Saturday, April 07, 2012

G is for Grudges

So the Countessa needed someone to look after Biodad's dog while she vacationed for a week. I volunteered though certainly not without reservation. This mutt has never been trained in any way or form that I can detect.

Immediately upon entry to the Liberal Theologian's home where I rent the ground floor, he ascended to the shared second floor and pissed all over the place and refused every command I issued. I considered the options.

1. Snap his little spine.
2. Deliver him to the nearest animal shelter
3. Confine him to my ground floor (where there are no carpets).

The Ouija board chose option 3 and for the rest of the week we got along pretty good and he only peed outside or on the allocated puppy pads. Good boy!

The situation was still a royal pain in the ass as I had to let him in my bed and put him out for very frequent piddles and poopies. He's a drink-a-holic and a walking sprinkler; probably stemming from a poor diet and gourd-knows what untreated medical conditions.

When the Countessa failed to pick him up on the Friday morning as promised, I was unimpressed. I work 36 hours of night shifts over the weekend and need every available moment to attempt enough sleep to get by. A full-bladdered furball in the bed with me does not help the effort ever one tiny bit.

She again failed to pick him up according to the new plan; on the Saturday and finally came through on the Sunday morning.

Will I ever do a favor for her again? Out of the question.

Does that mean I am holding a grudge? Not at all.

Can't I forgive her? Of course. She was forgiven immediately.

I am not telling a bad-behavior story here for the sake of feeling superior to someone. It is a case in point to assist demonstration of what I observe in terms of grudges versus forgiveness.

Are our living experiences constructed of choices and consequences or of causes and effects? The answer, of course, is both; Just as matter is made up of molecules and simultaneously of atoms. It just depends on the magnification of the microscope.

Poetic observation tells me that choices and consequences are the manifestation of precise causes and effects which exist minutely and beyond a human's conscious mind to precisely track. The view in terms of the (significantly less granular) pattern of choices and consequences however, is somewhat accessible.

The Countessa chose to shirk responsibility. A consequence is that she will no longer receive any favors from me.

I chose to do the favor in the first place, knowing the risks, or else eventually acknowledging that I should have known the risks, which is why I was largely at peace with the circumstances despite the difficulties.

As a matter of fact I did do some brief bitching about it which is very rare for me but it was really only recreation and not stress of any measure.

From poetic examination I understand that human beings are not what they think they are; they are not independently sentient, consolidated mini-me godlings. Each human is a society. Each brain actually a collection of brains of constantly transforming hierarchies of which the conscious awareness is a small and rather insignificant portion but yet the only portion that "we" can truly latch on to as our "self".

I have found it difficult to explain to people why I must always forgive.

To forgive, by my understanding of the word, is not to pretend the offence never happened but to simply be at peace with the fact that it has happened and to allow natural justice alone punish the perpetrator without any useless spiteful reaction from me.

I am forgiving the "self" of the perpetrator because the self is largely a slave and a victim of the greater society-of-one which operates almost entirely by the manifestations of survival instincts in accordance with the omnipotent cause-and-effect web that began with the big bang (or whatever singularity that is our origin). In other words, all offenses against me were always inevitable.

That I am not being charitable to the entire society that is the Countessa does not mean I am holding a grudge. It is simply a reasonable policy decision on my part. There are many many people more deserving of my favors and I can not be everywhere at once.

When I once tried to explain to the very excellent Renaissance Kid why I can forgive people for murdering cows and destroying the environment and sifting undeserved wealth through corrupt capitalist slave systems he responded, "No, no! People must make better choices!"

I understand his reaction. I agree entirely. I can forgive while still attempting to help people to evolve consciously and to make better choices in the future, starting, of course, with myself! To forgive is not necessarily to walk away and forget about everything.

It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels but because they do not expect holiness from one another but from God only.
- William Blake


Elizabeth Twist said...

Wisdom teachings tell us that the primary reason to forgive is so that the grudge / slight / resentment we might feel doesn't harm us. It's a distortion of our natural state, which is to simply be.

This is the *only* description of forgiveness I've learned that allowed me to move forward into it. (Without feeling like a doormat, that is.)

I like yours too.

A-Z @ Elizabeth Twist

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed reading this. And I completely agree with you: there's a big difference between forgiving someone for something they did, and going out of your way to let it happen again. The latter option does no good to either party.