It’s not easy. I’m still a temperamental human being. If you hurt me (and whatever your lousy excuse may be), I’d very much like to hurt you back. It’s anything to settle the score.
However, I’d like to challenge myself more these days. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it has to be impossible. When there’s a will, there’s a way.
Then, what does ‘unapologetic’ mean? Some people say it’s about being true to yourself, no matter what. You don’t need to explain anything to anyone. You don’t need to justify yourself. You believe in what you do. You do what you believe in.
Some people say that, before you decide to forgive others for all their wrongdoings, you’d better start with the hardest first:
Let’s just face it: we all make mistakes. We’ve trusted the wrong people. We’ve loved the ones who either end up leaving us, cheating on us, using us, or playing us around for their own sick amusement.
More bad news: some people are not that forgiving. They’re just plain judgmental. They can act like they’ve never made the same mistakes or any other mistakes at all.
What do these people do? They don’t always want to hear the whole story. They quickly act like such annoying know-it-alls, as if you’re stupid, gullible, lacking faith, or some or all of the above.
“Why did yo trust them? You should’ve been more careful!”
“What makes you think he really loves you? Any guy can come up with plenty lame lines like he does. You should’ve been smarter.”
Seriously, how the hell could you have known? You’ve been careful enough for all you know. Nobody should ever expect you to be a mind reader or a fortune teller, when they themselves don’t always know. That’s not fair.
If you had done the opposite, they would’ve called you paranoid. See, you can never win with them. How would they feel if the same bad thing happened to them too?
This is the part where you should be unapologetic. How? By forgiving yourself first, learning from your lessons, and then moving on. No need to listen to them.
This is your life. Own your mistakes like any brave grown-ups do, but don’t let them weigh you down a lot. You still need to walk on.
You’ve been careful enough. It’s them who have abused your trust. You’ve loved him enough. It’s him who’s never appreciated you.
You don’t have to bear the grudges. It’s time to bury the hatchet. May you be free from the likes of them, in order to start something new. Leave them all up to God. They’re not your problems anymore and shouldn’t be. Believe me, it’s better this way.