Monday, December 20, 2010


The Prelude To Forgiveness
(Part One)

This writing is dedicated to my late uncle who passed on on the day I departed for my holidays on 10 December, 2010. To a man whom I didn't get to pay my last respect. May your soul rest in peace.

One observation of the Malay custom, or perhaps it is an Islamic festival, during their Hari Raya celebration that I am full of awe and respect is when the people take the festive as a great occasion to ask for forgiveness.  These people would visit each other or greet one another, throughout the festive month of Hari Raya, with intention to  seek for forgiveness for sins which they may have committed.  It is a time for atonement as a result of cleansing and soul purification of the fasting.

Hari Raya is a very important occasion that is celebrated all over the world as the festival that marks the end of one month of fasting.  It is a day of celebration and, as many non-Malays would have thought, it is not the Muslim New Year.  Hari Raya is their day of celebration marking the end of a month of spiritual sacrifications.

Observing the act itself is heartwarming.  Usually, the younger members will approach the elders holding both their hands in unison and each expressing for forgiveness, reconciliation and for a renewed relationships.  It is an act done regardless of age and position.

Indeed, the act to ask for forgiveness is something we should adopt into our lifestyle. We don't have to wait for a festival nor shall we restrict its act to a particular time, place or situation. Nor should we restrict to certain circumstances.

Personally, I find it a great virtue to live our lives to forgive for all our physical and emotional wrong-doings. I like it when Neale Donald Walsh in his book "Conversation With God" wrote "At the critical juncture in all human relationships, there is only one question: What would love do now?"

It is the exact feeling one gets after the practice of forgiveness. It sets us free and enables us to release shame, guilt, pride and the illusion that we are perfect beings and without sins. It brings forth, and reaffirms, our worth and strengthens the need to love each other. It exudes renewed opportunity for love to make things right.

Forgiveness is to release the need to be right and to focus, not on our anger and disappointment, but on what is possible for ourselves and others if we are to make amends. When we look at every events and situations through the eyes of love, we become more compassionate. This, in turn, has us feeling less badly and more empowered. The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.

When we forgive, no matter how difficult, we experience freedom from our pain and sorrow. We become the people, the souls, who are more loved-based rather than fear-based and creating a better world to live with each other.

The practice of forgiveness is an invaluable stepping stone to peace. It is one means to healing our self and healing our relationship with others. When we ask for forgiveness, and being forgiven, we may feel more optimistic or lighter, feeling as if we have more energy. Forgiveness expresses kindness. Otherwise, without forgiveness, tremendous amounts of resentment or hurt can build-up within us.

End of the year always makes me feel somewhat sad. It happens almost every year ever since I was a child. In a way, I do enjoy the festive mood of Christmas and New Year. But, most of all, I guess I regret the fact that another year is coming to an end and that I didn't get to do more.

True that a new year should be filled with new look and new vigor. New resolution and the spirit to be a better person. We need to look forward and to let go. We need to kick bad habits and start life anew. However, in moving forward with many unfinished business does not bring any mental and emotional peace.

Perhaps it will do me good that I should reflect on the last few days of the year to seek forgiveness and to be embraced with reconciliation and renewal. I strongly feel that a clean conscience sets a bigger path for a live well lived. For the Universe to reward us, we need to align our energy with our breath - the source of life. Only when our conscience is clean and clear that the right vibrations and attractions will lay further foundations.

A friend, in his Christmas and New Year's email, was rather profound with his notes. Hopefully, it will make us to think and to reflect. Personally, it certainly does make me to think deeper. It makes me to think that life is more than who we are. Life is more than the food we eat, more than the pretty cute face, more than savings we put in the bank.

He wrote:

"For Goodness' sake, during the remaining days of 2010, please do whatever you have been procrastinating all year long to do: touch base with a "long-lost" dear friend, meeting up, buying that clothing or bag that you have been eying on, going for a little get-away, hike Bt Timah or climb MacRitche tree-top ... aiya, you know what I mean lah! Just do something which your heart/souls has been wanting to do!!! That's the least you could shorten that list of unfinished businesses and then move on to other interesting stuff in your life!"

It is all about not to neglect the little things.  Never to skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praises or thanks, that delivery of the very best that we can do.

I hope to live today, and every day, as though it is my last day.  One day at a time, and this is enough.  But, it is also important that I live my day knowing that I am forgiven for all my words and actions.  And, importantly, that I forgive the memories of people who have hurt me in some ways.

I hope, for the next few entries here in my blog, to seek for forgiveness from certain people.  It is about counting my blessings and coming to my true identity of light.  It does not matter what others think but it is of prime importance what I think about myself.

I am letting go ...

The one thing that I learned that people will forget what we said, people will forget what we did but people will never forget how we made them feel.

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