Recently, somebody visited the blog and read this piece I wrote about getting over depression by using a few natural vitamins. She gave me a link to a piece about forgiveness, so I sent went and read it, then wrote a response. But when I got all set to leave my response I couldn’t find a comment box! Then I looked over what I wrote, and I was like “this is natural speaking to me, but it seems kind of rough for somebody else’s site.” So I’ve put my response here. But I recommend stopping by her link first to see the original piece. The piece begins with a quote, so let’s have a look at that quote.
“Learning to forgive is infinitely more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one’s anger” said the Dalai Lama..
Well I’m not a religious person but I’ve heard this one “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” And yet, this past week, what did the Dalai Lama do? The Tibetans, who apparently reached the end of their forgiveness capacity, have resorted to good old fashion retaliation. And the Dalai Lama lashed out by threatening to quit. He threw a stone! Last I heard his wasn’t a job you could quit-I was under the impression it was s die and reincarnate kind of position. But that’s neither here nor there because there’s a 99 percent change he won’t be leaving “office” anyway.
But I point this recent event out to say this; sometimes forgiveness is the way to go and sometimes it might not be. Sometimes you have to work with the situation and build a strategy around that. It’s always different. And ultimately it’s all about how you’re going to cope with some issue from your past. How you’re gonna make peace with being wrong. Because that’s what it comes down to; somebody wronged you and they GOT AWAY. When you’re a toddler and mommy spanks your sibling for taking your candy you’re going to have a very different feeling than if she says, “just let him have it.”
During an 18 year period I had a woman cheat on me 3 times. Now the first 2 times, after some time apart and ME doing the forgiving we got back together. I wiped the slate clean. That’s forgiveness right? You’re saying, “I will not hold your past actions against you today-in my heart. I will not hold this ANGER over the thing you have down to me, against you. I believe you have made the necessary changes in your behavior and experienced growth. So I forgive you.” This THIRD time was a surprise (well the first 2 were too) but my thinking was “hey, we’re getting to be old people-are you kidding with this kind of behavior?” But no, she was kidding. I left the military, and moved across country-and she left me for a KNOWN villain. And her and her kids are gonna suffer. That is enviable, that’s his way. So ultimately they’ll split up. And when that time comes, should I be there with forgiving arms? No, you got that covered in point #1
Now, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s a good guy, did I mention I’ve met him? Well he’s a good guy and despite his title I don’t deify him. I don’t deify people. ANY people. In my travels around this planet I’ve seen things that would make the eyes melt out of your head; so I understand that humans are capable of the full spectrum. Great goodness and horrific, deprived, malicious acts. And I’ve seen WAAAAY more of the later. But even the DL can react with anger-depending on the newness of the wrong. And to me that’s what it comes down to. Forgiveness is a luxury of time. In ten years you can forgive all kinds of stuff, because that’s how long it took me to take that woman back.
But when the wrong is fresh there’s a pretty good chance you’re gonna need a more immediate fix to cope. And typically that fix is diminishing. You end up putting the egregious party down. “Well they’re retarded! Or plain stupid! Or just evil!” Because the pain will burn you up as you think, “They don’t have to pay. They did a wrong to me (or others) and I’M hurt and they’re walking around scot free.” So my feeling about pain inflicted by others, is that in the early days, managed anger (and or sadness and grief) is what you’ll be working with. I see it less as a burden or chains, as you’ve described, and more as too much air in a cavity that can’t contain it. A balloon, if you will, and there is no sole technique to release that pressure. MY technique is to tell about my woman’s evil behavior every chance I get!! This response, for example, is only the tip of it-I wrote a whole MOVIE. But I feel a lot better! And that’s the point I’m making; your 10 points, to me, have varying levels of effectiveness. But you premise that keeping the bad feelings does more harm to you than the wrongdoer, and finding SOME method to express and release that build up is advisable.