Yesterday, 31 Days of Personhood: Day 20: Pay Attention, we talked about learning to open our ears and minds, and hearts to the conversations going on around us. We do this to be of mutual benefit to others, but also for our own growth and edification.
“Holding onto grievances is a decision to suffer.”
Everyone gets hurt every now and then. It is the nature of living. Everyone gets slighted, pushed aside, looked over, etc. When this happens, we can respond in one of two ways. It is always a choice.
Some people hold onto old grudges and slights as if they were hallowed treasures. They seem to take some perverse pleasure and pride in holding on to the memories of the bad, and completely forget any good that was present. They bury these time bombs deep in their memories waiting to spring a trap that may never, ever come.
The second choice, even if we do not choose it right away, is to accept the truth of the situation, correct what we can, and move on. Move on with our emotions, our minds, our jobs, our lives.
Whichever path we choose, there are a few truths to which we are all bound. Yesterday is history. We cannot go back. We cannot change what happened. Yes, we may feel badly. But, there is no positive value to be found in staying in that spot.
Our minds are a wellspring of thoughts that direct our outer lives. We can fill our minds with venom, stew and ruminate over how things should be and what we should do to exact revenge. Or, we can move forward with positive thoughts and make more wonderful and meaningful interaction and memories.
That’s it. Stay or Go.
What do I want you to do?
1. Choose a slight that you keep coming back to. Anything. Your boss yelled at you. Someone cut you off in traffic. You got passed over at the club for an elected spot. Your significant other didn’t pick up the suit you needed for tomorrow’s presentation.
2. Investigate it. Look at the facts. Now look at how you reacted. Was it right or appropriate?
3. Now ask yourself why you are still thinking about it, and what positive value does/ has this thought bring to your life or relationship.
4. Apologize if you need to. Make whatever amends you feel you need to. Even to yourself. Let it go.
5. The very next time you start to feel that furnace of indignation getting fired up, stop. Stop. Breath. Walk away. Sort it out. Re-engage when you can think.
You are not a machine!
You are not a slave to your emotions. And, if you are, you need to fix that.
Because if you are a slave to every whim that pops into your head, everyone else will soon figure that out, and people will drag you around by that emotional nose-ring for the rest of your life!!
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