Some days back, I was talking to my mom about something. Yes, contrary to what many of my friends think, I don’t spend all my waking hours in office. πŸ˜‰ Invariably, the conversation veered towards our relatives. They are indeed so much in number that they tend to pop up everywhere, even in our conversations. πŸ˜€ That was when my mom told me that so-and-so uncles were not on talking terms with so-and-so aunt and my reaction was “Weren’t they like peas in a pod the last time we talked about them?”, last time being barely a year back. My mom’s reply – “Yeah, they had some showdown about <insert random trivial issue here> and they are not talking to each other now”. And I was like…shouldn’t they know better than that? Especially at their age, when my generation looks at them as role models (sort of). Isn’t age supposed to make you humble, wise and all good things like that? But then again, maturity is not a guaranteed byproduct of age, is it? So, rather than blaming the elders, why not look at the real issue?
And it is this – not everyone knows how to (or is willing to) let go of grudges, resentments and all other negative emotions that tie us down. We often carry all these along with us, weighing down on our heart, and our very being. We do realise that we are not doing the right thing here, yet continue to do it. Why? I feel it is because of two reasons (there may be many, but these two immediately come to mind). One, holding a grudge against someone/something makes us feel like we are the aggrieved party, the one who has been unfairly treated. This, we believe, gives us the right to place ourselves at a higher moral ground against the “aggressor”. “If I have been unfairly treated, doesn’t that automatically mean that I was doing the right thing and the other person was wrong in what he did?” is how we reason this out with ourselves. Secondly, we assume that if we have been wronged against, we have been put in an uncomfortable position, and yet we have managed to “survive it”. Hence, we have some superpower that allows us to treat others like mere mortals who have done nothing but create problems for us. We talk proudly about how someone did their best to trouble/use/manipulate us and we did not fall prey to their machinations. What we fail to realise is that when we keep talking about the long-lost grudges, we show that we are still carrying them with us, on our heart, our mind. Yes – we achieved a lot inspite of all that we faced, but wouldn’t we have achieved much more if we had just let go of all that held us down for so long, and soared into the sky, much lighter, much more hopeful?
I believe life is like a journey, and grudges (and other assorted negative emotions) are nothing but useless baggage that slows you down. The longer you travel, the more baggage you pick up, and hence, the more you need to discard if you want to keep moving ahead. Else you are just going to slow down, and stangnate at the end of it all. Trust me on this – every single person in your life is going to hurt you at some point or other, knowingly or unknowingly. Does this mean that you keep that hurt boiling on a cauldron all life long? If the answer is even remotely close to yes, remind yourself of all the good times with that very same person. You meant (and hopefully, still mean) a lot to them, and them to you. Why would you want to trouble yourself looking at the dark moments when there is so much sunshine to cherish? And if the person no longer means much to you (or vice versa), that is even more reason to let go of all those moments/memories that are haunting you.
Easier said than done, right? Of course, easy to say, and perhaps way more difficult to actually implement. Afterall, Teflon wasn’t around when God created the human mind. πŸ™‚ We find it really difficult to let go, even when we know we should. Here, I can only say what works for me, and hope it works for you as well. The next time you remember a person/situation for something “bad” they did to you, and hate them for it, force yourself to remember a few “good” things that they did to you. I can bet – you will be able to come up with at least one good thing for every bad thing. And if you can’t, they never should have been a part of your life. Stop keeping them in your life by thinking on and on about them. It will seem painful in the beginning, like all detachment does. At the end of the day though, you will thank yourself for it. πŸ™‚
So yes, life is indeed a journey. If you want to travel far and wide to the beautiful lands, let go of your excess bagagge. Travel light!! πŸ™‚