Inspiration & insights along the path toward happiness & wisdom
I have become very skilled at being able to forgive and not hold hostility in my heart. However, do you have any advice on how to avoid regressing back to a person? My kindness is my greatest strength and also my greatest weakness. I'm not sure where I should draw a line, or if a line should be drawn at all.
“In some ways to be able to forgive, to let go, is a type of dying. It is the ability to say, “I am not that person anymore, and you are not that person anymore.” Forgiveness allows us to recapture some part of ourselves that we left behind in bondage to a past event. Some part of our identity may also need to die in that letting go, so that we can reclaim the energy bound up in the past.”
What does letting go on the practical level tell us? Letting go is different than denying or repressing. To let go of something is to admit it. You have to own it. Letting go is different than turning it against yourself; different than projecting it onto others. Letting go means that the denied, repressed, rejected parts of yourself, which are nonetheless true, are seen for what they are; but you refuse to turn them against yourself or against others. This is not denial or pretend, but actual transformation.
The religious word for this letting go is forgiveness. You see the imperfect moment for what it is, and you hand it over to God. You refuse to let any negative storyline or self-serving agenda define your life. This is a very, very different way of living; it implies that you see your mistakes, your dark side, but you do not identify with either your superiority or your inferiority.
Forgiveness is of one piece. Those who give it can also receive it. Those who receive it can pass forgiveness on. You are a conduit, and your only job is not to stop the flow. What comes around will also go around. The art of letting go is really the secret of happiness and freedom.”
“As I learned to tolerate rather than hate my pains (physical, emotional, and mental), I saw that pain was nothing more than unpleasant sensory experience. It was resistance, fear, and hatred that caused real suffering. So then I began to have some mercy on myself. I began to pause in moments of difficulty, to be mindful of the sensations and tolerate them without reacting.”
“Be patient with everyone, but above all, with yourself. I mean, do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage. I am glad you make a fresh beginning daily. There is no better means of attainment to the spiritual life than by continually beginning again, and never thinking that we have done enough. How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbor’s faults if we are impatient in dealing with our own. He who is fretted by his own failings will not correct them. All profitable correction comes from a calm and peaceful mind.”