Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Betrayal, Anger, Revenge, Forgiveness

This last week has been quite revelatory and insightful for me. I heard from three different people their stories of betrayal, anger and an all consuming desire for revenge.

 One of my friends had been let down by a friend and was extremely hurt and shocked , another was suppressing very deep anger and the third was plotting ways to take revenge for an act committed almost 25 years ago. Each one of them had their version of the story and was reacting in a way that was expected and they felt that their anger, frustration and a desire to take revenge was justified. As I was listening to these very personal stories, I was quite moved and saddened by what they had to endure.

I realized that most of us choose to carry this sack of anger, resentment, frustration, guilt and jealousy.
Although this sack really weighs us down we still choose to carry it with us all the time where ever we go. Any opportunity we get, we open it and share what we have inside.

 The anger and desire for revenge feels justified but what I have learnt from my spiritual teachers is that nothing that is happening to us is because of another person. All that we face in life, whether painful or pleasurable is all because of our own karmic seeds. The reason we don’t see it as such is because the moment we take form in a new body we forget our previous life, but the soul remembers all that is owed to it and what it needs to give. So when a person shows up in our life who gives us too much pain we invariably end up angry, frustrated and desire to take revenge. We question back and forth and wonder how and why did a person do this to us. Sadly we have forgotten our karmic debt towards that person and cannot fathom why a particular episode should occur.

I have now come to understand that there is no one who is doing anything to us. We ourselves have created the events in our life. The analogy used by one of the teachers was, lets say we borrowed money from a friend. On the day we borrowed the money the friend was wearing a red outfit. We see the friend a few days later and this time the friend asks us for the money back but now she is wearing a white outfit and has her hair done differently. Do we deny her the money just because she is wearing different clothes and looking different? We could try but the consequences are not going to be pleasant. Similarly our life is one big give and take. All that is happening in our life is due to some kind of karmic credit or debit. The sooner we realize the better. Instead of blaming another and seeking ways to take revenge why not just focus on healing the pain instead of causing the pain.

The cycle needs to break. We get all these opportunities to pay our karmic debts but instead we add more to the debt.

 I know some people do not believe in reincarnation or the continuity of soul, but I do and the only explanation that seems plausible to me is the understanding of the law of karma. How else can we understand how and why things happen to us? God is not responsible and God cannot be blamed or given credit for all that happens. Instead of asking why me, the question should be; how did I attract this particular event in my life and what can I do to ensure a different outcome if what I am experiencing is not pleasant.

 I heard a very heart -breaking story from a young woman yesterday who spoke about the ill treatment vetted out to her parents from some relatives. She saw her parents suffer and was so angry that she vowed to make the people responsible for the suffering pay. She said to me that she did not mind burning in hell but she wanted the perpetrators to suffer and feel the pain that they had caused. The pain in her voice and in her eyes was palpable. Her anger was justified, but my question to her was, what would it achieve? She will probably end up with ulcers as she is unable to digest this pain. She has young children who will pick up on the pain that the mother is going through.

Even though we think we are keeping the pain hidden from our children. This is seldom the case. Children know and they care. And sadly our children end up bearing the burden of our doing. Karma always comes back. If we are responsible for some one’s suffering we can be one hundred percent sure that we will create a cause for our own suffering. Similarly if we have given joy to someone, we can rest assured that we will partake in joy.

 However much be the temptation to take revenge and do tit for tat, take a step back and see how and why you attracted this particular event in your life and instead of reacting think how you can cut the tree before it bears any further bitter fruits. My three friends and I had a long and interesting discussion on this subject and we did an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) exercise on forgiveness and acceptance and all felt relieved and not so vindictive and angry any more. The key to any kind of pain is to focus on the healing and not on causing more pain. Next time you feel angry and feel that another’s behavior is causing you pain, think that you are paying of a karmic debt.

Clear all your karmic debts as soon as you can because they come back exponentially in other life times.

 Love, luck and happiness Shveitta Sethi Sharma