November 2009 Archive


Posted November 10, 2011 By Mark


One of the surest ways to have a dark cloud looming over your head is to hold a grudge against someone. Whether it be your parents, a former (or current) boss, friends, or strangers. Holding on to past hurts is like holding on to a giant boulder. The boulder holder feels more pain and burden than the other will ever know.

However justified you may be, or however enormous the hurt, it is always possible to forgive.

Forgiving doesn’t mean saying  that the offending act or words were OK. It also doesn’t mean keeping that person or people in your life, afterward. If you can’t be sure the act won’t be repeated, keeping that person around would be like keeping a wolf around your pet chickens. Even if you tell the wolf “No!” sternly, he’s probably going to scarf a chicken as soon as you turn your back. You can forgive him, then gently escort him out of the hen house.

If you have forgiven someone, you no longer feel the extreme pain, anger, or sadness when the topic of what they did is brought up. You’ve already made peace with it inside of yourself. You can still inform someone of it, but your tale will be devoid of those emotions, almost as if it happened to someone else.

Forgiving often requires compassion. If we can understand why someone acted a certain way, we can usually let our own anger dissolve. Not why we assume they acted that way, but why they actually did. Sometimes, it’s not possible to know why someone acted a certain way. In those instances, the easiest way to let it dissolve is to know that “they just didn’t know any better.”

Very few people make it their life’s mission to hurt other people, especially those who they care about. Most are either thinking of themselves, or not thinking at all, but not thinking of deliberately hurting another. When they do hurt someone deliberately, they’ve likely justified it in their mind as revenge or a defensive action. Two babies playing in a sandbox, one baby takes the other’s shovel. The other slaps the thief baby, the thief baby hits the other with the shovel. Both start to cry. Fast forward 30, 40, 50 years and old babies all over the world continue this set of circumstances which ends up in a whole lot of sad old babies walking about.

The babies truly don’t know any better. But as adults, we develop a rational, logical mind, which can separate perceived action from real action and side effects of that action. It’s just up to us if we choose to use it.


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