You may want to read this if you have been struggling with the idea of forgiving someone

By Nina Steele 

Dr Rajiv Parti

Dr Rajiv Parti

I read a great book recently entitled: “Dying to Wake Up: A Doctor’s Voyage Into the Afterlife and the Wisdom He Brought Back”. The book recounts the near death experience of the author, Dr Rajiv Parti. Until that day, Dr Parti embodied everything we have come to expect of a successful Doctor. He lived in a mansion within a gated community and drove very expensive cars. He was ruthless in his pursuit of wealth to the extent that patients became just a number to him. To make matters worse, he was also a terrible father to his eldest son, whom he wanted to follow in his footsteps, even though it was obvious that his son wasn’t interested in becoming a doctor. The relationship between father and son forms the cornerstone of the book.

After his near death experience, Dr Parti goes through a complete transformation and is keen to repair his relationship with his son, who understandably had come to dislike his father. I won’t give too much away in case some of you decide to purchase the book. In a nutshell, the book is about spiritual awakening.

What struck me most about the book is a passage where the author defines the concept of forgiveness. As a concept, forgiveness is ever present in our lives. We are constantly reminded to forgive those who have done us wrong and naturally, I assumed that I knew exactly what it meant.

Until I read the book, my idea of forgiveness involved making up with whoever I was forgiving and if possible seeing them again. I have to admit that the bit about seeing some of those people again, made me feel uneasy, because we had nothing much in common any more. I knew that having some of those people back in my life would be counterproductive. Thankfully, reading the book changed all that.

In the book, Dr Parti says about forgiveness: “We can forgive effectively within our heart without ever needing to meet someone again to make the healing complete”. He goes on to say: “The purpose of forgiveness is to release ourselves from the past, not to renew or remake our chains to it.” That hit me like a ton of bricks. There I was, all these years, thinking that to forgive was to make peace with someone and let them back into my life again, when in fact to forgive is to be able to revisit some aspects of our past without feeling pain, every time we do so. It is the ability to look at the event straight in the face without feeling emotions, such us anger, resentment, guilt, shame, etc.

It made perfect sense and with that, I was able to let go of a considerable amount of negative energy that I have been holding onto all these years.

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