It occurred to me today that many people in the world have a hard time with the true concept of forgiveness. Not only do individual people have problems with forgiveness, countries have issues with it as do political parties. Many of us feel that our anger, animosity, hatred and bad feelings are JUSTIFIED and God help anyone who tries to tell us otherwise. Given an opportunity most people will tell you about who did them wrong in life and if you watch closely you will see in the telling of that incident the true story of their lives…
Usually in the re-telling of the bad divorce, the lost election, the abusive childhood, the business deal gone bad, the unexpected death or the ultimate betrayal, a wise person is able to see the sadness and disappointment that reside just beneath the anger. Anger, sadness, hurt and disappointment held onto over time become vehicles for that which is against life. The darkness in the world feeds off of these type of emotions and truly that is the only thing that gives life to the darkness. If people could come to understand that holding onto past hurts is actually stealing their health and vitality perhaps they would learn to LET GO.
That is my working definition of forgiveness, letting go. My coaching on forgiveness does not involve over-looking or forgetting what has happened—it involves letting it go, so that the incident no longer has any reactive power over you. When you can maintain your inner equilibrium no matter what befalls you, you will have achieved a level of mastery unknown to most. You cannot control the behaviors and actions of others; however you can control your reaction to them. You can decide to be hurt or offended or you can decide not to be—the choice is always yours. People are doing the best they can for who they are in the moment and mostly they are not even conscious of how their actions affect others—people are pretty self-absorbed.
I suspect that the average person fails to understand the cost of holding onto anger and animosity. The cost is not just an individual one—not only does holding onto yucky stuff kill your health and vitality it also doesn’t help the collective consciousness of the world. Don’t be foolish enough to think that the fight you are having with your brother has no effect on what is happening in Iraq or in Israel…energy is collective. Your hatred of your business partner or the guy who cut you off on the highway or the opposing political party goes forth into the ethers as energy…in this case BAD ENERGY. Your nasty attitude is not only effecting you, it is effecting all of us….so QUIT IT!
I’m not suggesting that we all run around wearing orange robes giving out flowers—I am, however, suggesting that we all (myself included) begin to take a deeper look at what anger and animosity we might be holding onto and how that is affecting our quality of life. It is easy to see what righteous anger and hatred is costing other countries (as people are literally dying to be right)—is it as easy to see what it is costing us as individuals?
Being angry takes up a lot of time and energy, it also affects your health and state of mind…
So next time you are feeling really hot under the collar and your blood pressure is rising—ask yourself –is it really worth it?