You’re driving down the 405 freeway (or whatever insane highway is near your house) and a sleek, black BMW with tinted windows zooms in behind you, rides your bumper, finds an opening to dart around you, jumps in front of you, and finally zig-zags away like the proverbial bat out of hell. Your conditioned reaction might be the traditional one-finger salute and a resounding F-bomb from your lips bouncing off the dash of your car.
Road rage is only one symptom of a world that runs on the “F-You” philosophy of anger and revenge. (Like George Carlin, I’ve always found it strange that the true meaning of the F-word is an act that should be equated with bliss, union, and love. It just shows how much we have fallen from grace when the sexual act becomes synonymous with violence, rape, and degradation.) Many religions, cults, and special interest groups draw people by feeding on feelings of fear and revenge. They create gods in their image that must exact vengeance. How many holy wars have we got going right now? How many states are implementing crazy stand-your-ground gun laws? The world appears to be one big F-YOU extravaganza.
May I suggest a new F-word? How about FORGIVENESS? The idea isn’t new. Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed the revolutionary idea over 2,000 years ago in the Middle East. Give up “an eye for an eye” and embrace “forgive seventy times seven.” Today California is in anguish over the vengeful attack of a disturbed young man who fed on misogynistic websites until he drove into the night on a murdering rampage. He was a product of our revenge mentality.
Forgiveness isn’t for sissies. It goes against the grain, against the indoctrination of thousands of years from religious leaders, politicians, and Mom and Dad. We glorify vengeance movies. From John Wayne to Marvel Super Heroes, we exalt the good guy who blows away the bad guy. And so the cycle continues.
But, a few have found the power of Forgiveness and changed their world. The violence of Belfast came to an end when two determined women, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, led peace marches in their war-torn country. They won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.
Decades later, on another continent, another mother became fed up with the cycle of violence inflicted on her country. Leymeh Gbowee of Liberia had a vision of peace and forgiveness. Women surged forward and began a new philosophy for living. Watch the excellent Pray the Devil Back to Hell documentary about the amazing courage and unity of the Liberian women. Ms. Gbowee won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her role in ending the Liberian civil wars.
On an individual level, unforgiveness destroys personal relationships, good health, and inner peace. How many people have you known who nurse grudges and become mean, sad people? Forgiveness is the path to personal peace. Of course, the first person to forgive is YOURSELF. My work as a Reiki healer has shown me how often guilt is an underlying factor in illness. Guilt and unforgiveness make people sick.
The path to forgiveness may be difficult to find. While Christ proclaimed it, many churches don’t seem to understand or embrace it. A Course in Miracles is built on it, but it’s one thing to decide intellectually to forgive and another to emotionally do it. We humans feel entitled to our “righteous indignation.” The first step is the desire to forgive; the next is an honest request to the Divine to show you the way. The answer will be revealed. Seek and ye shall find; knock and the door will be opened is still sound advice.
The next time you feel a bout of road rage coming on, try this: instead of a crude gesture and the F-bomb, give a little wave and say “Forgive you!” I’ll bet your day goes much better.
Oh, if only the world could adopt a new F-Word–Forgive.
Blessings to you–
Read more about the power of forgiveness and energy healing in Ever-Flowing Streams: Tapping into Healing Energy