We all have things we should forgive.
We all have things we perceive to be unforgiveable.
Each day, we wake up and pull on our pants and shirts one limb at a time, but we also are placing a metaphorical weighted vest of grievances on our shoulders.
A good practice for when we are overflowing with anger, frustration, or feelings that we’ve been “cheated” or “tricked” is to sit and write out the exact message you’d like to send them.
Then put it in a drawer for a few days.
And finally, return to it.
Almost always, we crumple it up and toss it (or burn it).
It is cathartic and healing.
So, why don’t many of us actively seek to forgive or heal the wounds that our many grievances leave gaping in our souls?
Why are we so willing to hang on to these foolish, trivial, and petulant grudges?
Because we enjoy nothing less than a good reason to feel like we are a victim.
It gives license to feel bad about yourself.
To vent to others. Gossip.
Exclaim “Woe is me, my life hard fated!” to the world…and they reinforce you endlessly with the words you want to hear.
“You’re right. You’re right,” instead of telling you what you need to hear.
And so, you dig yourself into a Narcissistic pit in which you cry endlessly, filling the same pit with your tears.
When you’re diagnosed with cancer at 45…
Or have a fatal accident…
Or end up with a disease that robs you of your ability to live freely…
Are you really going to cling tightly to the time someone called you “Faggot” in middle school?
Will you honestly care about how an ex ran their mouth behind your back with rumors?
How about the time a boss promoted someone else over your because you wouldn’t sleep with them?
No, you will forget all these petty trivialities and wish for just another hour alive.
So pick up a pen and some paper. Pour out those overflowing and angry grievances. Let it out.
And then, let it go.
Follow for daily philosophical meditations.
These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”
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