A little while ago I wrote about the notion of giving grudges an expiry date. Well, I am pleased (or at least able) to report that I have had the opportunity to practice it in realtime, and it worked!
A couple of weeks, I realized I was holding a grudge. It had to do with a past argument with an ex-boyfriend, the kind that came up a few times in our relationship and where I consistently felt like I was misunderstood and not heard. (I'm sure he had some similar feelings.) I noticed that I was still reliving the argument and imagining what I wish I had said to him--a mental activity that achieves absolutely nothing except churning up old, unpleasant feelings all over again.
Then it clicked! This is it! This is the kind of thing I wanted to give an expiration date to! This is a grudge!
I decided that this grudge was permitted until Christmas, and then after that, it will have gone sour and need to be thrown out. Guess what? It's not nearly Christmas yet, and I can already tell this has worked.
Since that moment, the argument has started to replay in my psyche just once, and as soon as I realized what was happening I reminded myself that this one only lives until Christmas. It was like pulling the stopper out of a blow-up toy. The whole thing just kind of deflated and I instantly felt the uselessness of holding on for even that long. It went from "this is a thing I have unresolved, unhappy feelings about and so I'm going to relive it forever!" to "I have to hold onto this thing for HOW LONG?"
How FREAKING exciting!!! It WORKED!
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