I stared at the wooden surface in front of me, feeling helpless and very, very frustrated. You’ve probably been there too. Fists clenched, brain numb. You want to hit something, do something to fix your frustration but instead, you freeze. You freeze, because you know there’s nothing you can do about it.
The moment I heard the story of what was taking place, I had wanted to do something so badly. Go back home and give a piece of my mind to those who have wronged the person I love.
More than anything else, I wanted to take control.
I was seeing red, and I could already picture the scene rolling in my head.
Me, confronting a bunch of people who have been taking advantage of my loved ones. Just standing in front of them with my arms folded. Staring at them with a murderous look in my eyes. Telling them off after a long stretch of awkward silence.
Okay, I’ve watched too many action movies.
But that has been me in the past. That had been how the old me would react. With anger and rage, a volcano waiting to explode at the slightest provocation.
I’m not proud of my old self but hey, we all learn our lessons along the way.
Not the new me though. Not the current Aggy.
What makes you mad? What sends you into a tailspin? Why are you mad?
And most importantly, how should you react?
The current Aggy just sat quietly in silence. Not moving a muscle.
The current Aggy looked in rather than out.
Thinking, contemplating, listening.
Thinking of what to do next. Contemplating the best course of action. Listening to that one gentle, guiding Voice.
The new Aggy clasped her hands together, closed her eyes, and started to pray.
The moment I closed my eyes and said ‘Dear God’, words flowed effortlessly, streaming into my consciousness like clear water washing the pebbles in the river. I was writing and reading at the same time and it felt as natural as breathing.
I didn’t even know I knew the things I said until I said it to God. The conversations I’ve had every night with God have wisened me.
I know karma is real. I’ve seen too many things, too many times not to believe its existence. Have you ever silently wished someone a payback for the bad thing he/she had done?
I’ve heard many people say, “That person is going to get his comeuppance one day” and I’ve heard people asking God to punish people who have wrought havoc in their lives.
As I talked to God, I realized that I don’t want any of that.
I don’t want the people taking advantage of my family punished. That thought formed itself in my mind as I was praying.
No. Punishment is of no use if the offender will re-offend again. It is of no use if the offender avoids the offense out of fear.
No. Punishment is not always the answer.
Instead, I asked in my prayer for God to wake them up.
I told God that these people are not thinking clear and long enough.
They are not bad people. They only lack wisdom.
I asked God to please wake them up to the truth.
They didn’t know.
They didn’t understand.
It could be their family on the other side of the table.
It could be their loved ones suffering the same fate.
They didn’t understand that we humans are all but one.
When they hurt others, they are hurting themselves too.
When people take advantage of others, they don’t think that it could be their son, their daughter, brother, sister, cousin, best friend on the other side of the equation.
They don’t understand that what they are doing could very well be done unto those they love.
They’ve failed to see that the people they hurt are someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, cousin, best friend.
They have failed to see the bigger picture.
And so I pray for them.
I pray for them to be granted wisdom.
I pray for them to be woken up from their deep slumber.
I pray for them to be forgiven for the hurtful things they do.
The words in my prayer-filled me with hope and peace.
I felt hopeful for people who in the past I would have thought of as nothing but a nuisance, people I would think of as nothing but a waste of time and resources.
I felt hopeful for humanity because I know God listens.
I probably need to pray a whole lot more and a whole lot longer. But the alternative is just unthinkable.
I don’t want to be the volcanic person anymore, the person who’s always bursting at the seams with hot lava rage, and neither should you. Even if you’re only a mini volcano.
That person hurts no one but everyone she loves, and worst of all, herself.
Holding grudges is like holding a piece of hot coal. You burn no one but yourself and the remedy is as easy as simply opening the palms of your hands and let go.
There is no wisdom in holding on to what hurts you.
What to do instead, is pray.
Pray for the awakenings of people who are still buoyed by their ignorance. Pray for those who lack wisdom and vision, and most importantly, pray for yourself.
You pray for yourself?
For wisdom, patience, and compassion.
Pray for guidance and light. Pray for understanding, for a heart big enough to dole out forgiveness, even to those who seem like they don’t deserve it.
Clasp your hands together, let go of what no longer serves you, and pray for wisdom.
Pray and open your heart wide.
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