A couple of days ago I was reminded that whisking away old hurts doesn’t solve the underlying issue. It only prolongs it. Stuffing our negative emotions back down our own throats, puts them right back onto the shelving of our subconscious mental store house. The cure is forgiveness. But that is easier said than done.
Dr. Joseph Murphy, metaphysics teacher, stated: “Forgiveness is love in action. Without love in our hearts, we stumble and fall.” This sounds reasonable and lovely, however, forgiving an apparent ‘wrong’ seems to be a daunting task, and therefore we continue to nurture this seed of pain until it grows into a giant weed, and yes – we stumble and fall all over again.
James Allen, another one of my favorite metaphysical writers, states an interesting viewpoint. He said:
“Why this continual retaliation and forgiveness? Why this tormenting anger against another and then this repentance and forgiveness? Is not forgiveness the taking back of one’s anger, the giving up of one’s resentment; and if anger and resentment are good and necessary why repent of them and give them up? If it is so beautiful, so sweet, so peaceful to get rid of all feelings of bitterness and utterly and wholly to forgive, would it be not more beautiful and sweet and peaceful never to grow bitter at all, never to know anger, never to resent as evil the actions of another, but always to live in the experience of that pure, calm, blissful love which is known when an act of forgiveness is done, and all unruly passion toward another is put away?
If another has done me wrong is not my hatred toward him wrong, and can one wrong right another? Moreover, has he by his wrong really injured me, or has he injured himself? Am I not injured by my own wrong rather than by this? Why, then, do I grow angry? Why do I resent, retaliate, and engage in bitter thoughts? Is it not because my pride is piqued or my vanity wounded or my selfishness thwarted? Is it not because my blind animal passions are aroused and allowed to subdue my better nature? Seeing that I am hurt by another person’s attitude toward me because of my own pride or vanity or ungoverned and unpurified passions, would it be better to look to the wrong in myself rather than the wrong in another, to get rid of pride and vanity and passion, and so avoid being hurt at all?”
So my question is: why do we get into a fight with another person in the first place? Even if someone attacks us, why do we react rather than turning the other cheek? By reacting and dwelling on our hurt feelings we only exaggerate the problem and multiply the negative emotions. We are the ones entertaining the hurt and the anger; we are the ones suffering the consequences. Why not stop?
In my work with students I have listened to several cases of abuse during their childhood by their parents; some physically and some mentally. Even though I can empathize with the person who was abused, I must remind you that once you reach adulthood, you have a choice. You are not a victim anymore. Your parents acted the only way they knew how to act - good or bad – mostly from an ignorant basis. Now it is up to you to shed the baggage, dust yourself off, and grow up. Most of all, do not to repeat the “sins of our fathers”.
As I am pondering these thoughts, I asked myself: Where does forgiveness come in? What is there to forgive? Is it our own lack of self-worth that needs a shot in the arm? Is it our doubts and fears of failure, loneliness, and insecurities that need healing? What do we have to forgive and whom? Do I forgive myself or the other? Or both?
My conclusion: We must forgive all and any so-called wrong doings. Why? Because it is you and I who will suffer if we continue to hold on to the grudges and pains we feel. It is us who will develop physical ills like arthritis or stiffness of any kind, caused by resentment. It is us who will experience an inharmonious and unhappy state of mind until our bitterness is solved. It is not worth it! We all deserve to be happy and live the life we imagined for ourselves. Forgiveness must be part of this life! With Love, ULRIKE
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