A man sits alone in a smoky bar, dressed in black, a reflection of the state of his battered soul. His eyes filled with the pain of recent betrayal, he stares blankly at the empty table top.
Across the room a woman dressed in red makes a slow approach; she’s intoxicating to watch, every movement of her body tells him she’s his salvation.
She sits and the story of his woes are slowly drawn out, as his saviour gains his trust.
“What she did to you was so wrong” the words he’s been waiting to hear…
“You deserve to be happy” like balm to his soul…
“If only she could feel the pain she has caused you” the heroin of sweet bitterness offered like breast milk to a starving child.
“Yes… she should feel my pain” he begins to think as the narcotic enters his bloodstream…
I know the seduction of sweet bitterness, of hatred… oh it feels good to hate… justified, like watching a film where the bad guy has a hammer taken to him.
In my own anger, rage and struggle to forgive I’ve looked for that hammer to rip the world apart but instead found something much greater.
A mantra, an insight, a truth. “Bitterness and un-forgiveness, are like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies”
I saw people who were “victims” and how they would live by their wounds. Telling any passing ear that would listen, to their stories of woe, in the hopes of finding a fellow wounded soul.
Then I saw those who had taken ownership of their lives. Those who had learned to forgive, not for the benefit of those who had wronged them but for themselves. They knew they couldn’t change the past but they could change how they responded to it. They could get their power back.
I learned that forgiveness doesn’t come through willpower but through insight. Willpower only goes so far. It’s like trying to hold the cork in, on a shaken bottle of Champagne. As soon as your strength fades the cork comes flying out and everyone gets covered.
As I touched on in my first book, I couldn’t forgive my father for his old school ways during my childhood. Not until I had the insight, that he was just another man, flawed like me, trying to figure his way through life.
I couldn’t begin to forgive a good friend and business partner who betrayed me until I owned my part in the failure and got an insight into the way he thinks.
He was man full of bitterness who had learned to fuck or be fucked. Some people are so damaged and have been seduced by un-forgiveness for so long that this has become their realty. They start to live in a world where they can see all the angles on how someone might be fucking them over and so they get the upper hand and fuck them over first.
I’ve seen bitterness slowly creep into the lives of some I have loved dearly and it’s awful to watch, it’s like a cancer slowly eating them away from the inside out.
I choose to forgive for me, because it sets me free. I’ve got one life to live and I don’t want to waste a single minute of my tiny existence in hatred.
So who are the people in your life? Are they like the lady in red who listen, empathise and then help you develop a victim mind-set? Or are they people who will listen, empathise and then say to you, as only a true friend can “Now what the fuck are you going to do about it? Own your part, find an insight and let’s move on!”