Thursday, April 02, 2009

Setting Ourselves Free

I know I haven't posted in a while, just been way busy. Have another book in the works that had to get finished and then of course there is Pesach coming and my little munchkins who take up all my time.

But tonight I have some breathing room (please please please don't wake up for another twenty minutes till I finish posting!!!) so I figured it was only right to come here and post.

So here goes.

A few weeks ago my friend who comments here quite a bit, itsagift, sent me an awesome quote.

"Resentment is like drinking poison and then waiting for the other person to die."

This quote just hit me so hard I couldn't delete her email. I fell in love with the truth of it and the great message it had.

I wanted to blog about it for a while but I guess it's appropriate that it waited for now- right before Pesach.

You know, each of us have people in our lives who have hurt us and caused us some miserable times. They're hard to forgive and let go of. I know. I've had plenty of hurts myself.

But twenty years, or even twenty minutes after the event, when you're still smarting at what this person may have done to you, do you think they're thinking about you too? Do you think that all the years you wasted hating them and wishing things would have worked out differently are being hated and wished away by that other person as well?

I doubt it.

Once, I worked for someone who made my life a living hell for as long as I was their employment. I used to come home with stories and tears and literally shaking with anger after a day at work.

One Thursday, I had a fallout with my employer over something stupid. I was asking for advice on how to deal with a certain situation that had come up and was told quite bluntly that my employer believed that I caused the whole thing and that if I would not be "Me" then it never would have happened.

Understandably I got pretty upset and said that if my place of work would be a little more accommodating to its employees THEN it never would have happened.

So the boss tells me unceremoniously that if I really felt that way I should look for a new job.

I spent all Shabbos alternately seething and fuming and then crying and pouting.

Until my husband, wise man that he is (and no, I would not say this to his face but if he'd read my blog he's welcome to the compliment) asked me, "While you killed your entire Shabbos, and by the way, killed mine as well, do you think that your employer wasted even one second thinking about you?"

And then it smacked me over the head. No. She didn't. She couldn't care less about me. I was just a fly she swatted and walked away. Yeah, too bad for me that I was the fly left dying on the floor, but she COULDN'T CARE LESS.

And then I realized that I wasted a good 48 hours of my life on someone who didn't deserve those 48 hours of my life.

And it was over.

I left that job. I realized that this person not only didn't deserve my moping, she didn't deserve the time, effort, and the heart that I put into my job to begin with.

And for that I am a much happier person.

I still have to remind myself sometimes to stop driving myself crazy for people who won't even care, but it's a good thing to remember. Because in the end, by allowing myself to be miserable, I am HELPING that other person hurt me.

Imagine if the person who caused you all that pain knew how deeply it hurt you- that you were thinking about it and resenting it for years after. I can just hear the evil laugh. "I thought I could get her down for five minutes max, didn't dream I'd get it going for five years! I am gooood! MWAHAHAHH!"

LOL's aside, there's another aspect to this.

Forget people.

I get asked all the time how come I don't resent the years in my life that I suffered, missed out on being a regular kid, went through what no one should ever know of.

Well, I guess you can say I learned a good lesson. It's not worth it. Those were years that Hashem had planned for me. And as hard as they were, they were going to happen whether I liked it or not. They NEEDED to happen because I had to grow from them. And only those particular circumstances could have made me the exact person I am today.

And a little bigheadedness here- I LIKE the person I am today.

So how can I waste the next five years of my life being miserable about those five months that were only stepping stones?

Resentment is a choice. You just have to realize it. And you need to realize that the health food store don't carry it, just because it ain't healthy. It's poison.

So I think it's perfect for this time of year. Pesach is about letting go- becoming free. But really, the key to most freedoms in this world lies within us. So let's decide to let go this year. Smile, and make the world wonder what you're up to.

If I don't get to the blog again before Pesach -have a kosher'n freylichen yom tov everyone!

And I should have prayed for Moshiach earlier, turns out Hashem was listening. HB JUST started wailing- like she was waiting for the end of my post. :-)


little sheep said...

so true...and yet, so hard to put into practice...

itsagift said...

First of all, thanks for this post :)
You wrote it all up with such clarity! It's beautifully written - and the message is so powerful!
I think we can all take this message on a real personal level - and try to let go of the hurts from the past...
And yes LS, it may be hard, but think about the alternative...drinking the poison!

little sheep said...

itsagift, believe it or not, that's actually something i can't reply to in a public forum...

tembow said...

so so so true. i never thought of it like that. thanks!

Ezzie said...

Awesome. Perfectly put. Thank you.

nmf #7 said...

Truly excellent! Thanks for that!

halfshared said...

Amazing post and something I needed to hear.
Thank you and have a wonderful Pesach!

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all those comments! thanks for the inspiration just in time for yom tov...and in general. SO well put and beautifully written!all i can say is ...
have a gut shabbos and a chag kosher vsamech

Anonymous said...

wow you really put things in perspective. btw is your book a novel?

Married and Navigating Jewish Brooklyn said...

wonderful post :)

Zeeskeit said...

Cool - Can't wait for a new book!

Yeh, I like this post...I once heard someone comment about another person who wronged him - "Ain't gonna let him rent space in my brain!"

I use it all the time...

Thanx for a gr8 post - it's not the quantity, ya know, but the quality we love!

Old Kvetch said...

Oy, another terrific book, this is such wonderful news.

You need a good editor maybe?

Anonymous said...

where are you? we miss you