What you did wasn’t that bad. A hasty ill-judged remark, an over-indulgence, a minor act of selfishness. You want to forget about it but the memory lingers. What if somebody else noticed? You feel uneasy with yourself. Is this the tiny prick of conscience? A sense you have done something wrong? You want to feel better about yourself but you cannot change what happened. You want to find self-respect after doing wrong.
I know who my enemy is: the individual who maliciously damages my property: tramps all over the flower-bed in the garden: scratches the car with a key: trashes the home during a burglary. I feel angered by anyone who threatens to harm my sense of well-being. These are the people I want to complain about and get my own back on. So how on earth does one stop hating such people. How do you love your enemy?
Have you been hopping mad recently? Some people temperamentally seem to be more easily roused to anger than are others. Yet, to some extent we all get irritated at times. We feel cross when others attack what we love like our child or pet animal for instance.
It could be something we love in ourselves, that when attacked, causes us a sense of wounded pride. We may experience `road rage’ in our heart, reasoning defensively in our head about it being the other driver’s entire fault.
We might then use our hands to make rude gestures or write letters making unreasonable demands. Offensive putdowns thrown at us in a condescending tone of voice also can get to us. Then irritation easily spirals when we retaliate in kind and the heated things that are said – which on reflection we often do not even mean – hurt both parties. It is possible to harbour resentment for years especially if we continually avoid someone or allow ourselves to slip into the habit of not conversing with them when we do have an opportunity.
Spiritual healing may be a relevant way forward. However making up may be easier said than done. In addition, not every attempt at reconciliation works. After all, it takes two to tango. We need to eat a little humble pie even if the other person does not. The trouble is as …..