It turns out, it’s all about forgiveness. Don Henly got it right.
“You keep carryin’ that anger
It’ll eat you up inside baby
I’ve been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
As usual, this will be done in three parts.
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
You expect instant forgiveness (the best kind) when you say, “Pardon me.” Or, “Excuse me.” There’s almost no question, a stranger is likely to say, “No problem.” Or, “It’s alright.” Whatever they say, it didn’t matter that much to you, except that you acknowledged your gaffe, and you knew it was no major transgression. Bump into someone, sneeze, or cut someone off, and all you have to say is, “Pardon (or excuse) me.” And all should be forgiven. It almost goes without saying, except you have to say it.
Forgiving others, especially those whose transgressions have been major, is a whole lot more difficult. For some of us, this writer included, it may take years or decades, or for the more affluent, thousands of dollars spent on therapy. Meditation works for me. I found a meditation that is all about forgiving someone and it works for me. Best of luck to you on this one. Just know that carrying the weight of resentment makes no sense.
Forgive yourself. That’s a command. It may be worse to carry around the weight of regret. Coulda, shoulda, woulda — this is the mantra of so many. It has nothing to do with meditation, except it kinda does. Meditation is about trying to control or at least acknowledge your thoughts. If you spend your time thinking about what might have been, you are throwing away a very precious commodity, time. Time is all you have and now is best. Your future might be better. But the only way to truly enjoy this moment and the next is to live fully in it and expect the best of the next one. Looking back and wishing anything had been different is an energy drain. Envision a better future and you’ll clearly see that living in the past is for suckers and fools. You are neither.
You are wisdom, courage, and serenity, and all you’ve been through has made you the strong and confident person you are at this moment. Revel in that.