Independence Day | Mark’s Remarks

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It has occurred to me in my 54 years on earth that I have used up a heck of a lot of energy holding grudges and replaying situations over and over in my head. 

I wrote about it once, and it’s a topic that keeps coming back to me. I can spend a great deal of time wandering aimlessly through memories, most of them unpleasant, to make sure I have them in the right perspective.

And why do I do this?  I can only guess that I hold grudges because of pride.  It’s also because the situation was never resolved, so I just hold on to it. This is where the revisiting of unpleasant memories continues to happen. I go back for a stroll through my memory bank, recall the situation that was unpleasant, and analyze the same thing once again. Most of the time, I do this so that I can make sure I was wronged and was innocent.  

What does this accomplish? Not much.

I think I tend to wander around these memories in order to understand life a little more, but it’s not the right way to go about gaining enlightenment. I’m pretty sure others can relate to what I’m talking about.  We want to figure things out, so we revisit failed relationships or times we felt we weren’t accepted or whatever. It never works.  

Like shoveling the sidewalk during a snowstorm, our efforts are fruitless.  All we really end up doing is suffering over and over again.  

I read a really great thing on my “frenemy” Facebook the other day. The article I read spoke about getting people to acknowledge any hurt or wrong doings. It talked about holding people accountable.

Accountability feels like an attack when you are not ready to face up to the fact your behavior has harmed others. Meaning, if you expect people to take ownership of what they’ve done to you, and they aren’t ready, they just feel like you’re the bad guy.

And some people will never be ready, it seems.  You’ll always be the bad guy.

I have been around people who count themselves as friends, yet they are unable to see change in your life. You have people in your lives who view you and everyone else as some sort of competition. There are folks who are so anxious or self-centered that you aren’t really able to connect properly with them.  

Some people will gladly be there for you when you are down, but because of pride and jealousy, they can’t and won’t be happy for you in your time of celebration. This is because they fear you might be better than they are in some way.  

Do we have enough people in our lives that we can put those types of folks on the back burner? How important are these people to us if they treat us in this way? Why spend time with people who we gripe about or feel negative about after we visit with them?

It is quite difficult to forgive and forget the things that we felt have been done to us, when the other person won’t acknowledge the hurt they’ve caused.  

So, what do we do with that?

In my opinion, we have to decide that our lives are too full of good stuff to carry the burdens around.  We sometimes have to set boundaries and tell folks that we just aren’t going to be around them.  We sometimes have to make sure folks know they are loved, but that we can’t subject ourselves to their environment anymore.

Painful? Yes. Uncomfortable? For a while.

However, deciding not to carry the burdens of unforgiveness around is a very freeing thing. Making the decision to become independent from that school of thought is liberating and refreshing, with no negative things attached.  

Stay open to change, of course. Be willing to talk to people whenever they are ready.  What a great thing it is when someone thinks enough of you to say  “Hey, I really messed up and I’ve come asking your forgiveness.”

Be sure you give it to them, on the spot. Don’t mess around going over the crap one more time.  

But for now, make one last visit to that memory lane of unpleasant places.  Say goodbye.  

Don’t go back.

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