Do you have someone in your life that triggers you, that hijacks your rational mind? Perhaps they look down on you, ignore you, or say disparaging things about you behind your back. Do you ever watch them change their demeanor when others are watching and hold court with only those they feel matter? Do you leave their presence feeling insignificant and excluded?
I’m reading a great book that’s been on my fiction list for a while- Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens.
It’s one of those books that is sprinkled with superb sentences. One sentence in particular struck a chord, “Unworthy boys make a lot of noise.”
For many this is a Holy Week- a week to take stock of our own flaws and areas where we’ve “missed the mark” which is the definition of sin. A wise friend of mine, appropriately named Peter shared that we need to first forgive ourselves before we can forgive others. Whatever it was that happened to you, it is over. It happened in the past; in the present, it does not exist unless you bring it with you. Nothing anyone has ever done to you has permanent effects, unless you hold on to it permanently.
But what can we do when we feel our minds been hijacked and all we feel is anger towards another? Spiritual teacher, Marianne Williamson, who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States
has some advice. She shares, “What’s difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does or says something that tempts us to close our hearts because their heart was closed. That is hard. But that is also how we grow. We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold to our loving center no matter what the world throws us. The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”
My own personal trick is to envision the person as a 3-year-old in the sandbox who at some point didn’t get the shovel he/she wanted and grew into an emotionally deficient adult. It’s much easier to try and be patient and forgiving with a ridiculous child than an egocentric adult.
Whatever it takes, it’s worth trying to forgive. The alternative only adds to the conflict in this world.
Try thinking of forgiveness as selective remembering. No matter what happens to you, you have a choice whether to carry it or leave it behind. Perhaps it’s time to leave some past hurts behind and focus more on the present moment.