There is a large body of blogs, articles and research on the topic of forgiveness. For the most part, the focus is on being the one to forgive someone else for hurting you. However, not much is mentioned on being the one that caused the harm, or being the one that asks for forgiveness. I believe the reason for the lack of focus on this side of the topic is that either people often do not realize when they hurt someone else, don’t know when they need to be forgiven, or they do not think they did anything for which to be forgiven. In either situation, do you deserve forgiveness if you did not ask for it, or realize you need it? The answer is yes, but there is a degree of responsibility that you must assume.
If you believe in grace and mercy, you understand that forgiveness is important towards emotional healing. Both grace and mercy imply the capacity to forgive, as well as to show compassion and kindness, especially to relieve suffering. Likewise, grace and mercy is vital when you know and desire to be forgiven, but more so when you are unaware you need it. Therefore, because of someone’s grace and mercy, you were forgiven for a wrongdoing that may be unknown to you. You have gained compassion and kindness, even when you may not have “seemed” to deserve it. Just knowing this should confirm how fortunate each of us are because someone forgave us, even if we do not realize it.
However, you can confirm if you deserve forgiveness, by forgiving others. This is the complete reason why you do deserve forgiveness, even when you may not know you need it. When you forgive someone for hurting you, you open yourself to grace and mercy, both to receive it and to give it. In the Lord’s Prayer that many Christians recite, there is a verse “Forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Likewise, the Buddha stated, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” In both instances, by being forgiven, and by forgiving others, you let go of pain and feel relief. You can feel spiritual love radiate from you. So, yes, you do deserve forgiveness, because we all do. We all feel better when we are forgiven for wrong doing. But, our individual responsibly to deserve forgiveness from others is to be a forgiver ourselves.
If you do not know if you hurt someone or if don’t know if you need to be forgiven, assume that you do because you are human. This does not mean you are at fault or are taking blame for something you did not do. However, we are always in a position to impact someone’s life, or the better or the worse. So, in your prayers, meditative thoughts or just because, ask for forgiveness, as well as the strength to forgive others. Confirm that you deserve to be forgiven by being one who is willing and ready to forgive others.