A light heart will move you forward. Resentment and grudges can only weigh you down.
In our youth we find it easy, almost challenging to ‘take a stand’ on pretty much everything. We’re arrogant, know-it-alls who think our youth gives us an edge in society, simply because we’re young. It doesn’t. We were idiots. Immature, outspoken, uneducated and righteous, but boy oh boy, did we defend our cause. Even when we didn’t know what the cause was – being contrary was our cause.
As children we had the innocence and trust to take people at face value; not read anything into anyone, and as a result we were happy. You play, you quarrel, you go home for lunch, and then you’re best friends again because no one remembers the fight, and it doesn’t matter anyway. This is what we are supposed to be; this is the true essence of our spiritual character and somewhere in on our life path we lose it.
As we approach adulthood we develop judgement, opinions, biases, and dare I say it, grudges. I don’t like him because he’s a jock and I can’t relate to a jock. I don’t like her because she said this about me. (In all fairness I should point out now that I’m not a jock lover, you know, the “mans’ man”, just don’t get them, but I digress…..) Suffice it to say we all become somewhat jaded by our parents, our friends, our teachers (oh yes, they have an influence) and society, and this influence causes us to form judgements, biases. Too bad huh? We’re born with a clean slate. Why can’t we maintain it? I guess the simple answer is that we are all impressionable and like sponges we soak up the essence of those around us. Those born into a home of consistency, love, compassion and faith, are lucky. Their challenges are somewhat reduced when it comes to relationships because they have lived in a trusting and safe environment, but this is not the majority, and even those born into this ‘safe haven’ are exposed to the real world once they are outside their home. And it is here, in the real world we face our biggest challenges….and understandably our biggest learning opportunities.
I wasn’t a ‘cool’ kid. I was average, and thanks to a mother who needed to move every 12 months, (she had her issues too) I was never really settled anywhere. I don’t have childhood friendships because I never lived anywhere long enough to keep them. Every September I started a new school in a new neighbourhood. I hated it, and as a result I was a shy, insecure young girl. I could harbor a grudge towards my mother but I don’t. I chose to forgive. She was a product of her upbringing, basically a warm and loving mother, but one who was clearly struggling with serious issues of her own. She did the best she could with the knowledge she had, and I get that. It didn’t necessarily give me an edge in life but it made be stronger, eventually (I was still a wimp in my youth) and I know she loved us like only a mother can.
We all have a need to blame someone for something that went wrong in our lives and we’ll find any number of excuses to save ourselves.” I did this,,,,because he said that”. “I lashed out because,,,,they provoked me.” I’m not saying these aren’t genuine scenarios. On the contrary, we’ve probably all spent a good portion of our lives justifying our responses; being reactive versus proactive. It’s a defense mechanism, and it works, temporarily. To be true to ourselves, we need to be honest with ourselves. Simple, yes?
No, and here’s why.
To be able to withstand all of society’s scrutiny and judgement we’d have to be perfect in every sense. Strong, capable, resilient, non-judgmental, compassionate, accepting, etc, etc. As emotional and vulnerable human beings we are not all of those things, and until we are, we are on a mission to acquire these lifesaving skills, through experience. (I guess that’s why they say age is wisdom – cause it takes ages to acquire it!) In the interim we embark on an evolving learning cycle, one that nurtures our soul and betters our spirit. Think with your head, act with your heart, and forgive… even when it hurts. You’ll be a better person for it.