Captain’s Log 5,728
I try to be kind. I really do. I don’t kill spiders or crickets in my house. I don’t eat animals. I don’t harass people. I don’t expect more than what people can give or are willing to share with me. I am grateful for the experiences I have had and all the people who have come through the doors of my heart and soul. I apologize freely and easily.
Most importantly, I forgive people. The more you do it, the easier it gets. But the funny thing about forgiveness is that it starts with yourself. If your soul is not ‘”clear,” there is no way you can experience forgiveness. Several years ago, there was a blogger out there who made life a living hell for me and several of my friends. She was harsh and unforgiving. She said cruel and hateful things on her journal about me and my friends. Yes, I was angry, but I wanted it to be over. I knew that I had allowed her to frustrate me – to bring me to anger – to make me feel disgust and outrage. And I didn’t like myself very much for that. I had allowed her to enter with her darkness and diminish me. I held some responsibility too. I let her hurt me. I gave her power over my own truth. And I fed into her darkness by talking about her with others – almost taking glee in how much we disliked her. We even fantasized about taking a bus to her small hometown and jumping into the fray as a group. It was wrong to do that.
So I announced on my journal (Diaryland) that I had to forgive myself before I could get about the business of dealing with her. I got several frantic and questioning emails. Poolie! You didn’t do anything wrong! Why should you be sorry? Well, it wasn’t about being sorry. It was about letting go of my own attachment to the game. It was hard work. It took weeks to tame the beast of anger and disappointment. I worked hard to replace my need to be loyal with my desire to release this angry and bitter woman to her own creation.
When I was ready, I called her on the phone. I had never spoken to her, but it was easy enough to find her number on the internet. Imagine the surprise (for both of us) when we found ourselves have a conversation. I wasn’t angry. I did not raise my voice. I spoke kindly and rationally about the situation and my feelings surrounding the mess. I did not blame her or shame her. I simply spoke the truth. I wished her well. I know she was shocked. I know she was waiting for the hammer to fall on her head, but it never did. I forgave myself and was therefore able to release her and all the power she had taken over my thoughts and feelings.
She did not stop being mean, but she never mentioned me again. She tangled with more people and caused more hurt. But I could detach and not let the pain enter my little world anymore. I could keep her at a distance. There are people in the world that must be kept at a distance. Those who diminish you (or at least try) cannot be given dominion over the truth of who you really are.
I am not a master at this. I work hard when faced with people who hurt me. The brave ones say it to my face but the cowards talk behind my back. I know when this happens. I am very well aware of people’s true feelings for me. I know I bring out the worst in some people, but that is not my choice. I have no power over what other people think of me. And quite frankly, as I get older and more settled into my own soul and skin, I really don’t give a damn.
Wow. This is a rambling entry. Not sure where it comes from. I was smitten this morning by the photo below. The kindness of the soldier made me think of how we can all be kind. True kindness is doing for others without any expectation of anything in return. Kindness is (or should be) just kindness. Some people use it as a scorecard to get something in return, and that is misguided and can only lead to disappointment.
So I try every day to be kind. I don’t want to be aware of kindness all the time. I just want it to happen. It would be nice if kindness was always received well, but sometimes it is not. That’s okay too. Like I said earlier, we have no power over what people do with our gifts of love, time, attention, or resources. If we have expectations, the gift was not given freely. We need to look at that. At least I need to keep that on the radar for myself. I make mistakes every day. This is a journey, not a destination.
Random acts of kindness and purposeful forgiveness. Imagine if the world could be powered with that all of the time. Imagine.