How many times have you been around someone that’s a “pain in the neck”?
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
While it may be easier to focus on someone’s wrong behavior and how frustrating it is, the long-term result of that focus is your own “bad behavior”. By your own bad behavior, I mean holding a grudge or missing out on the good things happening every moment of your day – should you choose to see them. Sure, in most circles, it is the best part of the day to complain about all the bad things happening and the bad things people do to you. And, I suggest that you immediately step out of that circle into the success circle!
See, when you spend time complaining about someone it really only hurts you. The other person keeps going on their merry way, right!? Do you really want to be renting the precious space in your mind to something that drags you down? Think about whether the person is really worth taking up that precious space in your mind. I’m pretty sure that you’d be better off using that mental space for focusing on how to improve your spa and your life!
Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun.
To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways is a feast fit for a king.
The chief drawback is what you are wolfing down is yourself.
The skeleton in the feast is you.
– Frederick Buechner
Have you turned a past hurtful event into a grievance that is renting too much space in your mind?
Here are 4 questions to help you know whether you have. (Taken from “Forgive for Good” by Dr. Fred Luskin)
- Do you think about this painful situation more than you think about the things in your life that are good?
- When you think about this painful situation, do you become either physically uncomfortable or emotionally upset?
- When you think about this situation, do you do so with the same old repetitive thoughts?
- Do you find yourself telling the story about what happened over and over in your mind?
If you answered yes to any of these, you probably are renting too much space in your mind to that situation – or person! One great way to stop renting them all that space is to forgive them and move on.
A common response is that people are unwilling to forgive because they think that by forgiving a person they are condoning that person’s behavior. The bottom line is that forgiveness has nothing to do with whether someone was right or wrong. It has only to do with your own health and success! Your lack of forgiveness is only holding you back. The other person is off doing their own thing without a care in the world about you. The best way to make sure that you are not condoning their behavior is to avoid bad behavior yourself.
When that pain in the neck is frustrating you – again, you really need to step back and figure out how to move forward and around the situation.
Take a look at the situations with your family and friends and see which relationships are causing you the most stress. Do you answer “yes” to any of the 4 above questions? If so, then pick up a book on forgiveness and find some ways to let go of it. Only when you let go of the pain and frustration can you begin to look for creative solutions.
“Forgive for Good” by Dr. Fred Luskin is a useful book with useful strategies. Check it out in my Amazon store or at your local library.