I’ve spent the better part of my life living on the presumption that I’ve been doing everything I can to alleviate suffering in the world. From healing, training and developing myself and others to becoming a law enforcement officer to protect those who can’t protect themselves, I like to think that I’ve done more than my fair share and my tour of duty should be recognized.
Speaking strictly in general terms, an outside party looking in may agree that my tour of duty is over and that I’ve done my part. However, the elimination of suffering is a never-ending endeavour and one shouldn’t do it simply for the purposes of “doing one’s part” but rather as a part of the bigger picture that life continues on and so should one’s efforts. This has gotten me thinking about some of the unfortunate weight I’ve been carrying with me for the past number of years and what I can do about it.
The only thing worse than someone who does you wrong is someone who does you wrong that you trusted. Having caused damage in any form against you, it causes a heavy weight of negative emotion and suffering to bear down on your shoulders. It drags you down, slows you down and saps your energy and motivation. Sometimes, without even noticing it, we allow it to affect important aspects of our lives. It holds a negative energy in life, against you and against the person whom you may foster negative feelings against.
I recently took stock of my life and recognized that I have such a person; a person I trusted, someone I valued and even looked up to… Only to have them perform actions and say words that brought the very fabric of the life I was living crashing down. It took a long time to recognize that the situation was initiated by this individual, and once the initial shock of that realization had passed, I found myself experience a deep, burning emotion that I can only recall having felt a few rare times in my life: hate.
Hate is among the most insidious of emotions as it isn’t just directed towards the person in question but eats up the originating person inside, as well. It festers and can eventually lead to physical health issues, if allowed to grow and run rampant. Although one could argue that there are certain levels of hate that would be considered normal, such as hating war, famine or discrimination, hating any other individual will cause unnecessary suffering in all parties concerned.
Although I don’t consciously acknowledge it, I’ve been carrying a hatred for this one person for years. The words and actions he used that caused the difficulties in my life are not slight, by any means. But carrying this hate has caused a level of damage within me that I need to repair and heal from. And ultimately, there is really only one way to heal and move on from such a thing. I need to forgive him. This may not be an easy task, one that my instincts may even tell me I shouldn’t pursue. But only by forgiving this individual and moving forward can I hope to release this weight that’s been holding me down.
I recently reached out to a mutual acquaintance to ask if he would be willing to bridge the communication between myself and this person of interest. He has agreed to do so and in the interest of closure and moving on, I believe it will be a great step to speak with this person face-to-face, discuss what happened and finally, let him know I forgive him. Maybe he won’t care. Maybe it’ll change nothing for him. And that’s okay. Forgiveness can be helpful and healing but at the end, it’s just as much for me as it could potentially be for him. Moving on will be a great steps towards eliminating suffering within my own life. ☯️