The New Year had me thinking a lot about goals, values, ambitions, motivations, life, and how excited I was to wear my new fuzzy socks. With all the talk of “look how far you’ve come in a year” and “can you believe that was only 1 year ago” I found myself even more reflective and nearly bubbling over with blog ideas – two of which involved writing about goals and values.
At my old job, we had a list of working norms – kind of like guiding values – and each day at our morning huddle, we would say what working norm we were focusing on that day. I loved that idea. I mean, obviously, in theory, you were living into every positive attribute every day you walked into the office, but how nice it was to really put your heart and soul behind one guiding value each week.
For this reason, I’ve decided to dedicate a new series of “Res” posts to my own kind of working norms – my own mini-resolutions. You don’t have to buy into any of these. You don’t have to make your own. But maybe at some point, it’ll make you think about what it would look like to radically change your life one week at a time.
Res 7: Forgive
I always say that I’ve only been mad a few select times in my life. Obviously, this isn’t the case. Obviously, I was so mad the other day when my fellow-commuter decided to not walk up the one-person-wide escalator, blocking my path and thus making me miss my train by this much. Okay, so I’ve been mad a lot.
But this time I’m talking about that blind rage mad, furious mad, I can’t even think straight mad. I’ve only experienced that three times. Each time, I have felt beyond justified in my irate status.
The first time, the counter-part to the story and I didn’t speak for months. The second time, with different antagonists, things were weird for a couple weeks. The third time, I couldn’t find it in me to be angry after even 24 hours.
Maybe this is a sign of maturity…
Maybe it’s a sign of maturity because maybe, for once, something or someone mattered more than my pride.
You see, the third time, I kind of got in a fight with one of my good friends. And by “kind of got in a fight” I told him that I didn’t care if I ever talked to him again.
Okay… so I’m still working on the maturity thing.
And while in that moment I may have felt totally justified, it took approximately two seconds of him walking away for me to burst into tears.
I wasn’t angry. I didn’t hate him. Mostly, I just wanted a hug.
We didn’t talk for about a week.
Then I was reminded of one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes: “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
Then I realized how foolish I was being. I reconnected with my friend and in a much calmer setting, we talked through our sides of the story, explaining why we felt the way we did and we tried to see things through the others eyes.
And I got a hug.
Resolution #7: Forgive
It’s the easiest thing in the world to hate. It’s the easiest thing to hold onto what hurt you and stay angry over what you believe to be a grave injustice. It takes compassion and vulnerability to open yourself to the other person’s story. It takes maturity to open the conversation…to admit you were wrong…to realize that you hadn’t thought about things from every angle.
I’m not saying to blindly run through life, forgiving people who have committed heinous crimes against you or your loved ones. There are some cases, of course, where it is best to walk away. There is no point in trying to maintain a toxic relationship.
That being said…when you meet someone who makes you laugh until your sides hurt and takes care of you like you’re blood relatives – hold onto them. Realize that nobody is perfect. And thank God every day that you have a person like that in your life.