Time and again, I return to this idea of engaging with the supposed enemy, those individuals in our lives who seem hell-bent on making our existence miserable. Even if for only a brief moment in time—as transient as a person from a neighboring lane in traffic cutting us off abruptly—the memories from these events seem to live on within us for far longer than necessary.
This afternoon, a coworker and I were lamenting this habit and wondering why it is that the negative acts seem to linger longer than the ones that restore our faith in humanity—even the simplest act of another driver opening a window of opportunity for you to switch lanes.
I have expended much time and energy to distance myself from these individuals—physically and emotionally. As entertaining as it is to watch West Side Story actors in action, I simply do not wish to engage in the kind of dance it would require.
A friend recently offered a suggestion for a way to move through moments when memories of traumatic encounters of the negative kind with fellow humans rise to the surface. One possible solution is to create a shift—the miracle that can happen when you deliberately change your perspective of a situation. En lieu of sending negative energy into the universe, send love and the desire for the individual to experience a shift in their own awareness. As difficult and undesirable as it may feel, especially when a voice in my mind and heart is yelling for vengeance and retribution, I know this will have immediate, and possibly (hopefully) even far-reaching rippling events in a positive direction.
I seem to stubbornly try to stick to my desire to wave my fist in the air and yell out, “I will be revenged,” forgetting these words of wisdom and needing regular reminders. This friend tends to be right about these situations, especially when he tells me that holding onto the negative memories from individuals who have “wronged” me in the past only succeeds in ensuring that I, too, will remain in prison.
Doesn’t seem worth it, does it?
So why is it so very difficult to let go and even more difficult to send love out to where it is perhaps most needed?
I cannot imagine that in the depths of their souls, these individuals are benefiting from the pain they have inflicted. These kinds of behaviors seem to originate from places of low self-esteem, unhappiness, a need for control in a chaotic world, and so on.
Who wouldn’t wish to shift that energy toward one of love and support?
So, as I enter my 31st year on this planet, I will continue to meditate on these ideas and attempt to send love and miracles in as many directions as possible.
And I can certainly start close to home by being kind on the many thoroughfares of New England.