In our next weekly meeting, a friend took up the subject of our discussion a few weeks back about my being upset about the dismissal of my project proposal. He asked me about the manager who had been unfair to me. I recounted to him all the unfair things that he had done to me.
I thought my friend was interested in the details of his wrongdoing, but instead had a different question “Are you happy when you are thinking about him and his injustice to you?” I wondered. I was not happy at all. In fact, before the question I was relaxed, but while elaborating on the earlier incidences, I had become serious.
“But the incidences are over, a long time ago. How come they disturb you even now?” I started wondering. Actually, I had forgotten about the incidences. It was on being questioned, that I recounted.
“Is it possible that nothing is forgotten?”
“You might forget the details of the event. But the feeling generated at that time remains deeply ingrained. Any trigger and it resurfaces, recreating the disturbed state that was caused at that time”.
I was not very sure if I agreed to this view. As we grow, all of us encounter so many situations. Some pleasant and some not so much. We do not remember all. Is it possible that the impact still remains in us? Maybe the impact of all events may not remain but at least those which had strongly affected us are likely to remain.
That day, we practiced a technique called ‘Guided Experience’. One of us reads a story and all the others closed their eyes and followed the story. The story was in the first person and we were to imagine ourselves as that person. Thus, when it was told that I am leaning from the 20th floor, I imagined myself leaning and to that extent I got the feeling related with that. In between, there were pauses allowing time to imagine more about that specific stage of the story.
The name of the Guided Experience was ‘The Enemy’. It was clarified that during the story, we will think of one person who had done great harm to us.
The story started with a scene of a busy street. Suddenly everything comes to a standstill and only I could move. I could do all the mischief that came to my mind. Exhausted with all that fun, suddenly I notice that person who had done great harm to me, is in front of me, paralysed. I tell him about all the injustices he had done to me as he helplessly faces me. Here there was a pause and I had time to recollect many incidents.
A mob arrives on the scene and announces that, if I permit, they will put him to death for such grave misdeeds. I refuse and they disperse. Once again, I tell him about all the injustices he had done to me and leave the scene.
It starts raining and all life comes back to normal. I take shelter under a shed and again that person appears in front of me, wanting to share the shelter. Looking at him I think of the possible misery that he might have gone through in life. I let him come in the shelter. The story ends there.
Afterwards, we shared our experiences. Some of us could visualise the whole story, some of us had distractions in between. Some of us could clearly recollect the incidents and could not forgive the person and some of us, including me, could forgive him fully. All of us had a nice feeling at the end.
“The past is not forgotten. It has to be reconciled”. “A set of Guided Experiences contain stories to reconcile with the past”
I learned a new thing. To reconcile with the past and the technique of the Guided Experience. A step ahead in my journey to become a better human being.