I have my own personal list of people I would like to line up against a wall and extract apologies from. I would order them in a cline from small apology to big. From the person who pushed in front of me at the supermarket culminating in the person who ripped my heart out. One apology in particular I fantasise about. Yes it would be heartfelt, they would explain how and why they were so hideous towards me and then ask for forgiveness, probably with a ‘I don’t know if you are able to forgive me but…’. There would be hugs and tears as I put down all my poison and resentment and we would live happily ever after.
Except I’ve being waiting for years, and nothing.
In that time I have been busy with scenarios ranging from a good slap around the face, to forgiveness parties. I guess if they were to say sorry I would be able to extinguish the fires of resentment and get on with my life.
But it’s not going to come because they have no idea how they hurt me. It’s not going to come because people usually only act out of their best interests without trying to harm others. It’s not going to come because they wouldn’t think they have done anything wrong. So what to do?
If we feel resentment towards someone for a misdoing, a misplaced word or two, a betrayal, a lie, a broken promise then our best course of action if we are to restore our humanity is to work towards forgiveness or some form of it. Here is a formula for working through these feelings;
Look at the wrongdoing and how it has effected you. What feelings does this bring up for you. Do you feel unworthy of love? Do you feel cheated? What is it in you that needs healing.
Try to see the actions of the other person as not a direct attack on you. Usually when people hurt us it is through an action of their own misguidance or selfish intentions. Most people have affairs because of a low self esteem. The problem is usually within them, not you.
Understand how forgiving or letting go of the problem will feel to you. You will probably feel more cleansed/lighter/empowered and less trapped by your own resentment. Resentment is a form of poison and it will eat into many parts of your life.
Put it into perspective. Is the problem really that bad or have you built it up into something. Reading stories of others’ forgiveness will help you here.
Employ a practice to help you appreciate what you have now or to help you release feelings of resentment. I like Metta meditation.
Practice for today: You have a choice, to enjoy your one precious life without harbouring resentment towards others or to stay in a prison of fear and resentment. Your choice. Choose wisely.