Anger and Hatred meet Compassion and Forgiveness
People find it hard to believe that I just can't get really angry, feel hatred or hold grudges, and even I have wondered why this is so. Compassion and forgiveness are indeed contributing factors, and I practice these in both meditation and daily life, but it seems that there has been a deeper internal shift that is allowing me to be so accepting.
I have had more than my share of heartache, betrayal and the like; up until a few years ago, I dealt with such things from behind the impenetrable walls I had built as a young girl to shield me from the emotional agony of my childhood, but I remained behind those walls for far too long and as an adult it was these very walls that served to imprison me. As a child, the walls saved my life, but as an adult they did a pretty rubbish job of protecting me and served only to shield me from joy, from life itself, so they had to go.
Nevertheless, through it all, there was a light in my heart that still shone, sometimes brightly, sometimes it was just a wee flicker, but it never went out. No matter how much emotional pain, angst or despair that I endured, my heart remained open. I used to refer to myself as a goldfish, asserting that I must have had no memory of such pain, since I seemed to subject myself to it time and again; if I had continued to separate myself from the world, I may have never change my perspective, but when I tore down the walls and stood amidst the rubble, I soon realised that the fear of being exposed was far greater than the exposure itself. The connection I feel with others and the world gives me the strength to keep my heart open and provides ample fuel for the light in my heart to shine ever so brightly each and every day.
Through the practices of compassion and forgiveness what I have come to understand is that no one who has hurt me has done so out of malice; they have all, bar none, done so from a place of pain, so how could I possibly feel anything but compassion? What I discovered about myself as I meander along life's journey is that anger, hatred or anything else that leads to grudges is just not part of my emotional repertoire and I'm going to do my darndest to keep it that way, by doing what I've always done, by never putting another out of my heart.