For a moment, think about someone who you do not like.
Is this feeling connected to some “wrong” they committed towards us? Do we feel disappointed, upset, disrespected by them? This emotional response seems normal, justified. Would we like to exact some sort of revenge on them if possible? Doesn’t this “righteous indignation” somehow seem justified? Doesn’t it feel like a position of power rather than one of weakness?
All this may actually be true– at least for the short term. However, when it persists for a rather extended period of time it actually hurts us. We remain locked into a dark, negative bond with that person we don’t like. It is a yoke that weighs heavily on our mind– we generate negative thoughts and feelings which ironically affect our attitude towards life in general. It is a karmic quicksand which drags us down.
Supposedly their is an ancient Chinese saying, “it you hate someone you should dig two graves”. Hatred locks both parties into the realm of dark, negative emotions which is damaging, ultimately self-destructive.
The only solution is forgivenss.
Now this seems ridiculous at first. It seems contrary to what is correct and justified. Yet ultimately it is liberating. It is a gift to ourselves. I am referring to a notion of forgivenss which is actually empowering. It is not justification or acceptance for what was done to us.
It acknowledges that the offending individual may be incapable of doing what is correct. It allows us to view the “other” as frail, impotent, incomplete and fragile. It gives us an opportunity to regard them not as objects of power but of weakness. It allows us to feel compassion for their mistakes and mistepps, even towards us.
It changes our relationship with them. It immediately releases the power they have over us. We let go of our anger, our will to revenge. We recognize the karmic forces that bring ultimate justice will be played out.
We recognize that how they treated us is their karma, how we react is ours. We are the ones who graciously bestow forgiveness. We smile at the healing energy that flows over us. They no longer have the power to enrage us, to upset us.
We have given ourselves a gift of great healing.