Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Anger only holds you captive when you stay in the story with it. Anger only has you by the throat for as long as you keep replaying the record of WHY! I call my recollections of all my past antipathies the memory loop. When I’m caught in the memory loop I am six years old again being told it’s safe to tell my dad what we got him for Christmas unaware that my mother is listening and I’m about to get one hell of a beating. The memory loop reminds me of how my father just sat there as my mother hauled me into the air by one arm and began her savagery.
The memory loop creates hell on earth. It’s insane and it wants you for company. It will take you into every memory of your life where you are either victim or villain and it will make you relive each scene, moment by moment, until your body is tense, your stomach hurts, and you’ve stopped breathing comfortably because your chest is too tight. The memory loop is working overtime to remind you that life isn’t safe, that you can’t trust, that nothing is fare, and that you are always in danger. Stepping out of the memory loop is hard, it takes constant awareness and time.
I have written before about living in the traveling now. There’s a blog by that name on this site if you’re interested. What living in the now does is it takes you out of the memory loop and brings you into this moment and it’s only in this moment that you are alive and capable of really living. The past is dead, the future does not exist, but right now you are alive, passionate, grateful, breathing, feeling, and real.
There are a hundred people I have tried to forgive. I have sat through classes and seminars on the power of forgiveness and they all say that forgiveness isn’t for the person who hurt you it’s for you and you alone. I agree with that and I find that forgiveness comes and goes with mood, threat load, and exhaustion. I have also read Pete Walker’s book, CPTSD, From Surviving to Thriving, where he talks about crying it out of your body with the deep shaking sobs that release trapped emotion. This is also important.
What I like best is just being present. When I can stay in the traveling now in love with my life and with myself then the cruelty of my past remains forgiven, healed and locked in the past while I remain where I am right now. I will not be defined by my trauma. I define my life, I live my life, my life does not live me.
I have done the work. I have cried, prayed, forgiven, surrendered, and let go. I have walked a thousand meditative miles and sat in silence listening to myself breath while my mind healed and I became less attached to the constant screaming of the memory loop. I have freed myself and the last phase of remaining free is remaining present here and now. Give yourself the gift of the now. However healing comes to you, embrace it and enter the now. You can only forgive so many times before it’s time to move on and get down to the joyful business of living.
We were molded in fire but now it’s time to take form.