It is said that 80 percent of all our worries are caused by the people around us. How much simpler life would be if we were only surrounded by people we cared about and who cared about and loved us unconditionally in return!
It is normal in life to have very strong and special emotional bonds with our parents, siblings, children, friends, and partners. But as fulfilling as these relationships are, our emotional attachments can also cause distress, upheaval and worry. Children get into trouble. Husbands and wives go astray. Friends do unreasonable, even hurtful things. And, if you’re a normal human being, there just seem to be some people—bosses, next door neighbors, ex-lovers—that arrive in your life seemingly destined to cause trouble and heartbreak.
If you’re dealing with a person in your life who has really treated you badly and you find that you simply cannot forgive and forget, it helps to think about that relationship from a spiritual and soul training perspective.
First of all, remember that human beings are not just physical bodies walking around, bumping into one another. We each have a soul, spirit, and mind. And acknowledging that we are each an individual soul with free will and the innate ability to be both good and bad is important to bear in mind. We also must remember that each soul contains the divine. The Buddha nature dwells within all of us, no matter how wretched. We all embody a very positive and potent spiritual power within us.
We are also all created equal and given complete freedom to express how we want to be. But freedom always comes with great responsibility. Ryuho Okawa, spiritual leader of Happy Science, Japan’s most influential and fastest growing spiritual movement, writes: “The soul has been granted total freedom to create what it wishes; it has no restrictions or constraints. . . . Evil is simply a distortion caused by conflict between souls that are each acting according to free will. We cannot perpetrate evil when we are all alone. Evil comes into existence only when we come in contact with another person, another creature, or another object.” (The Laws of the Sun, 58)
The existence of others may sometimes create conflicts. However, from a soul training perspective, our souls would not be able to learn and grow without the existence of others and the conflicts that occasionally arise between us. We would not be able to experience as many joys and as much happiness, either. Thus, from a spiritual perspective, itis important to appreciate the existence of all others, even the ones we have come to resent.
Setting things right
Is it easy to reconcile with a person you have come to dislike or even feel hatred for? No, it is not. Is it important that you come to some sort of internal reconciliation with them? Yes, it is.
Here is a little meditation you can do to help get a handle on the problem. Reflect on a person who has created a lot of trouble for you, someone you have spent a lot of time worrying about and/or being angry at in your life. Now, pretend that you encounter that person by chance and that you have to spend an hour talking with him/her. Coming from the soul perspective, imagine what you would say to that person.
Think about why you had hardship with that person. Perhaps it wasn’t really their fault. Perhaps they just couldn’t live up to your expectations. Maybe you were sad and hurt and got angry because you didn’t feel enough love from him/her? Or perhaps they couldn’t see you and accept and acknowledge you the way you felt you deserved? These examples place the responsibility for the troubles on you, not the other person! Sure, this individual may have hurt you very badly. But what if they feel the same way about you?
In this exercise, try to concentrate on your best, most honest inner self and attempt to look at things through the other’s eyes. What happens when you do this? You begin to see a whole new world and to become the person who, instead of always seeking love and attention and affirmation from others, begins to give love and attention, forgiveness and affirmation to others. And when you do that, you become grateful for every single person you have or will meet in your life, for every encounter becomes an opportunity to give more and more love and kindness to them, to yourself, and to the world.
Interested in the power of reconciliation and creating more love in the world? There is a new spiritual Japanese film coming to North America this fall that illustrates the dynamic impact of reconciliation, as well as the power of the mind to heal illness. Immortal Hero is based on the true story of Ryuho Okawa, who is portrayed in the film as, a Japanese publisher who suffers complete heart failure yet literally comes back to life through the power of his own mind and will in order to complete his mission on Earth to help uplift humanity. A limited theatrical release is planned for Mid- October 2019, for more information visit www.immortal-hero.com.
About the Author
Serina Aramaki was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1991 and the youngest among 4 siblings. She went to boarding school in Switzerland, then went on to study Studio Art and International Studies at a university in Rhode Island. She received honor cords as well Art Awards for her work but realized she wanted a more spiritual path. Right after graduation in 2014, she went back to Japan and started to work for Happy Science, the most influential spiritual organization in Japan. In Happy Science, she has worked in the Secretary-General department for 2 years, worked as staff in the head temple in Tochigi, and worked as a minister. She is now working in International media as a director of Production and Distribution.