Love Your Enemies, part 3

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A joint Israeli-Palestinian Australian rules football team has brought pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian legislators together for the first time in Melbourne.

(Mes amis francophone, désolé mais nous sommes en vacances et je ne veux pas embêter Mme pour travailler sur mes traductions. Pendant nos vacances mon blog sera sans une traduction française.)

OK, one last post on this subject for now. Although I do reserve the right to come back to it at a later date!

This topic also ties in with the Forrest Gump quote underneath my blog title; Forrest Gump: “My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.” You have to love that good, old fashioned country wisdom!

Many of us have personal experience or have heard of situations where family members haven’t spoken to each other, sometimes for years, because of a falling out, a misunderstanding, a disagreement or some other justification.

Because they weren’t capable of putting the past behind them, they could not move on and remain trapped by the past.

This is incredibly sad. So much wasted time: And for what?

The months go by, sometimes the years go by, and people remain separated. The worst possible situation is where one of the people dies and the two of them missed their opportunity of making up and moving forward in life.

In the movie “Last Vegas”, that I saw on my flight from Paris to Philadelphia, this was the case. Two very old friends had a falling out and for a few years there was no contact between them.

In “Philomena” another film I saw on that flight, a woman, whose child had been put up for adoption without her permission, was able to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But the journalist, who was helping her find her son, had suffered an injustice some time before and had not yet reached the point of putting the past behind him. He was more outraged at how the woman had been treated than she was.

And in the third movie I saw on the flight “Saving Mr. Banks”, Pamela Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins books, was still suffering from experiences when she was young. She had never been able to put the past behind her and it was making her adult life more challenging for herself, and others, than it needed to be.

Putting the past behind to move forward is another way of saying forgive and love your perceived enemies. And I say perceived enemies because we sometimes come to realize that we had totally misunderstood the person that we thought to be an enemy.

The problem is that forgiveness is not an easy thing to do. One needs to be capable of reaching the point where one can sincerely say, “I am what I am today because of all the past experiences in my life, good and bad.”

It’s easier to hold on to the anger, the resentment and the hatred than to let it go and move forward. But when one reaches that point of letting those things go, liberation is experienced. One is no longer carrying emotions which make one heavy and bitter, which block the capacity to love and forgive. One is free to find joy and happiness in life.

I can think of two attitudes that help to put the past behind and move on.

The first is give and forget. When we do something for others and expect to receive something in return, this can lead to feelings of resentment and injustice. If we can keep this attitude of give and forget, what we give will come back to us but maybe not from the person we gave to.

The second attitude is to live in the present. Focus on what I am experiencing today. Look for joy in the simple things of life each day. What happened in the past should not affect my capacity to find joy in my life each and every day.

I’m sure that you, readers of this blog, can think of other attitudes to help put the past behind and move on. I’d like to hear them if you have time to leave a message.

Forrest Gump: My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

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