Are there any resentments amongst the feelings inside of you? Is one or more of them directed toward a person, walking around on the planet right now? What does it feel like? Does it feel like a nausea in your heart?
In Latin, “sentire” means ‘to feel’. A ‘resentment’ then, might be understood as ‘a feeling that repeats upon us’; a feeling we cannot elude by time alone. How, then, can we do away with such persistent malignancies of emotion?
The answer, of course, if not innately understood, can be well-remembered from our formative years, whenever a conflict arose, as it did so often between two children on the schoolyard, and a supervising adult sought to resolve it.
What steps were followed by such an authority figure, in such circumstances? More than likely, they conformed to the following; step one: in the tempering presence of this mediator, each child was free, in turn, to voice their feelings about the conflict; to make known their perspective on the injury done to them by the other.
Step two: putting forth every effort to acknowledge and accommodate the feelings of both children, the adult would utilize the full power of their judgment and attempt to procure an apology from the child who caused the greater offense. If necessary, a punishment would be administered.
And so it went when we were babes. But babes we are no more. For when “[we became adults, we] put away childish things.” Gone are the responsible adults, paid and obliged to mend our broken peaces. Or more to the point, the responsible adults are us.
How do we proceed, then, in the absence of an apology, though it might be owed, as life owes death?
It is no easy thing. The harms man commits against his fellows are great. Yet there is recourse, and it’s pursuant to the same principles that governed the schoolyards of our nonage.
We must plead guilty or no contest to every charge levied against us; we must argue on behalf of the prosecution, and throw ourselves upon the mercy of the court.
For only then have we the spiritual dexterity to “forgive those who trespass against us;” who do so with impunity, laughingly, asking no forgiveness.
For only then are we truly free.