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Written on December 7, 2007, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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This is the season of goodwill. Towards whom? I found myself asking, as I wondered recently just why I was making significant efforts to show friendliness to someone who whenever I meet them, either shows me significant cold shoulder, or is blatantly rude – refusing to shake hands, turning away mid-sentence, talking over my conversation with someone else, that kind of thing – or otherwise sulks and skulks and glowers in my general direction.

I discussed it with somebody who knows this person better than I do, and he said, maybe you made a personal comment. I once did, and I had to beg for forgiveness, he’s very sensitive you know.

I thought carefully about this. Had I humiliated this person with a thoughtless couple of words? It wouldn’t be the first time I had done that in this life, but, in general, I respect people’s differences and especially those which they can do little or nothing about – skin tone, height, accent, that kind of thing – in fact, I’m likely to intervene if I detect that kind of bullying. But, I can be sharp, especially when I feel aggrieved, so had I made some kind of personal comment?

Half a day later, this still preying on my mind – yes, came the answer. You did make a comment. After he had been several times significantly rude to you. Not that it’s any excuse.

Still, why did this person have some kind of attitude towards me in the first place? Did I actually do anything to deserve it, or is that they are just made to measure anti-Deek? Why am I bothered? Should I be bothered?

I am bothered, because I don’t like accumulating enemies for no reason, and I get the impression that I have been randomly selected for this particular person’s ire. They might be full of all kinds of insecurity – envy, two people suggested to me, which I find hard to fathom – but, why pick me as the terrible bane of their lives? Don’t they have a real enemy to go to?

I don’t like having pointless enemies. I accept the need for worthy opponents – it’s a Castaneda thing – but the waste of energy that comes from either studiously avoiding or else having to deal with ridiculous petty battles with someone who doesn’t care to explain what is the problem, I can surely live without.

All of which got me thinking – this is a precious moment, a chance to evolve, to move into an elevated state of forgiveness for the stupidity of other people’s negativity. This is an opportunity for giving, in keeping with the season of goodwill.

So, I am now making you an offer: I hereby offer you the chance to remove your bad feelings about someone or something, a difficult situation, a careless slight, in return for my taking it on.

While I am doing that, I ask only in return that you give the freedom of forgiveness to someone else, by offering to their carry hatred, envy, fear, self-loathing, poverty of generosity, whatever is their personal burden, on their behalf. Give someone the gift of grudge-bearing this Yuletide. It will be easier for you to bear it than they, for it will be a change, and a change is as good as a rest.

What grudge would you most like to be rid of during the holiday season?

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This thing has 3 Comments

  1. Twit
    Posted 8 December, 2007 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I have a love/hate relationship with everyone.

    But so far, I have only drawn my own blood.

    I hope I can die that way.

    Merry Chr..(no, sorry, still too early for me¦:¬)

  2. Elisabeth
    Posted 8 December, 2007 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ll trade you one thin-skinned, reactionary, unworthy opponent for one passive-aggressive Iowa sociopath. I’d be so relieved to have her out of my hair for awhile.

    Does that sound fair to you?

    xo Elisabeth the podcastmama (but not a freegan 🙂

  3. La Sirena
    Posted 9 December, 2007 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Grudge-bearing — I have a ridiculous inborn talent for it — is something I’ve been contemplating for quite a few years. I find your assessment quite eloquent as usual.

    I no longer allow myself to bear grudges. I let myself to experience the full blast of my anger and then try to release it into the ethers. Mostly, it works.

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