Has this every happened to you? Someone cuts you off on the road and almost causes an accident. You get so outraged, you drive up next to this idiot and try to give them the “stink eye,” but they ignore you. You are so upset that you don’t see the car in front of you and almost cause an accident because you weren’t watching the road.
It happens to me all the time. I get so indignant when someone puts my life and the lives of my sons in danger. And why shouldn’t I? They are in the wrong. I am just minding my own business, and some maniac swoops in front me like a bat out of hell. “How dare they? Don’t they know who I am?”
The irony is that I put my life and the lives of my sons’ in danger by trying to seek justice for this violation. The real question I should be asking myself is “who am I to get so upset about something I am often guilty of myself?”
For this Month’s Peace Challenge, I invented a new practice called Flash Forgiveness. Instead of jump to outrage and indignation, I am going to forgive instantaneously. I’m actually looking for opportunities to forgive. Like a fisherman waiting for a bite, I’m mindfully going about my day hoping someone will trespass against me. The instant they do, I yank back my ego, and start forgiving.
In the few short days I’ve been doing this practice, I’ve noticed that I hold a lot of grudges. I judge BMWs and Mercedes as being selfish and over-privileged, so when one does cut me off, I scream, “I knew it. BMWs are such dickheads.” I judge others on race, class, gender, and age. Young punks driving lowered Acuras race past me and my sons in the crosswalk; old Asian women in banged up Toyota Camrys drive way too slow, which puts my kids in danger by making me drive faster. Forgive, forgive, forgive.
By forgiving instantly, I inhibit prejudices that taint my interactions with others. If one type of person cheats me, by instantly forgiving them, I prevent myself from judging someone who looks like them in the future.
I also believe that this daily practice will help me heal deeper wounds. By practicing forgiveness at all times, I will make forgiveness my modus operandi. Maybe I will become addicted to forgiving.
I have to admit that my youngest son instigated this practice. One day when I walked into his room where he was supposed to be napping, I was assaulted by a palpable aroma of fresh feces. I assumed he had poo-ed in his diaper, until I saw the dirty diaper on the floor with no sign of my son. He was playing hide and seek on my older son’s bed. There were “skid marks” everywhere. An unfortunate stuffed polar bear looked like the bunny in the bear in the woods joke–“Do you have trouble with pooh sticking to your fur?” asked the bear. “No, replied the white rabbit. “Good,” said the bear as he wiped his butt with the bunny.
I lost it. “FOXXX! What are you doing?” My head felt like a kettle getting ready to whistle. One of my friends used to get so mad that his eyes would bleed; I felt that angry. I got even more irate when I had to sniff everything to see where this “little shit” had sat. Every time I inhaled a soiled stuffed animal or patch of carpet, I would scream. Apparently, I was swearing, because my son was walking behind me singing, “Fox shit, shit, shit.”
My neck, shoulders, and head hurt for the rest of the day. I also beat myself up for losing my cool. “You meditate everyday, and this is the way you react to a minor mistake?” To top things off, my darling son made me regret all the anger I unleashed on him when he raised his palms to the sky and said, “I’m just poo poo train–ing, Daddy.” (Said like choo choo train, except in verb form.)
Deepak Chopra said that his life changed when he stopped being offended. Cleaning up this mess, I felt so offended. There are not too many things more offensive than raw feces. I realized that I never want to feel this way again. It is not good for my health or the well-being of my sons. So I came up with Flash Forgiveness which, in a way, is like never being offended.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.
Are you easily offended? Would you consider Flash Forgiveness? Why or why not? Please share.
- Monthly Peace Challenge: Marching Towards Forgiveness (thisismycorn.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness Brings Peace (francineinretirement.wordpress.com)
- March – B4Peace: Forgiveness (sarahneeve.wordpress.com)
- The Shoulder Shrug of Forgiveness (thegreenstudy.com)
- Forgiveness in Action (theseeker57.wordpress.com)
- The Fragrance of Forgiveness (kmhubersblog.com)
- Sharing time…the unforgivable (hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com)
- Marching towards Forgiveness…Yep, a Long Slow March (pamtanzey.wordpress.com)
- Free to Forgive (Moondustwriter.com)