Hello and good morning to all! May this be the beginning of a glorious week! Today, I am going to share about dealing with injustice.
I am reading the book Forgive For Good by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University. First of all, let me say that if you are dealing with emotional pain from an injustice of any sort, I highly recommend this book. Dr. Luskin sheds lots of light on what we do in these situations that are harmful to us.
In the book, he talks about how we react to injustice, whether that is having to stand in line a long time, getting snarled up in traffic, being the recipient of abuse, or dealing with the death of a child. All are an injustice, and he talks about how we create misery for ourselves by our response.
We set ourselves on a path of pain when we take the injustice personally, blame the offender for feelings that are our responsibility, and tell a grievance story over and over again. Let’s look at each of these, as there is a way to have peace in your heart, even though the injustice may be difficult to deal with.
Dr. Luskin relays that we can feel the pain of the personal injustice and then move on to realize we are not alone, that many others have dealt with the same injustice. Furthermore, the offender rarely intended to hurt the other person. When we realize these things, we can allow the personal and impersonal to exist side-by-side.
There is a caution about not feeling an injustice personally, which is often denial of the situation, a minimizing of what happened. This is cautioned against.
The next thing we do which causes our misery is to blame the offender for our feelings. The thing is, we are responsible for our own feelings in the present, and blaming someone for something they did in the past prevents us from moving beyond the injustice. When we blame the other, we give away our power to someone who most likely doesn’t care about us, and certainly does not have our best interest at heart.
The third thing we do that creates our misery is to tell a grievance story. This is when we tell the story of how awful it was over and over again. Do you do that? Do you know others who do? The problem with this is, it sets our fight-or-flight response into motion automatically, leading to stress chemicals, which can be harmful to us, being released into the body.
Dr. Luskin talks about remedies for these three things. First, as I said, recognize the personal and impersonal aspects of an injustice and let them co-exist. Secondly, take full responsibility for your feelings in the present, without blaming another for them. Become willing to explore your pain, to feel it, so it can move through you.
What you resist, persists, and you want to feel your feelings so, as I said, they can move through you. Journal about them as a release, or talk to someone about them, but don’t keep them bottled up. Thirdly, look at the story you tell yourself or others about the injustice. Are you simply reporting the facts, or are you telling it in an emotionally-charged way, embellishing upon how awful it was, blaming the offender?
The more you practice just relaying the facts, the less charge the story will have and the less misery and pain will be generated.
How do you deal with injustice? Can you practice the above suggestions to minimize your pain, your misery? I hope you can and that you can relieve any suffering you are experiencing.