I know exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to slip on a clown mask, find where they live in London, show up at their door when they leave for work in the morning, and hit them with a cricket bat.
And what did this person deserve this retribution? It's not even worth talking about. He turned down an opportunity that I offered him. He did it to hurt me, and cheese me off.
What a waste of time! It happens without warning, and turns daydreams into nightmares.
But what is this, a way to be angry? Will doing the complete opposite lead to peace of mind, that great elixir that we all seek?
There’s my favourite Zen story: two monks by the river. A prostitute trying to cross. One of the monks carries her across, sets her down, then the two monks keep on going. The monk who didn’t carry her gets more and more agitated. Finally, “why did you do that? You know we are not supposed to even touch women like that!”
And the monk who carried her said, “I left her by the river. Why are you still carrying her?”
Is this the secret; to always think, why am I still carrying her?
There are lots of ways to practise forgive, and here are but a few!
1) Pause I’m upset. So I take a pause. “I’m going to think about this later when I’m maybe more rational.”, instead of waking up from a dream about a cricket bat with sweat like blood all over my hands.
2) Understanding. In the incident I’m thinking of, I know why this guy won't take up my offer. So even though I’ve never done anything to him, he has some anger towards me. There’s nothing I can do about it. He feels he is the victim. Understanding will help me react differently.
3) The Cartoon Character Technique. I like to wake up pretending I’m a cartoon character. My deal in this particular cartoon strip is to land in different cartoon strips and figure out where I am and solve the other characters problems. Today I woke up in this strip.
I explore the sensations in my character. Oh, it’s nothing. Better to focus on getting this character in shape, happy, productive. I have 24 hours in this character. What food can I eat today? What’s the best thing I can do with it. Clearly the wrongs I suffered in the past are not worth spending time on. I’m a cartoon character here for 24 hours after all.
5) Accept. They might be angry for things that have nothing to do with me. If someone is beaten or unloved as a kid, they are going to lash out in some way in the future at the people around them. Doesn’t mean I have to be around them. But accepting who they are, it also helps me to heal & nourish myself. They are the real victims, sadly, as I get to move forward in my life.
6) Kindness. Often I can forgive people by doing an act of kindness for them. You never really want to do this, but try it, as it is very good for you; just try it!Often, if someone has made you angry, a simple “hello” or “good job!” will defuse the situation. Kindness is the most powerful weapon created for humans when used correctly. And honestly.
In every situation you are in today, try to practise these six things. Then when you jettison into the next cartoon character, you will be prepared for anything that comes your way!