About 3 years ago, I wrote a piece called No more poison!. In it, I reflected on something don Miguel Ruiz said in his book The Four Agreements. He wrote, “Taking things personally makes you prey for predators. They can hook your attention with one little opinion, and feed you whatever poison they want. Refuse to eat poison! When he put it in those words, “Refuse to eat poison!” I realized how logical that sounds. Most people would not voluntarily or consciously eat poison. Yet some of us eat and serve poison on a daily basis.
Any time we hold a resentment towards someone, we are poisoning ourselves. The longer we hold the resentment, the more poison we are ingesting. A steady ingestion of poison over time can lead to an early death. So, in actuality, when we do this we are not only poisoning ourselves, we are committing suicide. We are leading ourselves to a type of early death. Nelson Mandela once said, “Holding on to resentment is like taking a poison pill and waiting for the other person to die.” We are the ones who die when we hold on to resentment.
The remedy for this is forgiveness. It is the key to experiencing love and joy in the present moment and removing the poison from our system. Forgiveness has little to do with the other party. Forgiveness is not about condoning another's hurtful actions; it is about releasing our negative emotions and perceptions about the painful events. Otherwise, we keep ourselves chained to those events or people. We keep it alive within ourselves and judge others and ourselves repeatedly. We wind up carrying the memories and pain of the event or person (people) with us for years and sometimes our entire lives. Carrying all can end up affecting our emotional, mental, and spiritual and even our physical health and well-being.
We are responsible for what we do, think and feel. We can choose to hold on to painful events, poisoning ourselves each day, or we can choose to stop poisoning ourselves by forgiving others and ourselves.
We can't change what happened in the past, but we have choice over how we live now. May we all choose to stop taking the poison pills and focus on our living and freedom from suffering.