Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Grudge

I have grown accustomed to people bickering; people growing angry and the eventual fallout.  And as much as I'd like to claim that there is some universal solution for once friends turning into now enemies, I don't really believe that is the case.  We, as human beings, realize that our own personalities are unique and that any amount of analysis will never yield complete results.  We are each of billions of separate energy beings that are unique, defined in minute but important ways.  Certain personalities simply don't fit together in this great puzzle of human interaction, certain personalities can degrade specific others unknowingly, and the eventual and natural reaction is to act out and break the ties that bind.
I believe the greater evil in this particular dilemma is not people eventually parting ways or having quarrel.  No one should force a relationship they feel disheveled and belittled within among friends or loved ones, and especially after attempts have been made to remedy.  But we hold the people we hate so close to our hearts.  We hold those little attributes up like wicked idols, letting them rampage the heart and mind.  We become possessed by our feelings of hate, and eventually can't move on.  
There is an Buddhist proverb that goes something like this:
Two monks on there travels spot a young women standing before a river.  She had two servants with her, and she showed a look of obvious dissatisfaction.  She was wearing fine clothes, and she didn't seem to know how to deal with the dilemma of crossing without her linens getting soaked and dirtied.  She seemed very crossed with her entourage even though they couldn't solve her troubles because of her enormous baggage.  The elder of the monks, seeing her distress, calmly took her on his back and crossed the river.  Upon the crossing the woman gave no sign of thanks, but walked away with all arrogance.  
When the two monks rejoin there travels, the younger monk spent his hours dwelling on this moment and the unthankful woman.  Finally, when he could bear to hold it no more, he said to the elder, "Why did you help that woman cross the river?  She was so mean and arrogant, how could you stand it?"
In his wisdom, the elder replied, "I laid her down hours ago, why do you still carry her?"
Why do we still carry the little grudge in our head?  We have the option to set her down and take the weight off the mind.  We have the option at every second, at every little moment of misery.
Not to say that it is easy.  It is hard to articulate, but we all seem to find a strange pleasure in our misery.  With a grudge it can be even worse, because hatred is a fire within us.  Hate makes us feel powerful, and self-pity, a common partner to hate in our personal grudges, makes us feel self-important; superior to the little ones around us.  I have dwelt in my own head long enough to know how good it feels to make myself a martyr.  But it stigmatizes yourself from the people around you.
And in truth, the greatest revenge is a life well lived.  
I would rather wake up free from all negative attachment every morning, and greet the love that I can choose to store in myself, and I'm working on it.  I want to surround myself with people I love, and cast the ones that cause me woe out of my subconscious to where they will not bother me.  Then I can be me.

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