Have you ever had that flash of white light go off in your brain that stimulated that urge in your brain to do some serious damage to another person’s facial features?
Has there ever been a time in your life when you just could not stand the thought of being in the same room with a person you despised so much that it made the blood in your head bubble?
If these things never happen to you – I applaud you, I bow down to your fortitude, I embrace your humanity. Why? Because I am predisposed to hostility, loathing and feelings of bitterness. Those flashes of white light explode in my brain with regularity. Oh and that animal desire to do harm to those people who harm my delicate psyche, bruise my feelings, ignore my contrived attempts at kindness and speak evil of my veiled bids to be better than everyone else is an all too familiar feeling.
When people say, “Don’t be offended but….,” have generally prepared themselves to deliver an offensive statement.
When someone feels the need to preface their soon-to-be articulated offensive remarks with, “I don’t mean to be mean but…,” they have put a lot of thought into how mean they can be by saying what they are about to say.
When there is an obligatory disclaimer like, “I’m just trying to be honest….,” chances are the only person they need to be honest with is themselves and getting something off their chest is more liberating for them than it is for you.
If you find yourself saying or doing these things than you are a lot like me and we need to work on a few things because holding on to resentment will manifest in your physical being (high blood pressure and a perpetual ugly smirk), it harms your relationships (dog tries to pet you, the kids scatter when you enter a room and your spouse turns up their nose like they smell something nauseating on you). It also harms your spirit (you can’t focus on anything but your animosity, you find it hard to be kind, you find it hard to love).
1) Give up – you may win the battle but you definitely will lose the war. Nothing good will come of your anger and resentment. Let go of your anger and find the humility and compassion to forgive.
2) Give love – people are going to be offended even when you didn’t mean to offend. Rather than initiating a blood feud, tell them you’re sorry, tell them you love them and move on.
3) Give more – when you’re feeling angry, ignored, unwanted, underappreciated or under-valued it’s probably because self-pity is not cool. Being charitable on the other hand cures the soul.
They say that losing yourself in the service of others is therapeutic. I say it’s just plain awesome. Get over yourself and you’ll realize that it’s probably the best gift you can give someone this Christmas.