I mostly work in a vacuum – what I mean by that — is I don’t labor in an office with co-workers, I don’t have any employees nor do I really have to answer to anyone but myself. It has been like this for years. This can be both good and bad. The good is I am used to getting my own way, the bad is I am used to getting my own way.
Therefore I don’t have conflicts with other people very often. In fact during the past twenty years I can only remember two or three times when someone was really getting on my nerves or conversely they were mightily upset with me.
During the worst one in the early 1990’s I found myself spending large amounts of emotional energy on one particular person. In the midst of lovely activities like walking on the beach, I would suddenly find my teeth clenched and in the middle of a Walter Mitty type daydream where I was pummeling my nemesis. I would shake my head to rid myself of these images but they kept recurring.
I can still clearly remember the moment that I let all of that go. I found the secret and what a relief it was! Funny, it was a variation on the same thing I had told my young son many times. Basically that whatever or whoever is bothering you – you have a choice, you don’t have to let it bother you. But there was one more element that I needed. I knew intellectually that I had a choice but that was not working for me. Until I truly forgave the other person, I still harbored resentment.
That was the secret – FORGIVENESS. Suddenly all that negative energy just evaporated. Now I don’t mean to imply that I became Mother Teresa, but I do suggest that you try this tack. We all have resentments, anger, mistrust and they seem to intensify around the holidays. Try forgiving others and remember that does not mean you are excusing their behavior only forgiving them. There is a difference.
This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.