Years ago, while running an errand, I encountered a woman on the sidewalk whom I know. She and I each have reason to feel disgruntled with the other. When I glanced at her, I saw that she was, literally, shaking with rage. Her features were twisted and reddened with hate. Rage radiated out from her in palpable, caustic waves.
For whatever reason—not because I’m enlightened—her radioactivity didn’t scorch me. She was spitting mad and didn’t bother to hide it because she wanted me to feel it, but I witnessed it without taking it on. It’s something I’m usually not good at. But on that extraordinary day, I simply observed. I thought, “So that’s why all the spiritual teachers say to forgive. She’s suffering more from her hate than I am.”
It was an epiphany for me, who lives, imperfectly, a life seeking awakening. Looking at that woman, and feeling sorry for her, filled my mind with the keen understanding that there must be a better way. I even longed for it.
And what is the elusive better way? It must have something to do with maturity. That is, with mature compassion for self and for others, and with the realization that vengefulness is a blade that cuts two ways….
Healing is possible, growth is possible and wholeness and maturity are possible for those of us who want to be our best selves. We don’t have to live steeped in the poison of our early programming and the way it plays out currently in our lives.
David Richo’s books are field guides for the journey. Richo, whom I have never met, is a psychotherapist, teacher, and workshop leader in California. His website says he “combines Jungian, poetic, and mythic perspectives in his work with the intention of integrating the psychological and the spiritual. His books and workshops include attention to Buddhist practices.”
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.