One of my favorite things about doing The Work, such a simple form of self-inquiry, is the first step.
Writing down all your vicious, nasty, mean thoughts of resentment about that other person, or that problem with food or money, or the way things are set up around here.
You get to be a total brat. In fact, cuttin’ loose on those resentments can be quite cathartic. On paper. And it’s almost scary, even in this moment, to admit how that dark, frightened, defensive mind actually works.
I hope that person burns in hell, I hope he fails disastrously and loses all his money and possessions, I hope she suffers and dies, I hope they get hit by a meteor, I hope they kill each other in misery, I hope they get what they deserve.
Then almost tied like a feather to the very same thoughts….sadness, grief, shame.
What’s wrong with me, that I’m so upset. I should take the high road.
One time, early on in doing The Work and questioning my beliefs, I decided that I would write a massively, wildly, unabashedly shameful worksheet. I would tell the truth on it.
I would write out how much I hated that person for real.
After completing a barrage of rage against the person as I held them in my memory, all written on paper, I paused as I re-read my words. Then, I suddenly realized….nothing I wrote on there was actually truly satisfying. It’s like I couldn’t really, really, really find words mean enough to describe the hatred I was feeling.
And what I DID have written on the worksheet was questionable.
Did I really want that person to rot in hell, burning with suffering forever for what they had done? To me?
Instead of so quickly condemning yourself for being such a mean, rotten, hurt, horrible, judgmental person….it is powerful to allow yourself to sit in those angry words and see if you really think of them as true.
People who steal, betray, or attack you (or others) are really great candidates for these kinds of raging worksheets.
The ones whose fault it is that you’re not happy now.
This is allowing that voice that is a total victim, who likes to blame, who wants revenge or resolution, to have it’s say. It’s there for a reason. Instead of suppressing it and feeling like a really horrible bad mean person….if you do….for even THINKING this way, why not go for it?
Because for me, it didn’t really work all that well to hold everything in and smash down my anger. I’d usually end up overeating later on. Turning and facing the actual base energy worked MUCH better, it turned out.
So let’s take a look, at a really mean thought, letting it be as it is–outraged!
He should suffer, rot in hell and die. He should never be happy. He should HURT.
Is that true?
No. Of course not. But let it be OK if YOU secretly answered “yes”. It’s called being mad. And terrified. Blowing energy outward in every direction. A big, chaotic scream.
How do you react when you feel that extreme rage? When you have visions of that person dying, suffering, losing everything?
I know that for me….I felt HORRIBLE. I myself felt crushed, confused about where to put my anger, lost, desperate, beaten. I sat here with the feelings. I noticed they didn’t feel good. They felt like an implosion, sort of sickening, and furious.
So who would you be without that belief? Without the thought that someone else should suffer, hurt, or remain unhappy…forever?
Happy, lighter, kind…….GRATEFUL.
Turning the thought around, I see that person should heal, multiply in heaven and live! He should always be happy. He should not hurt.
Now that’s truly exciting. And true.
“At each step and with each breath we are given the option of acting and responding, both inwardly and outwardly, from the conditioning of egoic consciousness which values control and separation above all else, or from the intuitive awareness of unity which resides in the inner silence of our being.” ~ Adyashanti
Could it be that as I think vengeful thoughts towards someone, or others, that I feel pain towards myself?
I hope that I burn in hell, I hope I fail disastrously and lose all my money and possessions, I hope I suffer and die, I hope I get hit by a meteor, I hope I kill myself in misery, I hope I get what I deserve.
Could any of these be gifts, or absurdities, or unimportant, or not that bad after all? Just a scenario the mind is making up, with its exquisite imagination?
Ha ha, kind of crazy….but opening to these options, without terror….is funny.
“The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.” ~ Jalaluddin Rumi
Every person who ever “hurt” me taught me the most incredible things. Sitting in what they did, what I did, what happened….there is nothing but profound gratitude. Not because gratitude is the “right” thing to feel.
It is what remains after inquiry.
Much love, Grace