It simmers for months, years, maybe decades. The simmering continues until it reaches the boiling stage as it churns over and over. Then one day, perhaps without warning, it erupts and spews its deadly contents over everything on its path, pouring out devastation to the innocent below with its searing rage until it reaches its ending. And so it is in the life of a volcano.
Sadly, this same scenario presents itself in the lives of many on this earth. Someone says or does something that upsets or hurts you. Their perception may not see it the same way as you do, but because the issue isn't aired and discussed, it remains buried within you. This angry or hurtful thought continues to fester, simmering until it reaches the boiling stage, and it erupts in some form as it spews its contents over all that is in its path, destroying much along the way.
Did you know that every time you recount a story which upset you on some level, you activate the pain into a deeper and stronger level? By the time you've told the story or thought the thought three times, you've increased your anger and stress and made the entire situation at least ten times stronger than the original episode!
Did you know that depression is simply anger turned inward? When a person doesn't like something about their life or themselves, they become angry at themselves. But people don't generally direct their anger at themselves. Instead they almost automatically turn the anger into blame directed at someone else so that they feel better. Problem is, the anger is still there, hiding within them. This anger will continue to fester until one day it erupts into illness, impulsive decisions, explosive behavior, depression, inability to move forward in their life, addictions, or a host of other negative and undesired expressions.
Something of great importance to understand is that each person on this planet has their own model of the world. What that simply means is they see things according to their truth, and it may look different than yours. Ask ten people to relate the same story and I can guarantee each story will be a little (or maybe a lot!) different. Ask the same ten people to share a dream of theirs and they will all be different.
The same thing is true in any relationship. Each person sees things according to their reference point - their beliefs, past experiences, ideas, thoughts. This is one of the wonderful parts of being a human being - we are all unique, one-of-a-kind. So it only makes sense that we might have different insights and perceptions!
Two friends who had been such close friends all through their college years had a difference of opinion. As a result they quit speaking to each other and went about their lives separately. Twenty three years went by and they never communicated with each other even though before they had been inseparable friends. One day they met unexpectedly. They began talking and catching up on their lives. They actually started to laugh and wondered how they could have let something so silly get in the way of their friendship so that they didn't speak for 23 years. They had missed so much during those years that they could never get back.
Anger is a form of fear. You see, there are only two emotions in this world - love or fear. Anything of a negative origin stems from fear while all positive expressions come from love. People are usually taught from a base of fear - can't have it all, you're not perfect, you have limits, there are things you can't have, there is never enough, people will hurt you, and so on. So individuals grow into adulthood believing life is hard and unfair, and live through those eyes. Living in this space keeps you small.
On the other hand, seeing life as exciting, an adventure, that you can do anything you want to do, that there are no limitations unless you believe this, and that love rules, creates an entirely different scenario. And one of the most important aspects of this life is forgiveness. When your eyes focus on loving expressions, you can understand that people have issues, that even if something seems directed at you it is really their stuff. You can choose not to take it on yourself but at the same time allow them to be where they need to be and still love them. Forgiveness does not mean, "What you did is okay to me." It simply means, "I am no longer willing to carry around the pain in response to your actions." You can still love someone even if you disagree. In fact, real unconditional love allows each of you to feel and believe what you want without changing the love. This is powerful and an incredible place in which to live!
Life is so very short, even if you live to be 100. People who live in fear are miserable even if they don't admit it. Harboring anger, guilt, shame, hurt, or letting pride grab you, really only affects you. And someday, somewhere, when you may least expect it, it will erupt and spew its contents, destroying all in its path. Is this what you want for your life?
Take a minute right now and think about a person(s) with whom you've had an issue. Perhaps you haven't spoken in years just as those two college friends didn't. Isn't it time for you to take the first step of releasing the hurt (victim mindset) and forgiving that person? Don't let pride get in the way of repairing whatever you perceive is a grievance. Think about the happiness, peacefulness, and above all the love it can bring to you because you'd be letting go of the fear (negative) and allowing in the love (positive). The cost of hanging on to old wounds is way too high - the price of broken relationships can never be measured. Instead, choose to live in freedom and love.
My wake-up call was illness. Through the process of healing I learned that I had to forgive - first myself and then others. Once I forgave everyone my body and heart healed. In hindsight I realized how none of my perceived hurts mattered at all. Now that I live through the eyes of love, I can accept each person as a wonderful human being who is just as special as I am. I wish this for you, for it is the only way to live your life that makes sense and creates for you what you truly want and deserve to have - a life that is happy, invigorating, abundant, and full of love!