Let it go…

Forgiveness is an attempt to solve the problem of feeling injured, slighted or maligned at the conscious level at which the problem is created. In other words, it’s personal. I rather think I’m in agreement with Einstein when he suggested that one has to arrive at a different ‘level’ to heal emotional injuries.

Truth is, we can cut a tidal wave of resentments off at the ankles just by deciding to be hurt only by people we know intentionally and maliciously tried to screw us over. This, as opposed to getting ruffled and feathery over incidents of thoughtlessness, miscommunication and insensitivity where no real malice was involved.

By way of example, a friend knocks our bowl of cereal on to the floor, making a mess and in addition breaking a bowl we quite liked. We might choose to take this personally, inventing a variety of interpretations around how we’re not valued by this despicable, thoughtless, clumsy and quite careless individual; how we deserve better, and so forth. On the other hand, we might consider whether we positively know that our friend intended to harm us. If they didn’t, we can, indeed should let it pass. There’s nothing to forgive. All of us injure and are injured with frightening regularity when there’s no ill-will involved whatever. Wouldn’t it be nice to cut others some slack, and in kind, have others assume the best about our intentions?

It is here that we move on from our first piece of Einstein’s wisdom: “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness (i.e. the same level) that created it,” to this:

“The most important
question you’ll ever ask
is whether the Universe
is a friendly place.”

Albert Einstein
 “What a curious segue,” I hear you say.

It is here that we shift towards the level of the impersonal. The first step is to crystallise our own beliefs about the relative friendliness of the universe. To help get started, here’s a couple of checklists. Tick the ones that resonate.

The Universe is a friendly place if…
1. Your best friend stands you up and you assume he must be saving a hapless kitten from a neighbour’s tree, or some such heroic and time-consuming activity.
2. Your acquaintance doesn’t show for a lunch engagement and you assume he must been run over by a bus and begin to pray for him.

3. When a motorist cuts you up in traffic, you think, “his wife must be in labour and he’s off to help bring a new baby into the world — how glorious!” This does not apply in Kuwait. If you live here, delete this one.

4. When friends fall silent as you approach — you don’t think, “they were talking behind my back,” but instead see yourself rather like Jesus on the Mount of the Beatitudes – they stand in awe of your presence. I have to admit this might involve somewhat more than thinking the Universe is friendly and be a precursor to a descent into delusion.
The Universe is an unfriendly place if…
1. When someone knocks your elbow whilst passing by you in the produce aisle, you grind your teeth as you run your grocery cart full-on into them, determined that no one’s gonna take a swipe at you without consequence.

2. When the waitress charges you for two coffees when you only had one, you demand to see the manager and try to have her fired for cheating you.

3. The teller at the bank is slow to process your transaction and you think this is a mendacious ploy to convey to you that you are worthless and undeserving.

4. You genuinely believe road menders are going out of their way to personally make you late for work.

Based on our responses, a pattern may emerge.  For those who, as of this very moment, are thinking that all the latter examples are justified, and furthermore, that to refrain from acting vigorously and swiftly to avenge such slights would surely lead to their increasing in your life with ever greater and more malevolent frequency , I have some news. It’s not true.


5 thoughts on “Let it go…

  1. It's a bit sad to feel the need to comment on one's own posts, but a codicil has just occurred to me that I might want to read again one day. First, I have to relinquish the notion that I can try to make sense of life, to totally let go of trying to make sense of the world and the people who inhabit it. Otherwise, there is a lack of connection between the Universe being friendly and all the incomprehensible and unfriendly stuff I’d experienced. Pleased with this insight, I scribbled : “Surrender the need to understand why shit happens.”

    I felt an immediate release, a lightness of being, a freedom, and realised just how much energy I’d been spending on trying to force the past to make some sort of sense.


  2. You just so rock.
    I will count on your unfailing sense of good will when I return your vehicle.

    P.S. If I could understand everything, or engineer my past to a point of making sense, I would have no need of the inestimable and inexhaustible grace of God. I'd rather have confusion and grace than the opposite.


  3. Confusion and grace…I quite agree, although the avenues it leads into are unexpected to say the least and frequently unpredictable.
    I'm so glad that you actually intend returning my vehicle and am determined not to allow the tendrils of unease which so easily beset me to ruffle the calm waters in which I now find myself.


  4. John-I recently returned from my study of “alchemy” to find your site a refreshing breath of fresh air. Now that I'm heading out on “the road” I plan to check in more often and start a blog of my own. You have indeed inspired me.
    My favorite Einstein quote is “either everything is a miracle-or nothing is….” I choose the former and try to alter my perspective accordingly. Sometimes it requires a great deal of distance….more than arm's length for sure.


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