10 Ways To Forgive The Person You Want To Kill

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I know exactly
what I’m going to do. Don’t tell anyone. I’m going
to put on a ski mask, find where they live in Brooklyn, show up
at their door when they leave for work about six in the morning,
and hit them with a baseball bat. I might not even wear a ski mask.
I want the person to know it’s me.

And what did
this person do to me? In this particular case, something small.
Not even worth talking about. He blocked an opportunity for me that
I no longer care about. But still, he did it. He did it to hurt
me. And now I’m angry.

It’s not
like other people in Brooklyn. People who maybe aborted my baby.
Or people who fired me from a job. Or people who wrote articles
slandering me. I barely think of them. It was nothing like that.

What a waste
of time, this anger thing is. It inserts itself into the oddest
moments. It turns daydreams into nightmares. It turns nightmares
into waking up in the middle of the night, heavy breathing, sweating,
an erection.

And that’s
this one person. What about the other people. “I did this,
this, and this for him, and now he won’t even do X, Y, or Z
for me.” I can sit here all day long with that. What a waste
that would be. I can make a big list. I can be angry all the time
if I want.

There’s
my favorite Zen story: two monks by the river. A prostitute trying
to cross. One of the monks carries her across, sets her down, then
the two monks keep on going. The monk who didn’t carry her
gets more and more agitated. Finally, “why did you do that?
You know we are not supposed to even touch women like that!”

And the monk
who carried her said, “I left her by the river. Why are you
still carrying her?”

That’s
the secret of productivity and forgiveness. To always think, why
am I still carrying her?

But to elaborate
further (like I do), I’m a strong believer in several methods
of forgiveness.

A) Taking
a break.
I’m upset RIGHT NOW. So take a timeout. “I’m
going to think about this later when I’m maybe more rational.”
i.e. not three in the morning, waking up from a dream about a baseball
bat. Blood all over my midnight hands.

Always think
of the exact moment you schedule for yourself. 3PM today I will
think about it. Then see what happens then.

B) Understanding.
In the incident I’m thinking of this morning I know why the
person is upset at me and did the things he did. I went on two dates
with his wife long before he even knew her. So even though I’ve
never done anything to him, he has some anger towards me. There’s
nothing I can do about it. He feels he is the victim. But I don’t
have to be a victim.

C) The Alien
Technique.
I like to wake up pretending I’m an alien. My
mission from the mother galaxy is to land in random bodies across
the Universe and figure out where I am and solve their problems.
Today I woke up in this body. Odd, I feel anger about something.

I explore it
in my body. Oh, it’s nothing. Better to focus on getting this
body in shape, happy, productive. I have 24 hours in this body.
Who is this beautiful woman lying next to me. What food can I eat
today? What’s the best things I can do with it. Clearly the
wrongs I suffered in the past are not worth spending time on. I’m
an alien only here for 24 hours after all.

The Alien Technique
is surprisingly powerful. I have modifications on it. But that’s
for another post.

Read
the rest of the article

February
11, 2012

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