This Paryushan, be more forgiving towards yourself first

Michchami Dukadam

This is a very ancient phrase in Prakrit that roughly translates to… May the evil that has been done be fruitless. In essence it means… If I have offended you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, then I seek your forgiveness. This is how Jains greet each other on the last day of their revered festival of Paryushan, the objective of this tradition being that all previous differences should be left behind on this day and forgiven and forgotten. Paryushan is time of intensive study, reflection and purification – a lovely way to officiate a new beginning. We, at Enrich Salons, with our philoshopy “Love begins with you”, have a suggestion for you this Paryushan. Say Michchami Dukadam to yourself first, before saying it to others. Here’s why we feel it would be a good thing to do.

 

Forgiving yourself purges your soul of past wrong doings.

Purging your soul of past wrong doings makes you a better person.

Being a better person puts you in a better position to forgive others of their past wrong doing.

If you have not forgiven yourself for things you knowingly or unknowingly did wrong in the past, it means you want to keep punishing yourself with the guilt, the bad memories, the pointless rumination. This means you do not love yourself enough to want to take yourself out of that misery. But once you realise the importance of giving yourself that love and care enough to forgive yourself with your heart for all those things, which also means promise yourself they will not be repeated in the future, you will be able to rise above the pointless thoughts and cleanse your mind of all its impurities. The result? You will be a clean blank slate on which you have already promised not to write the wrong again. And you will then truly be in a position to forgive others because you will know that forgiveness is possible as you have given it to yourself first.

 

Forgiving yourself helps you move on towards a more positive life.

Moving on towards a more positive life makes you a better person.

Being a better person puts you in a better position to forgive others and to move on themselves.

Moving on in life is an essential component of living itself. Just like time does not stop for anyone or anything, just like day follows night, just like one thing leads to another, so also moving on is something that is bound to happen. And it is a good thing because it is a natural thing. If you oppose that natural motion, you are just delaying the inevitable, and prolonging the misery you are living in because you feel you cannot forgive yourself enough for what you may have done and that moving on would be wrong. Now THAT is wrong. Moving on means promising yourself not to repeat the same mistakes, forgiving yourself, and starting afresh. The result? You will be a clean blank slate on which you have already promised not to write the wrong again. And you will then truly be in a position to forgive others because you will know that forgiveness is possible as you have given it to yourself first.

 

Forgiving yourself helps you bear no malice towards yourself.

Bearing no malice towards yourself makes you a better person.

Being a better person puts you in a better position to forgive others so they bear no more malice.

Imagine if you hated yourself so much that you were full of malice towards your own self? If that is possible, which is the case with most people if only they would acknowledge it, then it is equally possible to forgive yourself and fall in love with yourself instead! Why live a life where your constant companion, you, is hateful? Just because you may have done something wrong in life? Who hasn’t, any way? It is not a question of condoning the wrong doing. It is a question of promising yourself that it will not happen again. The next step is to forgive yourself for it and remove all malice, and start loving yourself. The result? You will be a clean blank slate on which you have already promised not to write the wrong again. And you will then truly be in a position to forgive others because you will know that forgiveness is possible as you have given it to yourself first.

 

Forgiving yourself helps you make peace with yourself.

Making peace with yourself makes you a better person.

Being a better person puts you in a better position to forgive others who can then find their own peace.

The ultimate aim of human kind is to attain peace. Specially in today’s age of rages, outrages and even talks of war! That peace has to come first from within, at an individual level. If you are not at peace with yourself because you are haunted by past misdeeds, how can you expect to point fingers at others for having non-peaceful thoughts and get away with it? To find that inner peace you have to forgive yourself first. And promise yourself that you have learnt from your past mistakes and will not repeat them again. Once you have given yourself that love, you will be able to find real peace, which is there waiting to be found in each one of us. The result? You will be a clean blank slate on which you have already promised not to write the wrong again. And you will then truly be in a position to forgive others because you will know that forgiveness is possible as you have given it to yourself first.

 

This Paryushana, say Michchami Dukadam to yourself first. And then forgive. But do not forget.

No, we do not mean that you remember your past deeds which you have already forgiven yourself for. We mean, do not forget the promise you made yourself that they will not be repeated ever again. This tradition of forgiveness is not a ceremony, a momentary thing of the day. It is about moving on, but in a positive way. And wishing others do the same.

Author: enrichsalon

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