Two years ago, our landlord cheated us — when we vacated our office building, he refused to hand back most of the security deposit on some flimsy grounds.
Seething with rage, I wished him ill to no end. And every time I thought of him, my blood would start boiling all over again.
For more than a year, I held on to that anger. I knew I was only poisoning myself, but when has just knowing done much good? Our mind has a mind of its own.
Finally, things changed when I got started on a popular Buddhist meditation practice called loving-kindness, in which you radiate unconditional goodwill towards people, including those you dislike.
So the natural thing was to include him in the meditation practice and wish him well. But my mind would revolt — “Send goodwill to THAT scumbag? No way!”
Finally, after many, many months, one day I included him in the practice. As I wished him well, I felt lighter. I could finally let go of my anger to a great extent.
I no longer wish him ill. I can’t say that I feel great compassion for him yet, but it is a start.
By letting go, did I let him off the hook? No, I let myself off the hook.
The first time it was he who harmed me. Every subsequent replay of the incident in my head, I harmed myself.
That is what I stopped.