Set Yourself Free with Forgiveness

Dr. K's Diary: Articles by Dr. Madan Kataria Nov 21 2015 18453
Set Yourself Free with Forgiveness-img

This is an inspiring story about Tarzan Ren-yuan Lyu, a psychologist, who I met on my tour to Taiwan. He assisted me as a translator for my workshops and seminars. He also translated an article from my book about ‘Forgiveness’ and was so inspired that it led him to apologize to his uncle with whom he had not spoken for years. Laughter Yoga changed his life and motivated him to learn and develop the concept even further.

This is Tarzan’s story…
In 2007, I went back to my hometown to visit my father’s grave, who died 16 years ago. As my mother prayed to bless our whole family with health and happiness, a sudden thought hit me. I too wanted to pray to my father. I realized I had missed him for years. Tears welled up in my eyes and I broke down as I said, “Dad, I haven't talked to you for a long time and have been missing you so much.”

I apologized for my action years ago when I had torn the congratulatory notes which were put on our doors by neighbors to congratulate him for my achievement. I regretted my indifference towards him. “I know you must have felt very sad, painful, and even tired of earthly life because of my behavior. I know I acted rashly and left home that day to go to a friend far away. You called me that night to show your love, but unfortunately I did not understand it then. I am so sorry dad… would you please forgive me?"

As I prayed, I felt better and continued to talk. I said I had got married and had two beautiful children who I loved just as much as he loved me. I even told him that my younger brothers and sisters were happy and well settled.

When I finished praying, I saw my mother and brother crying. To ease their emotions, I decided to lighten the situation by offering my father a drink (water)!"Dad, why not drink a cup of wine; Cheers!" Everybody laughed as we all knew dad loved drinking wine.

Even as I recovered from years of sorrow and repentance, I couldn’t help remembering my uncle with whom I had a big quarrel 12 years ago and since then had never met or spoken to him.

After my father died, this uncle helped my mother to maintain the family business. Though he did the work, he used to take a lot of money which made me very angry. I thought his kindness was not genuine and was tinged with an ulterior motive. That led to a squabble and I broke all links with him.

This had been troubling me for years till recently I read the teachings of the Dalai Lama and also Dr. Kataria's philosophy on the importance of forgiveness and apology. I learnt to see the positive side of everything. These teachings made me look within myself and gave me the strength to let go my ego. I went to my uncle’s home and apologized for years of apathy. I thanked him for all he had done for my family and acknowledged his concern.

A simple man, he was so touched and moved by my gesture that he could not say a word. In a sudden surge of emotions all the unpleasant and hard feelings were just washed away. We talked and talked and I felt calm and relaxed. Years of hatred, hostility and old grudges just vanished. All that was left was a sense of lightness and happiness. I felt free. It was like a release of all pent up emotions.

We usually bring on these negative emotions ourselves and suffer the most. Laughter Yoga is a powerful technique which diminishes hurt and releases all negative emotions and helps develop a positive mental attitude. What I learnt from Laughter Yoga is:

When you laugh first, you win;
When you apologize first, you win;
When you forgive first, you win.

Love & Laughter
Tarzan Ren-yuan Lyu