NOVEMBER 5TH,2009: Life gives us many opportunities to get stuck in the ills and discomforts of the past whether we are still upset with the guy who cut us off in traffic an hour ago or the crazy email from a colleague who threw us under the bus with our boss this morning or a lover who lied to us or we can even get upset with the weather. It doesn’t matter how long ago we harbor a grudge the point is that this type of thing sucks us dry of love energy and pulls us out of the present moment. So in the words of “Imagine we wake up and find that everyone has forgiven everything there was to forgive and instead of recycling the past, we could at last live FULLY in the present? We would all breath a sigh of relief. The atmosphere would be happier and many people would discover the wonder of living in the present moment instead of constantly investing huge parts of themselves in reliving events that are long past. Forgiveness is possible. It is NOT the same as condoning. It means not feeding anger for a wrong or slander. Forgiveness is the inner act of making peace with the past and of finally closing accounts.”
I understand this thing about accounts because this week I was interviewing banks to see about moving my business elsewhere. The main reason for moving would be because of poor service. Hey I forgive the last 7 years but it is now time to move forward. And the funny thing is that in order to open my bank account elsewhere I have to close it out where I’m at. It is the same with forgiveness otherwise we create suffering (a type of hell) for ourselves. As John Milton author of Paradise Lost says “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.” Or consider this beautiful story sent to me by a dear sweet friend from the book Saltwater Buddha:
A burly samurai once came to a Zen master and asked the master, "Sensei, please teach me the difference between heaven and hell."
"Why would I give an uncouth cretin like you such a high teaching,"
the Zen master said, in apparent disgust. "You're a worm. You're less than a worm. You're a stupid samurai."
Samurai were never treated this way in ancient
But the Zen master didn't flinch. (They never do.) He said to the samurai, calmly, "That, Samurai, is hell."
Suddenly, understanding the teaching, realizing that he was about to kill a holy man because of his own pride, the samurai's eyes filled with tears. He put his sword down and his palms together in reverence.
He bowed deeply.
"And that," said the master, "is heaven."
So today forgive a grievance, let go of a grudge and choose heaven right now. As Robert Holden says in the book Be Happy, “Forgiveness is the biggie when it comes to emotional well-being. Forgiveness is the awareness that nothing has happened to the essence of who you are. Sure, your self-image may have taken a battering, but that is not you. The past is over." Close the accounts my friends. It is that simple, just not that easy. I just want you to try. Love, Silvia