It has been said that the measurement of a human being is how they act in times of adversity. It is easy to be kind, peaceful and loving when the seas are calm but how does one act when the storm rushes in and the waves thrash about? How does one act when one is challenged to the core of their soul?
This is the question I pondered today as I sat at a crossroad. I understood that the foundation to peace is compassion, love and forgiveness. I have watched from a distance and talked about how I would act in times of extreme adversity. I looked on in admiration of the mother in Georgia who when given the opportunity to speak to the murderer of her child spoke only kindness and gave him forgiveness.
I remembered the words of Jesus in Matthew 18: 21-22 when Peter came to him and asked “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me that I forgive him? Till seven times?”
Jesus answered “I say unto thee not seven times but seventy seven times.”
I thought I would act the same, let go of any anger no matter the issue. Buddha’s words were fresh in my mind when he tells us anger is like a holding onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing at someone else. In the end we are the ones who gets hurt.
Through all these thoughts I still sat today in anger and frustration. I had been accused of something I did not do with threats to withhold something very dear to me. My initial reaction was anger. It was to defend myself. It was to fight. My mind was telling me I had ever right to be angry. It spent a lot of time justifying its reaction.
In despair, I sat and read Mahatma Gandhi’s quote over and over again:
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
I breathed. I read. I wrote. I breathed again and again. Once I calmed my mind, this misadventurous culprit who loves to be out control and create havoc, I could see clearly again. I allowed myself to put aside these emotions and realize these feelings were not me. I could freshly look at the situation again and forgive any wrong doing.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. It is the root in understanding everything. If one holds onto this anger, these feelings inside then they end up controlling us. They eat us up from the inside and create barriers for us to love, to connect to other beings. No righteousness is worth this price.
I can now create new actions clear from my feelings. I can create and communicate something different out of this situation all from the power of forgiveness. I can open my heart and love without any limitation. I am in control of my life and I choose forgiveness….I choose love.
Call to Action:
Where in your life are you holding onto something because of anger or righteousness? Is being right in your mind worth this price? Let all of these thoughts and emotions go.
Where in your life can you take the step in giving forgiveness? Give unconditional forgiveness and love.
Let go of all barriers to love. Give compassion, love and forgiveness every moment of every day.
Thomas D. Craig
Author A Cup of Buddha
Writer. Seeker. Warrior