Our brains needs to be re-programmed out of the negative states we identify with, if we want to find peace of mind, serenity, and a sense of happiness and fulfillment in life. If we don’t change our state, we our victims to being moody, depressed, feeling guilty, remorseful, resentful, lonely, and experience a feeling of inadequacy.
We can change our state by making a choice to do so. When we experience a loss in life, the power we give that event over our mental state, is our choice. Let’s say our child is diagnosed with a rare disorder or illness that can not be identified; which happened to our little Cammy. Do we make a decision to learn as much as we can to help our child and adapt our life to this new experience?
The alternative is to believe we were robbed by life. That life presented us with a cruel challenge. This is not to be confused with the healthy emotion of sadness. Sadness and suffering are not the same. Sadness is a natural response to loss. It is meant to be felt and processed. We don’t have to fake an unnatural or happy response.
Suffering is when we allow sadness to turn into an unhealthy emotion; rage, bitterness, regret or a sense that life has not treated us fairly.
We had a recent incident in our life, where someone had the right to take some of our things. When they arrived to recover the assets they were told our children’s jungle gym essentially had no value; the cost to remove it far exceeded the value it may have. We offered to pay the appraised value and were told the buyer would rather tear it down then let us pay for it.
This is the darkest state of humanity when we would consciously attack little children in hopes that attack will make the parents suffer. Of course our children were sad and we were sad for them. However, they do not suffer and neither do we.
We explained to them that when people are afraid or in pain, they lash out. That we all do this; just as they have done it to each other. The solution is not to be mad or angry but to pray for the other person. My children replied “Mommy we are not in a praying mood”.
I understand! Sometimes we are not in a praying mood. However, to be bitter about an attack only causes us to suffer. To wish the other person would or could change, to dwell in the past, to relive the experience mapping out how things could have gone differently, or to allow vengeance to blacken our own hearts; are all negative states that will cause us to suffer.
Instead we can choose to feel our sadness. Then we can choose not to dwell on those thoughts which can not change the reality of NOW but can cause us to suffer immeasurably and keep us stuck.
The irony is they are still not done tearing down the jungle gym and the spiteful person will now have to pay for a third trip to accomplish his mission of destruction.
This opens a question for all of us to live in; “How much does my vengeance cost me?” How many trips do I pay for when I allow this negative state to have power in my life? What is the cost to my own psyche and sense of inadequacy?
It seems hard to forgive until you train your brain. Like any new habit it may seem impossible at first. Then when you see the payoff; your own emotional maturity, sense of well being and purposefulness in the lives of others; it becomes rather easy.
It’s also ironic that vulnerability is the key to peace. When we have the courage to say this hurt me and I am sad; without the need to make the other person wrong, or attack them or expect them to change. Just this hurt and it made me sad. Then we move forward with our life. They may not choose to do anything about our sadness, but when we come from this place of vulnerability it quickens the process of letting go and we realize they don’t have to do anything. We did everything we needed to do and now we can move on to the next chapter in our lives.
Don’t tear down the jungle gyms in your own life or in others. Instead, let go of whatever negative thoughts you have, feel your sadness and then keep trudging the happy road of destiny.