We spend all of our lives living in the world we build for ourselves with our perceptions. Inside of the world, we make all of our decisions, we interpret all cues and events–and most importantly, we act and react. Our perceptions tint our opinions–allowing us to go from seeing life in vivid color to seeing in 50 Shades of Gray (honestly, did you expect anything else from that link?).
Action, reaction, (re)action, (re)action, (re)action.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, really. A basic tenet of humanity is that of consequences. Everything we do is going to have an impact on ourselves and those around us. In our lifetime, we’re going to end up hurting so many people who are near and dear to us. Just like in our lifetime, we’re going to end up getting hurt by so many people who are near and dear to us. It’s living.
So we get hurt by someone. We get hurt so much that it blinds us. We let it take over our thoughts and we take an action. In our blindness, we overreact and, in turn, hurt the person that hurt us. That person gets to hurt it blinds him. He lets it take over his thoughts and takes an action. In his blindness, he overreacts and, in turn, hurts us back.
Until all affection, connection, and love is gone.
Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one that gets burned.
Forgiveness is not an action, it’s a state of being.
Pain is universal and ever-present. No amount of banging and crying and complaining is going to change that fact. But I have a choice: I can go to hurt. It’s understandable, really. The desire to teach the person that hurt me a lesson is very real and would feel completely gratifying.
But I’d rather not create more hurt.
Whenever I can, I try to forgive early. That rarely makes everything better, but it starts me on the right path. Once I’ve made the decision to forgive someone the efforts come more easily. It doesn’t matter how mad I am, once I start trying to forgive I start funneling all of my efforts away from scheming and planning to hurt and reinvest it somewhere more productive.