Most of us have encountered something unpleasant in our lives that when we look back, we think we would have been better off without that experience. What I’ve learned from my training at Jung SuWon is that it isn’t the situation itself, but how I choose to deal with it that really matters. I never had that perspective before.
When I heard Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim say that, it completely turned me upside down. I grew up thinking that the way I was, the way things were, that was just how it was and I never dreamed I could change circumstances or myself. If I was in a bad situation, it was only because my life sucked and therefore, I should just accept it at being that way.
When I finally started to understand that I had power within me to make a difference, to change how I felt, I first was angry that no one had ever told me that before. I felt like so much of my life could have been better if I had only known. All the pain, all the crying, all the loneliness, all of that would have been different if I had only known.
What I had still yet to learn is that most often, the situations we are in end up giving us the opportunity for learning and growing that will help shape our lives. I got involved with drugs when I was 11 years old and even though I got nearly straight A’s in school, I thought doing drugs was the way my life was going to be forever. My friends and I would joke that when we were old grandmas, we’d sit on the porch together in rocking chairs and still be getting stoned. When other kids were in school clubs or doing fun, outgoing things, we were always trying to find a way to get drugs or alcohol. I look back and can generate a lot of anger and blame for being involved with drugs. I could blame my 8 year old brother and his friend for bringing pot over to our house for the first time that summer. But really, all that anger and blame would only hurt me inside. I’d have this huge grudge, this sense of righteousness that I could have been better if it wasn’t for them.
As social media evolves, I could easily start a hate campaign against everyone that I can remember that I ever did drugs or drank with. Then, I’d have people to blame and could righteously call them out to take responsibility for what they did to me. Really, was it their fault? I may have been young, but I can’t blame anyone for what I did. No one forced me. I enjoyed it at the time. But, what I’ve learned is to accept the situation for what it was, see what I can learn and then let it go. I don’t need to hold in any blame. If there were aspirations or dreams that I think I should have accomplished back then, I can get started on those right now, if that is what I want.
It is so easy to write something negative about a place, a person, a video. Why do we feel like we need to generate that negativity? Where does that negative energy go when we feel it? If I go and slam someone online, all that hate is still associated with me, it is still in me. When I write it, that doesn’t mean I’ve released it. No, it means I’ve reinforced it! If I’m pissed off about something or at someone, until I make the decision that I will take action to remedy it inside of me, it doesn’t go away.
People that are constantly feeding that hate and writing bad reviews, just perpetuate that negative energy in their lives. Hate isn’t like an arrow that can be shot at someone else, hate is more like tar so that it sticks and coats and covers things up. Was the situation really that bad to generate so much negativity, or maybe there are things that could have been learned but the anger is blocking it from being obvious? Is the cause of the anger really from something else, or is it really something inside that needs to be dealt with?
I’ve learned about myself that when I get upset or feel overly emotional about something, I need to step back and put myself in check. I need to look at what is going on with me first before I try to blame anyone else.
The Bible puts it quite well in Matthew 7:4,
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”
Those times of clarity are the best because it lets me see something about myself that I need to work on. I could have lashed out and blamed someone else and had a temporary righteous feeling, but the issue would still be inside of me, waiting to come out because I haven’t addressed it.
I read some negative things online recently and my first reaction was to question the people that wrote it and what their motives were. If someone is so incredibly negative about something, it really makes me wonder about the person that is writing it. I value, fair, unbiased views, whether positive or negative. Too much negative really makes me wonder. Too much positive? Well, until we get there, every little bit counts.
It is disheartening to see how easy it is to do stuff like that and how much of it is out there. I talk to so many others and it seems to be more common to wonder about the person that is slamming something else than the item being slammed. Learn Not to Hate.