Due to a heated disagreement with a close friend about various aspects of her behaviour, and the repercussions they are having across our friendship group, we hadn’t spoken to each other for over a month – which is a very long time for us.
During this time, even though I constantly justified to myself that my decision to ignore her was valid, she had never been out of mind. Our stand-off had been eating away at me, almost to the point where my concern for her had morphed into indignation and grudge-bearing proportions.
I imagined she was taking mental pot-shots at me, dissing me to her friends and family, and resenting my previous efforts to help and realign her. I was even thinking that if I just continued to lay low for as long as it took, her behaviour would inevitably result in a crisis for her – emotional, physical or both – which would not only ‘prove me right’ but would also allow me to play the knight on horseback and ride to her rescue one more time…if I chose to.
Do you ever find that in the hurly burly of a jam-packed life or in the hustle bustle of a demanding business week, it can sometimes be tempting to sideline or take short-cuts regarding matters of the heart – to avoid them impacting negatively or foggying up the clarity required to successfully ‘go about your business’?
On Sunday, I always take time away from anything to do with business. It’s a day to put various challenges into perspective. It’s a day to take stock and stack up faith, whether this involves a trip to church, a long walk with the dogs, a lazy lunch – all of these if poss – basically, whatever gives me the maximum opportunity for personal reflection, mindfulness and meditation and to take on board the thoughts of those who I treasure most.
Ignoring tricky emotional decisions, or making a decision based on short term pleasure, will often only result in longer term pain for all concerned. Thorny emotional issues can niggle away at your sympathetic nervous system, prompting stress, pain and anxiety, which can in turn result in ill-health and/or ill-will. And when all this self-inflicted turmoil turns towards resentment, it probably won’t have the slightest effect on the person you’re resenting.
I’m reminded of what they say in typical ‘twelve-step programmes’ for addiction recovery – resentment is when I take poison and wait for you to die. It’s certainly not a source of joy for anyone with a decent heart.
Whatever the causes and effects of resentment – no matter how much of a crutch it becomes to help you avoid facing your deep feelings and pain, whatever the threat or alarm it creates inside you – this is the time when you simply need to be the bigger person and be forgiving. Who am I to think I am my friend’s judge and jury?!
Forgiving is not a sign of weakness. It may involve accepting that people will sometimes mistreat you, deliberately or by accident. It will definitely involve letting go of the emotional charge around feeling wronged. To act against it will come as a sense of relief. And, as sure as apples is apples, the greatest beneficiary of your forgiveness is usually you. If that can then lead to an open dialogue with the subject of your resentment, then maybe you will both become beneficiaries. Happy days.
Tomorrow is my friend’s birthday. We were both tearfully happy when she accepted my invitation to come and spend the day chez Stalkie. It’s a day to celebrate for even more reasons now. Another year older, another year wiser.
I would love the opportunity to support you in becoming the architect and builder of the most fulfilled and happiest life you could wish for.
That’s why I have devised the Improve Your Life Now! programme which is full of tools such as those described in this blog. You can receive 14 days of FREE video coaching, a FREE workbook and goals chart, all geared towards creating the life you deserve. All details are on my website www.paulstalker.com
Love the Day!