Thursday, September 8, 2011

A More Charitable Heart

--Adrienne Miller

If I ever found a genie in a bottle, my wishes would probably go like this. First, I would wish for beautiful singing voice, cause mine is terrible. Second, I would wish for just a little artistic talent, because, well , I stink at that too. And last, I would wish for a more charitable heart.

The problem is even my reasons for this last wish are selfish.

I am a grudge holder. A bad one. I'm still holding tight to grudges that are going into their second decade. It's not something I'm proud of. I know it's petty and kind of silly, but I just can't seem to help it. Big hurts, little slights, they're all the same to me. And I've got a long memory.

The kicker is, I know that no good comes from holding grudges. I am rationally aware that the only person I am hurting by holding them is myself.

It's like that old saying. Holding a grudge is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die.

My brain, of course, knows this. My heart, it seems, does not.

That's why I wish I could be more like those charitable people who are able to summon sympathy  for those who have done them wrong. It must be lovely to be one of those people who can forgive and let go so easily. They must live lighter lives than the rest of us.

I guess I'll never know until I find that magic lamp.


Rachael Herron said...

I hear you, but my (selfish) first thought is grudge-holding would be very good for the writin'.... :)

Martha Flynn said...

Wish for the voice, then the artsy talent, then wish for a gabillion dollaz cuz it's super easy to be charitable towards suckers who wronged you two decades ago from your permanent hotel suite at Hotel Disneyland (oh yeah, that's how we'd spend it...)

Adrienne Bell said...

Martha - so true. But, alas, this week's topic was charity, so I took the high road. When the topic turns to a billionty $$$ at Disneyland, well then I reserve the right to change my answers.

Rachael -oh, don't get me wrong, it is. It really is. Especially when villain naming time rolls around.

Sophie Littlefield said...

you know what, i'm a grudge holder too, but i think there's something good to be had in the grudge. it seems to me that if you hold onto it just as long as it serves you - keeps you on an even keel with the person who has wronged you, at least in your own head - and if you let go of it when you're ready and definitely before it starts to harm you - then it's not such a bad thing.

Vickie B said...

I tend to be a little of both, a grudge-holder and a grudge-letter-goer when I can. I can be petty and wish I weren't, but there it is. Admitting it is a step or two in the right direction, I reckon.

toni in florida said...

As the perhaps-rightly infamous Dr Phil would say, "What's the payoff for you in this behavior?" His theory is that we develop habits of behavior, etc., if we are deriving some sort of benefit from them, even if that payoff doesn't look like a benefit to others. The natural extension of the payoff theory is that you will change the behavior only when that new payoff is greater (i.e., when letting go of a grudge benefits you more to holding on to it).

Food for thought.

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