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My Happiness Challenge Day 36

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Happy people...

36. Don't hold grudges, but instead choose to forgive.

Ok, so I've got a couple of grudges to deal with. It's strange to think about how much these grudges affect my life even though I will never see these people again (possibly in the afterlife).

I'll begin with the most ridiculous one. There was a student I had 9-10 years ago that I STILL talk about to fellow teachers as my least favorite student. She was awful. She turned everything I said into an argument. She made me look incompetent. She was very smart and manipulative. I could not build a relationship with her no matter how hard I tried. She made what should have been the best year of teaching I'd had to that point miserable! I can't believe how much power I gave this 12 year old girl!

The funny thing about it is that I learned a great deal from that experience. I have to build a trusting and respectful relationship with my students before I try to teach them. And sometimes it takes time to do that but it makes things go much more smoothly. I learned to pay more attention to undercurrents at school, and be honest and upfront with parents. I learned that not all of my students will like me or respect me and sometimes those students are just too smart to sit there and listen to me and could do the work without me. I saw her pop up on my Facebook recently. I'm not going to lie I have searched for her from time to time but never found her! Then, there she was! She looked happy and healthy so at least I didn't do permanent damage to her! It's ridiculous to hate a child! So today I am letting that grudge go! I will never again hold her up to others as my least favorite student ever.

My second most ridiculous grudge is against my father. I cannot seem to forgive him for dying 24 years ago! It was a stupid accident! Possibly playing chicken with a concrete truck on a back road! Sometimes I wonder if it was suicide. I don't think so but who knows? Maybe he had a heart attack. It makes me SO angry that he left us and I will never know for sure why! But all of this is a waste of energy and stupid! It's been 24 years! I really need to just concentrate on what a great dad he was and remember the happy times we had. That negativity has to go away so I'm letting that grudge go today. Only happy thoughts about my daddy from now on!

My 3rd grudge is against an aunt who has passed away already. And probably her daughter too but I've always blamed my aunt. When I was young, I was a very rowdy tomboy. I thought I had the best family and loved spending time with them. My cousin and I got into some kind of childish fight and my cousin said " my mother says she loves you but she doesn't like you!" I Was Traumatized! How could someone, especially family, not like me?! Everything in my world changed! I started to wonder if anyone really liked me. I realized that people could act one way and actually feel completely the opposite. I became very self conscious and anxious. I stopped trusting people and had a hard time fitting in. I was younger than 10 at the time. It took a while for me to understand how that one thoughtless comment on my aunt's part and spiteful comment on my cousin's part affected my whole life. I still harbor a LOT of resentment against them and it's been more than 30 years.

It took a while for me to realize that there probably would have been something else that caused this shift in me. Humans are often two-faced and not everyone is going to like you. I probably was an obnoxious kid, and even I don't really like to have to deal with obnoxious children. My cousin was also less than 10 so she could never have guessed how badly she hurt me. Maybe my aunt hadn't actually said the words exactly as my cousin said them to me. Theirs was not a happy family and they were much more concerned with Proper Appearance and behavior than ours. My cousin has since cut ties with her own family and my poor aunt had a very long fight with a horrible disease that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I think she did come to like me as an adult, although I never grew to trust her.

When you take time to examine things like this it helps to set you free. I'm letting go of these resentments because they don't help. Everyone makes mistakes and I can try to be a more thoughtful person in hopes that I would never wound a young person this way.

I can forgive these people because we all do the best we can and sometimes we screw up! I'm sure my father wasn't thinking "I'm going to leave my family today" when he died. I'm sure the first girl was just lashing out at a world that was out of her control.

To err is human but forgiveness is divine.

I am at peace.

I am happy.

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