[To listen to a podcast of this blog post, please click here: https://bit.ly/PodcastWouldYouRather]
“Would you rather be chased by a horse-sized duck, or by one hundred duck-sized horses?” Thus says one of the ‘Would you rather?’ challenges from the wrappers round a famous brand of ‘Take a Break’ chocolate snack. I’d be curious to hear your answer – then I’ll reveal my choice in the comments!
“Would you rather?” reminds me of one of my favourite sayings from Wayne Dyer: “I can choose peace rather than this.” Would you rather have peace or conflict? Isn’t it surprising, shocking even, that some people would genuinely prefer conflict? This is particularly so in the area of forgiveness vs un-forgiveness. Many people would rather hold on to their sense of outrage, injury, and pain rather than let it go.
Somewhere last week I read a story about two monks – an elderly and a younger – climbing and walking down the steep mountain sides of wild country. Their Order did not permit them to touch a woman (I know, how ridiculous!), but when their path crossed a mighty rushing stream in one of the gullies, they found a young woman in distress. She needed to cross the stream to get home but the flood-waters were flowing too fast for her to cross safely.
Without a moment’s hesitation, the mature monk respectfully lifted the woman onto his back, and waded across the raging waters, safely to the other side. The woman thanked him and then ran on happily her way home.
The two monks went ahead on in silence for hours, but the older, wiser, monk could tell that the younger was very agitated. Eventually, the younger burst out, “Our Order does not permit us to engage with women, let alone touch one – and yet you carried one across that mountain stream!”
The older, wiser monk gently observed, “Ah, that’s true… and I put her down on the other side, as easily and as rapidly as I had picked her up… I notice that you are still carrying her.”
There is so much we all carry in life that is so past its “Carry-Until” Date – its “Best Before” Date. These burdens are way beyond the point in time that caused the injury. In many cases, the ‘guilty’ party is no longer aware of the offence. Today is a great day to ask ourselves, “Would we rather keep carrying this, or would we prefer to be liberated from this hard burden?”
I finish with Wayne Dyer’s inviting affirmation again, “I can choose peace, rather than this…”