Guy answers two questions below about how to deal with people who make you feel angry and hateful. And remember, other people’s actions are about them, not you. Forgiveness is for you, not them.
Question: Can you please explain how when somebody really makes you feel angry that you must forgive them for it? Does that not give them permission to do it more?
Answer: It’s your life. No one on this planet, in fact in this universe, has the power to punish any of us in any way without our consent. What this means is that others may do wrong to you, but you don’t have to do wrong to yourself because of it. And this is the only wrongness that we feel.
Question: How do I work to find forgiveness in my heart when the hatred seems so justified?
Answer: The true spiritual key to finding forgiveness in your heart for another is in awakening to your need to be forgiven for having been seduced into becoming someone who believes there is a valid reason for hating anyone.
To be angry and hateful is to suffer. It doesn’t help anyone to get angry. Anger hurts whoever is angry. It burns. Anger ruins relationships, causes heartache and regret, and devastates health. And yet, in spite of all of these facts, when we are angry it feels right. Somehow, in some unseen way, anger proves to whoever is experiencing its heated feelings that he or she is right even though, in the eyes of reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
How can something so wrong seem so right? Feelings of anger and hatred feel like they’re in your best interest because, at the time of their intrusion into your life, they temporarily fill you with a powerful false sense of self, born out of fierce but lying feelings that can only exist without your conscious consent or awareness of it being there. This negative-self’s interests are not in your best interest. This conjured-up temporary identity is nothing but a self-of-suffering.
One day you will wonder how you were ever tricked into feeling bad about anything or anyone. The Truth wants you to know that it is never in your best interest to suffer, no matter how inwardly convincing it may feel to you that you will be betraying yourself or someone else if you don’t. The only way that any suffering feeling can prove to you that you need it is to hypnotize you with a flood of itself.
Step back from yourself.
Learn instead to listen to the quiet stream of higher insight that runs softly through your true nature. It sees through sorrow and resentment. Let it show you that suffering proves nothing. Ask yourself, “If I am doing what I want to do, then how come it hurts me to do it?” The true spiritual life is about a human being realizing that his life is not to be used by antagonistic thoughts and feelings.
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About the Author: Guy Finley, Your Bi-Weekly Mentor, is the best-selling author of more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for spiritual discovery located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. For more information visit www.guyfinley.org, and sign up to receive a free helpful weekly newsletter and other gifts.
Click here to read Guy’s autobiography and find more of his articles posted on The Teen Mentor.