Has anyone done something so egregious to you that you ended up hating them heart and soul? Yes it has happened to me. Over 21 years ago involving an employment relationship you might say I suffered from an incident that was hurtful and possibly today I would have gone to the police and reported it. You might say it was a dirty and underhanded blow. Perhaps you or one of your good friends was severely injured when struck by an impaired driver. Maybe you loaned money to someone you thought was a good friend and they never bothered to repay it. Whatever the case hate can be nurtured by you over an unjust, immoral, criminal or any range of nefarious acts.
OK you are angry perhaps even at the boiling point. Now mindfulness may lead you to forgive and move on. But in my case the act was so hurtful and heinous 21 years later I could not forgive that evil person. My mindfulness instructors over the past couple of years surprisingly agreed with me some acts are unforgiveable and one gave me a valuable piece of advice that indeed some acts are unforgiveable but at least she said don’t let it take up any emotional real estate. A profound way of dealing with emotional pain and it reinforced my attitude of what happened to me was a past event which took me several years to not let it take up any emotional real estate. I was not obsessed with the “Bad Act” done to me but when I did think about it I was full of hatred.
Pursuing my studies of mindfulness I converged upon a certain vortex of the topics of self-compassion, vulnerability and viewing the world with an open heart that during my daily meditation somehow I was drawn to the hatred within me. Don’t ask me why but I realized I was a vulnerable person and my heart opened up to this Bad Act and with self compassion I realized in somewhat of an objective fashion I deserved a bit of self compassion. Tears started flowing and perhaps inexplicably the hate vanished in minutes. 21 years of hate vanquished in a meditation? I felt on the edge of a huge let go sob but it wasn’t really the time and place for that. That may come later. No I have not forgiven but the hatred has gone.
Whatever this vortex was it might have been the maturing of my mindfulness practice. I can explain that self compassion is nurturing the pain you may have suffered and forgiving yourself and consoling yourself for the Bad Act. As for an “open heart” I believe that that involves a connection between the brain and the heart and invokes an open investigation of the pain that the Bad Act has caused you.
Pain and hurt is often a necessary and often a healing reaction but if it persists be honest with yourself and accept that it lives within you. Perhaps it may be finally time to accept it and feel it and let it go. Get tangled up in hate without definitively dealing with it you let the hurt continue to negatively affect you. What a feast to you if the perpetrator of the Bad Act can escape the delight of hurting you! If you can escape the hatred for what has been done to you have you not scored a victory over the perpetrator?
What hatred has been vanquished from my soul vanished in a matter of minutes but it may have taken 5 years of mindfulness to make that 5 minutes possible.
I do not think forgiveness can be the next step but I am trying to work on it.