Monday, February 23, 2009

Tales: Tips for Happiness #2

2. Radical Forgiveness

As best as you possibly can, at all times of your life, practice what I'll call "Radical Forgiveness," meaning that whenever anyone does anything to you that you perceive as (or that truly is) offensive or damaging to you – from stepping in front of you on an escalator to stealing your wife; stiffing you on a job, or sticking you with the check – from "deeply disappointing you" to "ruining your life," forgive them as immediately and completely as possible.

Everyone is fighting the same battles, and many people are doing it with even more insane voices in their head than you may have. Become grateful immediately. Many people are barely conscious in this life. Their lives really may be fairly nightmarish. Like everyone, they need acceptance and tolerance.

Also keep in mind that when someone is doing something that seems hurtful to you, they are actually hurting themselves even more. Since we're all the same thing, they're just exercising a form of self-hatred. You just happen to be in the line of fire. The more you invest it with negative energy, the bigger and badder the experience will become for you, burdening you with unnecessary painful thoughts and residual emotions. It's their karma, not yours, so you needn't carry any for them.

Take the experience as a lesson and opportunity to transcend the petty destructive and unconscious tendencies that human beings unwittingly indulge themselves in, usually in an effort to enhance themselves. See it as an opportunity to deal with another's pain with compassion – the juice that facillitates life's natural ease and elegance. Then you put yourself in a place to help someone, and you suddenly might see that the person who "ruined your life," actually gave you the greatest gift you've ever received: self-awareness, self-love (the willingness to show love to another), and compassion...which all adds up to freedom.

"The work of love is to open that window in the chest
and to look incessantly on the Beloved. You can do this.
Listen. Make a way for yourself inside yourself.
Stop looking in the other way of looking.
You already have the precious mixture that will make you well. Use it.
Old enemies will become friends.
Your beauty will be God's beauty."
Rumi

2 comments:

  1. hey robert,

    your attitude towards things has always impressed and inspired me. i wish i could maintain your kind of mentality.

    -e

    ReplyDelete