Sometimes we really feel like we have to cross a line. It isn’t a line of suspect or misfit. It isn’t crossing over into the inhumane or criminal activity. In fact, it is in the opposite direction. Human nature is riddled with the pain of seeking justice. When we are so full of anger and disregard for the humanity of others, we lose sight of our own master plan; to relish kindness. Humans have the most difficult time forgiving. The truth be known, it is a psychological fact that being unkind to others and forfeiting forgiveness leads to a loss of joy in direct proportion.
Before we step into the realm of relationships on any level, we need to pull back and dismiss the new age cry for self. Modern counseling misses the target by pointing a finger at the client and asking the question, “What do YOU want? What exactly do YOU need?” Then in the final blow of conceit, the death words on self-worth are uttered, “Then go and get it, at whatever cost.” So goes modern therapy. Bad selfishness has run rampant through our culture. To even suggest that there is such a thing as good selfishness leaves empathy confused. I suppose one could call taking good care of themselves a “good selfish”, however, when we run the race and sit down to a decent meal, are we not also, extending our lives in order to continue making a difference for others? If we are doing these things for our own pleasure and our own outcome with no regard for living a meaningful life for others, then it becomes selfish in its own right.
Perhaps we take up exercizing so we can spend more time with our children and grandchildren in the long “run”, though no pun is intended. Suppose we stay thin so we can continue to be a resource for our children, our church, and our community. What if we take care of ourselves so our husband or wife can have those extra quality years with a person he or she desperately loves. And so goes the faded line between selfish and selfless.
Intangible joy is marked by subjecting our lives to a higher meaning than what we have for ourselves. As with all unselfish acts, forgiveness stands at the front gates that are locked from the inside as long as we continue to mirror our own self-pity at being singled out by the gossips and the vengeance generators. If we are singled out and unkind words are spoken to us through the lost souls of lesser meaning, letting it go can only contribute to more joy in our experience.
Some of us have an inner child that is wreckless, raising havoc on our safety. Others find joy with a mere dizzy dance in the rain. Joy is part of nurturing that inner child. If your adversary sees you in frilly dresses with the rain pouring on unmade hair, you may have to hear the condescending words and psychological evaluations about your immaturity. Nevertheless, in the middle of unkind words, those who experience joy are so much closer to the truth, the response to insults need only be a smile. The joyful simply let it go. If we are able to let things go, we can run through life as we throw the baggage off the train behind us. We need only the minimum, anyway. People carry far too much on their psychological journey, just as they carry far too much on their financial journey. With every pound they carry in excess vengeance and unforgiveness, it weighs heavy when they turn to run toward the light. If their baggage is held down to unspeakable weights, then the traveler has no other choice than to stop and freeze in his tracks. No one goes anywhere of a profound nature without taking the light of forgiveness with them and the featherweight combination of kindness and joy.