Over the years I developed a lovely visual to assist me in getting through life when someone pushes me too far and I can’t seem to let the slight go.
As a Catholic I’m taught to ‘forgive and forget’, even part of the prayer Our Father states “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Yeah, it ain’t happening. I’ve always held grudges to the point where I seethe over them and I can find myself becoming angry about the slight long passed it if I’m not careful. I don’t give second chances. I admit I take the whole “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” a bit too far.
As a teen I explored several other religions curious about them and willing to convert if any truly spoke to me. If I ever gave up Catholicism I’d switch to Buddhism. A jump I know. Catholics are known for opulent services and beautiful hymns no extra large TV’s and electric guitars for us. We prefer the old ways. Buddhists tend to be minimalists.
While I finally decided to stay Catholic there was one thing from Buddhism I use often; a story with lovely visuals.
The story, proverb, axiom, or whatever you want to label it as goes like this in general (please forgive that it’s not exact but you’ll get the idea):
Two monks were walking along a muddy road when they encountered a beautiful woman standing along the side of it unable to cross without getting her dress filthy. One of the monks offers to carry the woman across to the other side. Several hours later the other monk speaks up. “Why did you carry that woman? It goes against our religion.” To which the other monk replies. “I am not the one carrying the woman. I left her along the side of the road.”
This actually tells us several things but the bit I’m concerned about is leaving her along the side of the road. I take this a little further in my day-to-day dealings with people. Whenever I find myself thinking about someone who annoyed me to the point when I can’t stop thinking of them I realize that I’m the other monk and I’m the one carrying them. So I drop them… right in that muddy road.
It’s very satisfying to picture yourself carrying them then just BAM you dropped their ass and they’re sputtering in the road covered in mud. If you do it every time you catch yourself thinking of the person who pissed you off pretty soon you’ll stop thinking of them all together… or you get to relive dropping them. Which is pretty satisfying in its own right. 🙂