Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Thursday, August 13, 2009

'FORGIVENESS' sucks big green monkey cock


FORGIVENESS SUCKS............
(And not in a 'good' way.)

Well, that's certainly the sentiment that's likely to curry more favor.

We just don't respond as well to the notion that forgiveness is a worthy spiritual pursuit. We recall vividly what happened to all those peaceful sorts; Gandhi, Jesus, Dr. King, Jr. and so on.

It's not a compelling motivation.
No, "Forgiveness is a blessed tool of a loving Universe" just doesn't have the same draw.

We humans have a physiological and psychological aversion to forgiveness. It's part of our defense mechanism, I suppose; our natural defenses against any form of hurt. Hurt wounds us, makes us aware of our ability to be hurt...and that's frightening. We don't like being vulnerable.

For men, it's doubly difficult. We have a hard enough time being vulnerable or open enough to another person or concept in the first place, so betrayal is a real ball-buster. Then, as men, we aren't supposed to get bruised or be fragile, so our hurt is yet another source of shame and vulnerability and frustration.

Typically, the people who 'hurt' us are those we let in close. Those we have taken efforts to trust. To allow. To accept. We have 'played a part' in what ended up hurting us, and we can beat ourselves up for our perceived 'stupidity' to boot.

For many years, I not only bristled at the mere mention of the word 'Forgiveness,' I got physically angry as a result of the intimation that I needed to do something about the affronts made against me. My suffering was real, and by Golly it would not be diminished by some fairy tale happy-ass bullshit of 'turning the other cheek.' It took a good long while to see what was really going on with the hurt and resentment.
Resentments (reliving of past pains) means we are stuck in the past. We are mired in the bad feeling; shackled and chained. We are inextricably attached to something we say we don't like, unable to move forward. We give another person (or even a place or event) the power to control us. It's like declaring them a winner. Because I guarantee that a person without a conscience is not sitting up at night fretting about what they did to you. So who is your distress ultimately hurting?

The selfishness of forgiveness was a realization to me. The question of whether of not my hurt was real or imagined, significant or simple, was irrelevant. What was important was that I was staying a prisoner of negativity and bitterness while the other person(s) was unconcerned, dead, or never even aware that there was a problem. And yet their presence in my mind has dominion over me. I have given permission (directly or indirectly) for something outside my control to be in charge of me.

This is more easily said than done, as most important shit often is. It is a process to leave behind the vendettas and wounds of past hurts. For some reason, "The Darkness has a hunger that's insatiable and the lightness has a call that's hard to hear." as the Indigo Girls so aptly stated. Hurt seems to resonate with us more than joys. Perhaps that protective streak I mentioned earlier; we want to be prepped against future assaults. But we end up with tension, stress, stomach aches, and misguided defenses that dilute our enjoyment of daily life.

We have to take an active stand against our mind and emotions running away with our happiness. This world is all about the drama. People will feed on your discontent. Our paranoia and revenge will fuel us heartily. We dwell on hurts, rather than working to release them. "Being the bigger person" has never been a popular notion. It takes time and hard work to erase anger and resentment; we just have to remind ourselves of the importance of the repercussions of not letting go.

This isn't about becoming a doormat. As a wise friend pointed out, you take the lesson from a hurt and know what not to do in the future; you make more informed choices about when to let people in. But you don't stop letting people in all together. (That's another example of allowing yourself to suffer.)

The lower level emotions of distrust, hurt, anger, etc. cause illness and distraction and other dark manifestations that continue the original pain. It snowballs. The other person might not even give us a second thought. And there's nothing we can do about that.

Yeah, I know, trust me. Helplessness is a royal bitch of a feeling.
But you cannot shame a person when they have no conscience.
You cannot force morality on someone.
You cannot "Go all Rambo" and enforce your version of right and wrong.
You cannot alter someone else's morality, integrity, or anything.
And if you spend your time dwelling on the fact that they are 'deficient' in these areas, it's just a big waste of time.
As Will Rogers said, "You can't legislate intelligence and common sense into people."

Forgiveness isn't mandatory. We have the capacity to stay as miserable as we wish. It's a visceral, powerful emotion that stirs up a lot of physical response. The idea of 'letting go' seems so weak, and makes us feel vulnerable once again just considering it.

There was a recent great documentary about forgiveness I found very moving. Here's some more info on it.
http://www.journeyfilms.com/content.asp?contentid=754

The film brought up some interesting points;
Can you forgive someone who doesn't ask for it? Should you?
Can you forgive someone who doesn't express remorse or acknowledge a need to make amends?


Eric Butterworth has some remarkable insights in his work on

Forgiveness for me is two-fold.
1) It's a spiritual and intellectual way of thinking and living; Things are the way they are, and my wishing otherwise doesn't change them. It is what it is. It is a waste of time and energy and emotion to beat a dead horse. That's science.

2) Not forgiving continues someone else's actions for me to relive and further hurt by keeping it alive. I am not a panicked animal, and I must be smart about keeping my emotions in check. I want to remain open and loving and focused on the good that I have in my life. Not be hindered and heartbroken.
Depending on the deepness of the cut, forgiveness isn't some Pollyannaish 'clean sweep' that is done in a grand easy gesture. And forgiveness isn't assured just because the guilty party issues an apology, heartfelt or not.

Forgiveness doesn't mean continuing to be a battered spouse, and accepting unacceptable behavior. It's not a call to allow people to take advantage of you. You must support, protect, and defend yourself through all available means. But when out of a violent situation, you must eventually come to some kinds of terms with the abuse in order to move on with your life. This is about letting go.

"I can't seem to say good-bye
Though I've tried a million times
The more I learn, the less I know
About The Art Of Letting Go"
(Pat Benatar)

Teacher and writer Louise Hay has talked for years about the power to heal being based directly on our willingness to change our thinking patterns and focus. She offers some insights as to how to make that a reality. (see link)

If we are striving--ever striving--for our inner peace and enlightenment, then the outside world will matter less and less. The actions and feelings of another have no importance in our life. Whether it's as simple as a disrespectful eye roll, as serious as theft, or as invasive as physical violence; if we perpetuate hurt and anger in our minds and hearts, we only create an endless cycle of the misery we detest.

Intentions create our universe. We have to be careful what our mind is focused on at all times.

Blessings,
your always struggling brother, Robert

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