You ask me: “Why is it so difficult to forgive, to stop clinging to hurts long since past?”
For the simple reason that they are all that you have got. And you go on playing with your old wounds so that they keep fresh in your memory. You never allow them to heal.
A man was sitting in a compartment in a train. Across from him was sitting a Catholic priest who had a picnic basket beside him. The man had nothing else to do so he just watched the priest.
After a while the priest opened the picnic basket and took out a small cloth which he placed carefully on his knees. Then he took out a glass bowl and placed it on the cloth. Then he took out a knife and an apple, peeled the apple, cut it up, put the pieces of apple in the bowl. Then he picked up the bowl, leaned over and tipped the apple out of the window.
Then he took out a banana, peeled it, cut it up, put it in the bowl, and tipped it out of the window. The same with a pear and a little tin of cherries and a pineapple, and a pot of cream – he tipped them all out of the window after carefully preparing them. Then he cleaned the bowl dusted off the cloth, and put them back in the picnic basket.
The man who had been watching the priest in amazement, finally asked, “Excuse me, Father, but what are you doing there?”
To which the priest replied coolly, “Making fruit salad.”
“But you are tipping it all out of the window,” said the man.
“Yes,” said the priest. “I hate fruit salad.”
People go on carrying things that they hate. They live in their hatred. They go on fingering their wounds so they don’t heal; they don’t allow them to heal – their whole life depends on their past.
Unless you start living in the present, you will not be able to forget and forgive the past. I don’t say to you: Forget and forgive all that has happened in the past; that is not my approach. I say: Live in the present that is the positive way to approach existence. Live in the present. That is another way of saying: Be more meditative, more aware, more alert, because when you are alert, aware, you are in the present.