We all know how it feels to be sincerely sorry, yet the person still uses your mistakes against you. They claim to have let it go, yet they bring it up every time you have an argument. No matter how hard you try to show them that you have changed, no matter how hard you try to regain their trust, they still doubt you. Yes, it was our fault to begin with for screwing things up, but we’re truly sorry. It is heartbreaking and frustrating when our partner doubts our sincerity. We get flustered when they do not forgive us entirely.

And then there’s the other end of the spectrum. You are angry. You are upset. Your partner broke your heart, and you find it hard to trust them again. You feel betrayed. You accept their apology, but in the back of your mind, you still doubt them. They cry in front of you, they beg for forgiveness, and you accept it out of pity, not because you truly forgive them. You live the rest of your days with them trying to act like nothing happened, but there’s always a bit of vengeance lingering in you.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment. It’s so easy to buy in to your emotions. It’s so easy to think, “How could you do that to me?” You hold yourself up on a pedestal because you think you’re the better person. You think you’re gracious because you have accepted them again despite what they did.

I know how it feels like to have your sincerity doubted. I know how it feels like to truly regret your actions and having it shoved in your face all the time. I know how it feels like to have your mistakes being used against you in an argument.

At the same time, I know how it feels to have your trust betrayed. I know how it feels when you’ve put all your trust into someone, and then they do something that breaks your heart. I know how it feels not looking at that person the same way again. I know how it feels to have doubts.

What’s truly gracious is not accepting them regardless of what they did — it’s letting go of the vengeance you feel over it. It’s never using it against them to make you feel like you are the better person. It’s accepting that we are all human, we make mistakes, we slip up. Even the greatest fall sometimes. Some mistakes may seem unforgivable, but always remember — treat others the way you would want to be treated. Which also means, forgive others for the things you’d want to be forgiven for.

Don’t be selfish. Don’t always think about how you feel. We all get hurt sometimes. But being doubted hurts just as much. It’s bad enough that we have our mistakes looming over us. We don’t need the extra burden of being reminded of it over and over again. If it hurts you, it’s probably hurting them more knowing that they’ve caused you distress and you won’t see them the same way again. Should they have done it? Of course not. But we mess up sometimes, and we’d want to be forgiven as well.


Always forgive.

Don’t let the ghosts of your past relationship haunt you. Sometimes, without you realising it, you become the same person that you were so afraid of. Always take time to sit down and think things through.

Thank you for the people who have sheltered me. I truly appreciate it, no matter how small your gestures may seem. And thank you to those who knocked some sense into my head. God knows you’ve saved my life.

19 April 2015

Shafiqah Othman Hamzah

Shafiqah is a Singapore-born Malaysian who is best known for her advocacy on social and human rights issues. She is notably known for her tweets and for being a columnist on Malay Mail.

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