Have you ever had a situation or a conflict with someone go round and round in your head and it doesn’t give you any peace.
And there is that incessant chatter about what if I had said, what if, what if, what if … and why, why, why.
Aaaarrrgghhhh … and you are driving yourself mad as well as anyone who’ll listen to you.
Well … I’m hearing you. It doesn’t happen much these days … but when it did, I got so sick of myself … and what frustrated me even more was I couldn’t turn it off.
I’m trying to think of when it all changed for me – and I remember now … it was when I went on my first Vipassana 10 day silent retreat.
I had a painful situation in my life that was going round and round in my head incessantly … so you can imagine what happened on a 10 day silent retreat. It magnified to the point where I thought my head would explode and I let out a huge silent shout, “ENOUGH!!!!”
Around this time I also learned about true forgiveness.
And it wasn’t what I thought … that I had to speak to the person, ask for forgiveness or say I forgive you.
No. It was nothing like that … I learned that true forgiveness is forgetting. Yep … not giving it any more attention.
Huh … easier said than done, right!!!
Surprisingly, once you understand this concept its quite easy to live the true forgiveness principle.
This is a true story that happened to me:
Many years ago – I went to a dentist and the woman behind the reception said, “I’ve been waiting all day for you to arrive to say hello.”
I didn’t remember her. It took her 30 minutes of telling me things we had done together for me to vaguely remember her.
Apparently, we had been friends years before and I had offended her and she had carried that bitterness around in her mind and heart all those years.
(a) I didn’t know I had offended her, and
(b) I didn’t even remember her.
So who was being punished? Not me … I was astounded.
And then I was reminded of the bitterness people carry in their minds and hearts about people from their youth and 20s, 30s – and the reality is – that the other person has most probably forgotten and it was all a waste of emotion that ate away at the joy in their lives.
So you see … forgetting is really the true act of forgiveness.