Seriously, you hit on my biggest challenge. When I resent, I resent BIG time and it’s all I can do to harness my black feelings. I think I’ve gotten better the last couple of years, especially since I’ve thrown myself into service. At least I’ve gotten pretty good at cloaking the resentment. Still, it’s extremely frustrating how I– a fairly intelligent, insightful guy– could let little slights rule my days.
I guess we all need at least one good albatross to keep us company.]]>
Spectator – you gave me some insight I hadn’t considered before – dissing his territory. Thanks for your thoughts.
annegb – You’re way ahead of me in the forgiving – and serving – category. But I see that you put my rule to work – doing something nice for someone you don’t like – and I’m glad it worked.
Barb – you mentioned how earlier in life this was not as big a problem for you as it now is. I totally understand. In fact I mark the day things changed for me. It was my first day at college and the instructor asked each of us to stand, state our name and then say something nice about ourselves. I chose to say “I never hold a grudge.” It was like I was calling Satan out on that issue. Since that day I have collected a long list of grudges – most of whom are totally one sided, in other words, the other person deosn’t even realize I’m mad at them. In fact they may not even know me. How wierd is that. I know, I need counseling! I’ve actually had some, years ago, and it helped.
Let’s all hope for a great New Year for everybody – even our enemies!]]>
Susan M –
Your “tip” (as you called it) is AWESOME. I need to write it down and post it somewhere!
I would say that I was also born with a forgiving nature, but the example of my forgiving family sure helped! I think Susan”s advice to give them an excuse is great–there is always another side to the story.]]>
She’s active, but just angry and mean and always causing trouble.
I made them an extra big plate of treats for Christmas. Bill said, “why are you doing that? It won’t change anything!” And I said, “I’m not doing it for her.” When he took it over, she acted like her usual ungracious self, taking the platter with a gesture that said, “what the hell took you so long and go away, you bother me.”
I don’t care. I did not want her kids to think nobody likes them.
In a wonderful little AA prayer book (in AA, we are counseled to pray for people we are fighting with, and I do, although sometimes it’s not a very nice prayer, let me tell you.), there is this prayer:
God, free me from resentment
Please bless ___________________in whatever it is that You know
They may be needing this day.
Please give _______________________________everything I want for myself.
And may ___________________________________’s life be
full of health, peace,
Prosperity and happiness as they seek to have
A closer relationship with thee.
It actually works, although I’m still praying angry for this woman.]]>
I’m by nature a very forgiving person, and I tend to not be judgmental at all. It’s a trait I don’t particularly feel proud of or anything—it’s just my nature. My parents are the same way. Unconditionally accepting of people.
But if you want a tip for not letting little things other people do aggravate you, here’s one: Give them an excuse for their behavior. That guy who cut you off on the freeway? He didn’t see you. That person who didn’t use their blinker (a particular pet peeve of mine)? Their blinkers aren’t working. Etc.
I guess it can work on the bigger things, too. That person who offended you probably either 1) Didn’t realize they were doing so, 2) Would probably be mortified if they knew they had, or if 1 & 2 don’t apply, 3) Are acting out of their own hurt and anger.]]>
Forgiveness is a hard one for me, too. My FIL drives me absolutely crazy. I know his own children have a really hard time forgiving him of the things he did/does. And the problem isn’t that we aren’t forgiving and loving people in general, we are just constantly bombarded by the same offenses over and over and over and over. Some say we should just cut him out of our lives completely and move on. But that’s just not an option (see comment about being loving people). So, I’m working on the forgiveness thing. It’s probably something I’ll (and my husband and in-laws) will have to work on for the rest of our lives…
Oh, and fwiw, I miss Southeastern Idaho, too. Sometimes a lot. Especially around fair time… ;)]]>