I never paid attention to asking for forgiveness from the ones I hurt, until the day I got hurt repeatedly. I attended a spiritual retreat that taught me to introspect and look inside. My Guru told that it’s all inside.
I was taught how to introspect for days together and to my shock, I found my heart has numerous wounds—some that I gave and some that I got. I was kept on forgiveness and gratitude therapy for some weeks and the task was to ask for forgiveness from all who I have hurt; in some way or other. Although, I don’t remember all but few instances are my constant companions:
- In primary school, I hurt a student, but that was more on an emotional side. I don’t know what evil has caught me and I was playing with a pointed element that almost hit her. I still don’t know why I was doing that. Did I want to impress her or something else? Does playing with a pointed element and almost hitting her means impression? What it something else? I really don’t know and I guess, I may never found the complete answer. Good that she complained to the school principal and I was almost rusticated—but was not. Maybe she saved me or maybe I just got lucky that day. The one thing I did was never to talk to her and this haunted me for almost 25 years.
- In secondary school, I hurt a student who sat next to me. I don’t know what evil got into me and I poked her with a pointed element. She was hurt a lot and cried in pain. I don’t know what happened. Did I dislike her in any way? Did we had a heated argument? No idea, but my act was shameful. The teacher saw this and let me go on the condition that I bring her a lot of chocolates. I don’t know she let me go or no but this haunted me for almost 20 years.
- In junior college, I made my first female friend. She was quite beautiful—externally and internally. She had a heart full of compassion. I was one of the odd-man in the class and few others use to mock me and stay away from me. But she’s the one who never made me feel jilted. She was always approachable and we used to talk on the phone for hours together. I clearly remember that there was no other feeling than pure likeness but I don’t know what happened eventually. We never spoke after the first year of college. Maybe it was something I did? Maybe, it was something someone did use my name? I really don’t know but we never spoke for next 20 years until one day I met her.
- In degree college, I hurt a student on an emotional level—although she did too. I think we liked each other and between this love-hate relation we spent, or let’s say I spent, a lot of time in hurting each other. I never realized that these little things will haunt me for almost 15 years because we never asked for forgiveness with each other.
- I hurt a good friend in my early days of career. She cared a lot for me but I never did in return. Did I do it knowingly or unknowingly? Did I really care for her? Was she crazy to care for me? I not only hurt her but hurt her repeatedly and this also became a downfall in my life. Although we’re now married, I never asked for forgiveness for a long time. This haunted me for the almost 5 years.
So, if I see my journey from school to date, it was always about hurting someone or the other for silly reasons. And from the journey, one can easily see that I was never a women man—there was this disease of hurting them. But, after the therapy, I contacted each of them and asked for forgiveness. It was not easy to get in touch but with dedication, I managed to reach them and ask for forgiveness.
I asked forgiveness with utmost dedication and compassion and the universe did its magic. All of them forgave me. I was so scared but they were so casual and compassionate in hearing what I had to say. All of them heard me silently and forgave me for the wrong I did to them. I feel so light after all these years of waiting to be forgiven.
But, I think it requires a huge heart to forgive and forget. All the ones who I hurt had a huge heart and I had a little one. The school ones have not only forgiven me but also have become good friends. Maybe they’re much more evolved than me or was already evolved since time immemorial, or whatever but I salute these people who possess the art and craft of forgiveness.
I have a strong sense of gratitude to these people because it’s radical in these days of madness, stress, and hypocrisy. These new friends are my teachers and I still feel so bad about hurting them—in some way or other.