Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Resolution

Its that time of year again. Christmas cheer in the air and everyone getting ready for their New Years eve party. I truly love this holiday spirit and it gives me great joy to see families getting together and celebrating. It reminds me of the movie 'Love Actually'. The world has a lot of love going around. The most influential teacher I had in college, Dr. Cernic said, "Each person is born with an infinite capacity to love".

I have decided to meditate in complete silence to bring in year 2006. If I have to achieve the goals I've set out, I need to get geared up.. and I don't think drinking till I drop is going to get me all renewed and resolved. The mind needs to remain calm and be free from the material burdens of this world. I will sit in silence and concentrate on my breathing, reciting the goals I've set for myself in my head. Nothing would get me more joy than looking inwards and finding the strength to shine.

My resolution for 2006 is to always put things into perspective. I will not let my struggles get me down, because I am such a small part of the universe. Are my problems really that big in the scheme of things? I'll always have stuff to deal with. So what because I will resolve to find the resources to help me. I will look at the big picture and feel good about myself. I will continue to laugh at my self and not have a care about what the world thinks of me.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Christmas Question

Merry Christmas! My friends and I exchanged gifts and shared funny stories today. But now I'm wondering, why has this holiday become so non-religoius. Its all about what gifts we got and how much of a bonus we received from our employers. People use this day as an excuse to get their wonderful freebies. Not a bad thing if you're a kid! I don't mean to be so anal.. I simply am just asking this: Why do we rely so much on material presents and overlook the spiritual gifts that are also available totally free of cost?

I watched 'The Passion of the Christ' yesterday at 3:00 a.m. on TV. My heart made my eyes stay open throughout the film. I wanted to watch the entire film in detail just to get an understanding of how Christ is able to ask God to forgive those who tortured him. That kind of forgiveness is almost insane. Its beyond me. I have heard the line many times before "Father forgive them for they do not know what they do". But that line shook me for the first time when I saw him say it all covered in blood.

I have never considered how to learn to forgive. When people have stabbed me in the back, maliciously hurt me and wished bad upon me, I have chosen to cut them out of my life. Although I've never confronted them head-on in a rude fashion, my strategy has always been to ignore and avoid them. I have wasted quite a lot of energy getting angry and shouting back at some people too. I have never forgiven them.

What's the benefit for the forgiver? I always assumed that forgiving someone meant that they were justified in doing what they did. But now I am inclined to think different. Forgiveness makes your burden lighter maybe. When you forgive someone you relieve yourself of the pain and anger that other person has caused you.

This forgiveness principle certainly has its limits for me. I do not see myself forgiving if a group of people tortured me like they did Christ. Another astounding observation in the movie for me was when Christ forgave them immediately. Even if I were to forgive someone for that kind of pain inflicted, I couldn't do it before I was ready, having worked through the trauma.

I definitely see the spiritual benefits of forgiving. But I'd have to do it this way for now:

1. I need to be ready to forgive, worked myself through the situation caused
2. The person needs to realize the impact of what they did
3. There is no obligation to continue the relationship with the person if I don't want to

I know this sounds like the very antithesis of forgiveness. But I am trying to make a start at something I've had trouble doing before. I guess it all boils down to how I generally deal with challenges, struggles, and traumas. I surely need to let go of alot that has happened or not happened in my life. Forgiveness could be my answer to a faster letting-go process. I might start working on this principle using my positive qualities of patience and positive thinking. I need to take these one step further, and forgive those who have ever done harm to me. After all, I'm sure I've done harm to others and I would certainly like a second chance at some things. Gaining forgiveness from someone would touch me deeply and I think I would gracefully like to have the same effect.

Those three conditions listed above are nothing but part of my defense mechanism for psychological safety. I'm no saint, and so can't perform the forgiveness principle as of the here and now. It is scary to think of forgiving certain individuals. But I am not prepared to live with the anger inside me, caused by them, for the rest of my life.

This year, Christmas day was very special as it showed me a new way of dealing with my struggles and letting go of left-over frustrations.