Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Love Is Not Resentful

we hear the expression, "life is not fair."  we've all been treated unfairly, accused of acts we have not committed, cheated out of what we believe to be ours, taken advantage of, snubbed in one way or another.  we've all had bad things thrown at us that we didn't deserve.  it's easy and natural to be resentful when life's unfairness causes us to suffer.  how we react to being treated unfairly by others or by the circumstances of life is a choice we make--we can accept that life happens and move on or we can become bitter about having bad things happen undeservedly.

choosing bitterness, living a life filled with "why does everything go wrong for me," is a miserable way to live.  those who allow themselves to take this approach to life choose unhappiness and cause unhappiness for others.  "poor pitiful me" makes all of life about me.  everything from the light changing to red as i hurriedly approach to loosing a bundle in the stock market becomes part of a plot against oneself, when such circumstances are nothing more than random acts.

when we accept that bad things, both major and minor, happen to everyone and remember that life isn't about "me," but is rather just the way things are, we can let go of the suffering that circumstances cause.  we choose to accept life as it comes to us and take ourselves out of the center of life's happenstances.  like the other things that love is not--envy, boastfulness, arrogance, rudeness, irritability--resentment is a symptom of self-centeredness, of believing there is a self that life is about.

may each of us not allow ourselves the luxury of resentment.  may we replace bitterness with acceptance and look beyond ourselves at the common suffering of all beings.  may we choose happiness, smiling at the vagaries of life when they are minor and seeking the support of others when those vagaries are significant.  shalom.

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