remembering the early days and months-30 years ago.

remembering the early days and months-30 years ago.

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Mar 16, 2016 3:36 pm

I'm teaching a course on forgiveness with a colleague of mine-also a meditation teacher. In our last class, she asked me to talk about my accident and if and how I might have forgiven the tire and rubber Company that was responsible for my accident.

Well, I told the story of what happened-of my murderous rage in the beginning. And how, when I finally learned that I could make a contribution to the world, I decided I wanted to live again.

But as I came to the end of the story I reflected back on what it was like for that 33-year-old man and I just began to cry-and yes, it was in front of all of my students! I cried for what he went through. His terrible fear and confusion. His questions about whether he wanted to live and whether he deserved to live. I cried remembering how much I went through-a good person who was here by no fault of his own.

And like most of us, I lived with that fear and anger and confusion and self-pity. And alienation. That sense of being alone-being different was the most painful of all.

And now, 36 years later, I'm deeply satisfied with my life and spend my days feeling happy and grateful. No, it didn't take 36 years to get here. But it did start with grief. And I felt I wasn't lovable. But what I discovered was that I was capable of loving. And I started slow at first, but I took all of the love I felt for my children and wife. All of the love I felt for my sister and parents and I began loving friends-even patients.

I discovered that the more I was able to love, the more lovable I felt. I've discovered that we all need love and that without it we don't survive. But the important learning for me was that it doesn't matter whether love is coming in or going out. Love cures.

And yes, when we love we risk getting hurt. But after what all of us have been through, I think we can handle something like that!

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