Sunday, January 27, 2008

Learning from History, Living in Peace

Yesterday, I got to thinking about the idea of letting things go. Earlier in the week, I'd had a rather nasty e-mail exchange with my former boss regarding some employment-related issues. I was upset and mad about it right afterwards, which is understandable. But that night, I prayed for her and that helped me to let go of the anger I felt. The next few days, whenever I felt upset I remembered two things: God takes care of everything and this won't matter in a few months.

The old adage "history repeats itself" is only true because we refuse to learn from it. When I started getting upset at my old boss, I thought to myself "How many times in my past have I been angry with someone? Do I even think of them anymore? Do I care today?" The answers are that I have been mad at several people over the years; no, I don't think of them and no, I don't care today.

What does that say? It says that it's not worth being angry today even though the incident that made me upset is still fresh in time. It's not worth it. If it won't matter in a few months or a year, why should it matter now? The answer? It shouldn't. This is how I've been able to let go of a lot of things and live virtually stress free emotionally. God has brought me a long way with this thinking. It has always been my experience that God exacts justice in his own time and place and my being angry about things doesn't make Him work any faster. If anything, it slows him down.

It has also been my experience that justice is not always an act or a thing. Sometimes, it's a way of life or thought. I've noticed that the people who have been nasty or mean in some way to me or others over the years are usually living a tortured existence every day of their lives. Carrying around that kind of anger, upset, and paranoia with others causes pain not just once, but every second of every day. Think about that. Every single day, the person who has "injured" you is being tortured by their own thoughts, by their way of dealing with the world. Frankly, that is punishment enough in my mind.


CS said...

De-cluttering the heart. There's a neat Buddhist meditation that involves sending hopes for happiness, peace and wellness to people you love and also to your enemies. It does wonders for freeing you from anger at that person.

Dauphyfan said...

It's a lot like killing people with kindness...makes a lot of sense to let go of what ails us.

Shelby said...

wonderful post..

take care - and sending hugs.