I had an amazing time with an old friend and her children today.
I use the word friend in its truest possible sense. This is a person I have the greatest respect for. A person I admire, understand and truly care about. But once upon a time…we didn’t like each other much.
I’m not going to bore you with the details of a teenage drama that happened over 10 years ago…but suffice to say it turned us from the best friends into nothing in the blink of an eye. It wasn’t a row about make up, or boys, it was huge and it was important and it was sad and it hurt.
I swore I’d never speak to her again…and for years I held on to that anger. I forgot what a generous, caring person this friend could be and replaced all the happy memories with ones of abandonment and selfishness. If her name came up in conversation I’d feel that anger rise up again and I’d say something nasty. In truth, I acted like a spoilt little bitch.
Then I grew up.
And a few years ago, we talked.
She explained her reasons. She took time to tell me how things were for her back then. She spoke candidly about the guilt she’d been carrying round for all these years knowing she left me to deal with sickening situations on my own. She was genuinely sorry.
And I realised, that with bones as fragile as mine, the last thing I should be carrying around with me is a grudge.
You see, good people make bad moves. They have their reasons. We may not understand them, or believe in the same truth, but we need to learn to step back and see each problem from a new perspective.
Not many people out there mean to hurt us, or upset us. It would be arrogant to believe that other peoples worlds revolve around us – even our closest contacts don’t think about us every second of the day – so the things that offend us were often completely accidental, unplanned, unnoticed. Every single person on this planet has made mistakes and acted without consideration…yes…even me 🙂
I think that with all of the horrible things that are happening around us that we can’t control, we desperately need to practice more compassion towards each other. The whole world needs some more kindness. You don’t know why someone behaves the way they do – but you can almost always guarantee that they didn’t wake up in the morning with the sole intention of upsetting you.
Lets say you were really pissed off at a driver who cut you up this morning and nearly made you crash into that cute little kitten on the side of the road…
Instead of getting angry with him, screaming and beeping the horn (I write from experience – The Boy likes his horn) and nearly making the postman fall off his pushbike in excitement, chill for a second and consider why he was driving like an idiot.
- Maybe he was in a hurry to get to the hospital because his wife was having their baby.
- Perhaps he was up all night worrying because his wife had just run away with her pilates instructor, taking all their money and leaving him with nothing but that car and a cactus.
- Or, you know what? Maybe he just has a very tiny penis – so you should feel sorry for him rather than getting angry…
Letting go makes YOU feel better. I’m not suggesting for a second you get walked over, or made to look a fool. I’m just proposing that you stop being angry. Think of all the possible events that could have led that person to act that way – the sensible, the possible and the absolutely ludicrous. Once you can laugh at the problem, it stops being so life consuming.
We can’t always win. We can’t please all the people all the time. But we can make life a little easier for ourselves…
Grudges are heavy. Leave them at the door and travel light.
Just give it a go.
You might even like it.