“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“We will not just say, “I love him very much,” but instead, “I will do something so that he will suffer less.”
” The mind of compassion is truly present when it is effective in removing another person’s suffering.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“The fact is that when you make the other suffer, he will try to find relief by making you suffer more. The result is an escalation of suffering on both sides.” Thich Nhat Hanh
At the Holiday time of year we are filled with anticipation for ourselves and for others. The last thing we think about is absolution. Perhaps we are all in need of forgiveness. Sometimes we hold on to grudges for many years. I honestly don’t know why we can’t let things go. I act the same way. As much as I might know what the correct thing to do is, finding the strength to behave in such a manner is next to impossible. What is the attraction of clinging to past hurts and pain? Maybe we enjoy the pain because we feel self-righteous and above the person who hurt us. Being the victim has its’ perks of gaining attention when we discuss our pain with others. We might even feel like the hero who was capable of enduring such misery.
No matter how we figure it on any given day it can become like a crutch that we reach for when we need it for any particular time or bad mood we are experiencing. Once we have absolved someone the transgression, we place it in a safe but hidden place within our minds. The plan is to keep it there but that rarely happens. There are those times when the memories slip back through to the forefront and we tend to forget the fact that we already forgave this misdeed. One must ask why we recall the negative.
I tend to believe that we become proud of our suffering. We probably become our own hero which may not always be a bad thing. If we think about it we find that when we are hurting or feeling insecure and persecuted we reach for our defense of self-sympathy. We likely attempt to ease our own pain. It is understandable but it keeps the real forgiveness at a distance. Anything that cuts us deeply no matter how others view it, is difficult to absolve. We all understand there are degrees of depravity and also degrees of ability to forgive the wrongdoings of others.
I am as guilty as anyone of reminding some people of misdeeds and what I consider crimes against me. Over and over I suppose I am making them suffer. Now I wonder at what price and also how long is long enough. I am not sure about the length of time it takes to overcome emotional suffering. I know it is possible to forgive but certainly requires tremendous strength and will power to forget. There are those days we can do it but again we retrieve the pain when we deem it necessary when we need to comfort ourselves. Now the question becomes does it really comfort us?
I am considering the fact that when we keep recalling misdeeds, we perhaps do not truly have faith in the notion that the guilty person is actually deeply sorry. Now that might be the real issue. Many of us may feel that we haven’t been compensated for our suffering. We bring it to the present to hurt another over again until the day we suppose they are truly sorry. Of course we never consider how much agony we are bestowing someone we care for. If we reflected hard enough we might understand that we have become the one providing the suffering. Never do we seem to look at ourselves in this manner because we feel the perpetrator deserves any pain we can render. Somehow I am questioning if this is not ruthless. We can become the one who needs forgiveness.
There are those people who commit the same offense against us repeatedly. Of course forgiveness is difficult if not impossible. That leaves one with a choice of staying or moving on. I surmise that if one is willing to constantly forgive and accept the consequences of a repeat offense run the risk of continued controversy. It is not an unreasonable decision because at any point the faith and trust one has in a person is perhaps the only thing that keeps them afloat. Some people hope to stop their depravity or the depravity in another. On the other side of the issue is the amount of offense any one person can endure before giving up.
I appreciate the fact that we can’t live for another and it isn’t always up to us to be their hero. Many of us don’t look at a situation in that way. Maybe we are someone’s hero and we don’t know it. Perhaps we make someone stronger than they are alone. It is not that I profess to linger with someone who constantly disappoints us but when there is love and the person falters but exhibits honesty in their attempt to improve it does entrust us with choices. If a person or a relationship of any kind is worth the effort and the absolution, likely we should take the chance. Peace and tolerance is always better than distress and grief.
True forgiveness is almost an ability of angels and not man. However I still find it important to strive for that goal. Forgiveness makes us stronger and more fulfilled as we genuinely attempt to let go of our own suffering. Forgiveness is tied into suffering. If we come to the point of letting another be released from our revenge then we find serenity together. Most of us see the need to keep another in the chains of remorse until we deem them worthy enough to be set free. What we don’t consider is that we are actually waiting to release ourselves from the prison of anguish and revenge. We must be ready to release and dispose of the crutch of suffering. It pains us numerous times. That is not keeping us free. We embellish the iniquity to the point of not recognizing the truth of a situation. Time also bends the actuality of the occurrence.
In this season of love and forgiveness perhaps it is time to take a look at our lives and let go of the many fears and angers due to hurts caused by those we love. We have locked them into a cell as much as we have locked ourselves into one. Release your own spirit and free will and you will find the courage to let go of the pain that keeps others constrained. Now I believe that hanging on to the negative brings you down while reaching for the possible goodness brings joy and peace. May you all experience peace in this awesome season.
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” Thich Nhat Hanh
“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.” Thich Nhat Hanh