When the Time Comes Will We Be Able to Forgive?

How do we live with that soul numbing pain we all know so well, but desperately wish to forget? You know what I’m talking about, the kind of inner pain that cuts a wide swath through our soul and then leaves us vacant and drained. It’s so much easier to be the hard ass, first with ourselves and then with all the others. You can’t be hurt by what you don’t let in, so let’s just raise our shields and hate those bastards because…...because they deserve it, that’s why. Of course, there’s always a special place in my personal hell for a few select psychopaths who deserve my best, most exceptional rage.

The thing is, though, when we finally lay splayed upon the floor exhausted from our hating labors, we still remain unsated and thoroughly dissatisfied. It is only then that we comprehend that we are all that we have left to abhor. Trust me on this one; those are the really ugly hate hangovers, the ones that spring from our own self loathing and disgust, along with our unabashed anger at the cruel world and those who we can single out for special hatred. Come on, we can admit it. We are all so very angry, furious even, at what the sociopaths have dealt us this time around. None the less, here we are. Or soon enough will be. So what are we going to do?

 

Howard Beale at the end

 

I suspect some of us are sitting smug as a bug thinking that we really aren’t all that angry, just plenty pissed off and loaded for bear. And that might well be the case, at least for now anyway. But just wait until the really shocking stuff is exposed, because the ass hat parade hasn’t even begun to march down Main Street. And between you and me, those stupid little clown cars, the irritating enablers and sycophants, are really going to irritate me to no end when they start to whine. Then what will we do?

I’ll tell you what we do; either we forgive them or we will be consumed by them. Either we dismiss them from our mind with an open and honest heart or we will be owned by them lock, stock and barrel. The choice is up to us and no one else, because at this point we are just renting space in our heads to those little bastards and it is slowly eating us alive. Sure, maybe for now the rented space is just closet sized and free of charge. But when the fecal matter hits several hundred million spinning minds there is going to be giant sized outrage and then the rent rapidly rises from free to mental and emotional slavery.

Forgiving someone or something certainly doesn’t mean forgetting what has been done. Nor does forgiving mean we should let ‘them’ off without punishment or sentence. And I definitely didn’t say a thing about turning the cheek. Nope, I said nothing of the sort. Forgiving is all about giving us permission to let go of all the hate, anger and bile that has been building for years, decades even. Forgiving is about evicting the demons that have occupied our mind for so long that we no longer know where we end and they begin. Forgiving them is all about forgiving ourselves.

Speaking from personal experience and only about me, when it came time for me to forgive I no longer knew how. I didn’t have it in me precisely when I most urgently needed to know how to forgive others so that I could forgive myself. I hadn’t realized that hating for as long as I did effectively sterilized from me my naturally occurring compassion and empathy. So when the time came to turn those healing tools upon others I found to my dismay that I could not heal myself.

Now I have come to understand that if I do not use the tools I have available, they become rusted, blunt and stale. Wait even longer and they are completely forgotten, assuring that I will soon become what I hate. So now I work daily to keep my forgiving sharp and at the ready. And the funny thing is that because of my continuous forgiving labors I now see that the time to forgive might never come because it is here already.

 

09-06-2011

Cognitive Dissonance

 

self forgiving

 

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3 thoughts on “When the Time Comes Will We Be Able to Forgive?”

  1. Conversation with Mrs. Ko last night after she had to call and argue with Irving oil about our low propane. It is frustrating to have to argue with someone about what you are pretty sure you need and they say based on their calculations they feel you do not. How do you deal with the frustration of expectations. Do you have the one minute of hate at the person on the phone, the one who is at that moment in time the physical manifestation of the company? The one minute hate never feels good for more than the one minute and the hangover lasts for a long time. Its origin seems to come down to expectations.

    We have expectations about others. Others do not meet the expectations. Depending on those expectations we are annoyed to angery to out right hateful. However, the expectations are ours. They did not arise de novo from the relationship, or from thin air. They come from within. As such they are ours to forgive or to feed. Expectations lead you to the path of anger every time!!! Normally I would feel quite justified in my anger and really lean into it, but tonight I am just asking why does this stuff make me so angry? Why do I continue to have expectations.

    Mr Ko

    1. Mr Ko,

      You said “Expectations lead you to the path of anger every time!!!

      On the face of it that statement appears to be correct, but only when seen through the prism of being a victim to those who have not met our expectations and only to the extent we are dependent upon others to meet our expectations. If Irving Propane was not (I presume) your sole supplier of propane you could simply turn to someone else to fill your tank and your expectations.

      Just as we tend to miss the difference between needs and wants, so do we miss the difference between expectation and dependency. I have found that when I am not dependent upon someone else my expectations are not as high. And by dependent I am not just talking abut physical or financial, but also emotional and psychological.

      Cognitive Dissonance

  2. Cog,

    An excellent way to approach this. Using the concept of expectations works well for us. When we see anger, disappointment, bewilderment, or any range of positive or negative emotions, it has served as a signal that we have expectations about a behavior of another being. When we let go of those expectations to just be in the moment, then we have found that we are content. We discussed the concept of expectations hiding unrecognized dependency, it seems like a valid approach to finding the dependencies in your life. We will add that to our consideration when we find expectations met or unmet. Paying attention has been the most important activity, attention to our actions and reactions. Learning to just do one thing at a time has helped us pay more attention.

    Mr Ko

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