Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Peace of My Heart

I have this bad habit that I'm desperately trying to un-learn.

Sometimes I feel like I'm an interruption, an inconvenience, in the lives of others.

I know exactly where this feeling comes from- damage done years ago, perpetuated by myself in the current situation.

But here's the real stumbling block for me- (and I'm confessing this in such a public forum as a way of forcing myself to deal with it)

I feel like if I forgive those in my past who (un?)intentionally caused these wounds, I'm condoning their actions.

If I forgive them, let go of these feelings of inadequacy, they get off scot-free. Like any good American I want "justice" (read: retribution). And for some reason me holding a grudge for years and years is going to achieve that?

Honestly, who am I really hurting by holding onto the hurt?
Oh yeah, me.

The feelings of inconvenience and inadequacy aren't the root of the problem, they're simply a symptom.
This is going to take some deep-seeing and understanding on my part. Patience. That's all I'm asking for.


Themindtaker said...

There's something about a good grudge that seems to feel so great... but it's only after you let it go that you realize how much it was hurting you.

Easier said than done, i know all too well. But I respect the Buddha-nature within you enough to know that you will find the patience to see this through if you just look for it.

Anonymous said...

Your opening lines reminded me of this poem, and though the theme isn't really congruent now that I've finished your post, I still like the poem and feel like you will too. :)

Keeping Things Whole
Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

It's interesting to me, because it seems like the polar opposite of the ideas presented in Buddhism. Have a great day!

lmt said...

I think that patience is a very important habit (but i don’t have that virtue…). If you forgive other people in some way you are washing the past and cleaning your soul. But is true that is very difficult to do it sometimes.

I hope you can solve your problem

Best regards,

khengsiong said...

'Justice' is not the same as 'revenge'.
But foolish people like us can't spot the difference...

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder if I am included in those unfortunate numbers that caused you pain... then I debate if that is merely my own vanity. What's a sucker to do?

PeterAtLarge said...

A tough one, Lindsey. Our teacher, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, advises the attempt at reconciliation first, which involves finding a good way to communicate with those who initiated the hurt. Sometimes, of course, that's not possible, in which case forgiveness is in order, because it involves only yourself. What's needed, then, is some deep introspection to discover what it is about you that gains from holding on to the hurt, what the payoff is in your life. (Does revenge taste sweet? Do you like chocolate?) The self-knowledge makes it easier to let go. Blessings, Peter

LB said...

I recently confronted someone who hurt me badly(?) over 40 years ago. It wasn't really a confrontation, we just acknowledged that the incident had happened. Funny thing is, talking about it didn't change anything at all. What I mean is, I'd been carrying around this "injustice" to me for 40 years, thinking that if only this person would apologize, then it would make a difference. He apologized... I got my "retribution" and it didn't really make any difference. I'd lived life anyway. Don't know if that will help you.