If a sharp thorn or a splinter pierces my hand, what do I do? I remove it as quickly as I can. Surely I wouldn’t leave it there, hurting me until it festered and sent its infection throughout my body?
Yet what do I do with the thorns of resentment and hatred when they pierce my thoughts? Do I leave them there and watch them grow, while I suffer increasingly from the pain?
True, resentment and hatred are more difficult to pull out of our thoughts than the physical thorn from a finger, but so much depends upon it that I will do my best to eliminate them, before their poison can spread.
If I really do not want to be hurt, and if I am sure that self-pity isn’t giving me a certain secret satisfaction, I will take all the steps necessary to free my mind from painful thoughts and emotions. The best way to do this is not by grimly exerting will power, but by replacing those hurting ideas with thoughts of love and gratitude.
“Thou has not half the power to do me harm, as I have to be hurt.”
(William Shakespeare; Othello)