Friday, October 22, 2010

Trudging through Grudges

At yoga recently, my teacher said something that really stuck with me. She said, "Breathe out all of your harsh feelings and grudges... I don't know exactly what a grudge is, but it sounds painful. It sounds like something I don't want in my body." And I thought, She is speaking straight to me.

We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary a month ago, and I have an ugly secret to share. It was a lovely anniversary, and I adore thinking about our special day, but you would not believe how many of the memories are grudge-ridden. Here are a couple of prime examples (don't judge me; I'm usually not this petty):

  • Some friends of mine got married five years ago. For their wedding, I skipped my grad school graduation and rode the Greyhound for 17 hours each way. Not only did they not come to my wedding; they didn't even send a card.

  • We got married in a barn, and someone, who shall remain nameless, asked me what she should wear. I suggested she wear a dress that she had worn to a wedding two years prior. "Oh, no," she said, "I couldn't. That's a nice dress. It's a really, really nice dress."

Those seventeen-hours-on-a-bus-while-my-Masters-degree-graduation-goes-on-without-me people weren't the only ones not to send a card. I could probably rattle off a list right now, off the top of my head, of people who didn't take four minutes to write a card and stick it in the mail. I know folks are busy, but come on. A scribbled message on the back of an old grocery receipt would have even done the job.

But I'm not looking for sympathy. Our wedding was TWO YEARS ago. My yoga teacher is exactly right... grudges are painful, and I don't want them in my body. It's not nice that someone didn't send a card, and yes, a lot of hurtful (or potentially hurtful- I don't have to bruise so darn easily) things were said, done, or not done. But a lot of really wonderful, generous surprises were poured out on us, too. Really lots and lots. Distances were traveled; special gifts just for us were thought up, put together, wrapped up, and delivered; we were blessed with so much laughter and love.

So... uh... how do I get rid of the grudges? Better go to yoga again, pronto, and do some more breathing.

p.s. Andrea D., if you are reading this, I'm really sorry that all I sent you for your wedding was a Baby-Sitters Club book! In my defense, I didn't know at the time how important wedding presents are, and I had about 75 cents to my name, but I could have at least come up with an old grocery receipt... I hope I havent caused you a grudge all these years!


Anonymous said...

Oh man do I have a list from our wedding too! But here's the best one. And we both still hold grudges for this:

G's BEST FRIEND replied that him and his family of 4 would be coming. They didn't show up. A month later with no word from the friend, G got up the guts to ask him what the deal was, and he DIDN'T EVEN HAVE an excuse! Not even a stupid lie! They did sent a card, but it was postmarked BEFORE the wedding, so they had no intention of coming even though they replied yes for 4 meals. HIS BEST FRIEND! If we would have had groomsmen/bridesmaids, this guy would have been asked to be the BEST MAN! You can bet if I missed a good friend's wedding last minute like that I would have called immediately apologizing over and over on the phone and sent an amazing gift with more apologies attached. WITH A REALLY GOOD EXCUSE TOO, BECAUSE WEDDINGS ONLY HAPPEN ONCE!! Needless to say, they are no longer friends! Very sad.


Anna said...

Made me think of the song "The Grudge" by Tool, which I used to open workouts with. Some sample lyrics:
Give away the stone. Let the waters kiss and
Transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.
Let go.

The "let go" part was chanted at the end several times. You may not be the hard rock type, but I found it quite powerful. Sometimes those grudges are so incredibly sticky, it helps to have others help in dissolving those bonds.

Hugs, Amanda!

Kathy said...

AMEN, Sister! I, too, have recently been made more aware of some grudges I have been holding on to from my past. I feel like I've grown into a fairly forgiving person, but I certainly can't claim to be forgiving if I'm still holding on to some darkness from the past. Sigh... it is so hard to let go sometimes!

Andrea D. said...

OMG! To see my name in print, right here on your blog has made my night! Why would I hold a grudge over getting a fabulous book that reminds me of many, many funny moments with one of my 12 best friends? I love that gift. I have already thrown away a waffle iron and garage saled a Jesus plaque or two, but that book is tucked away in my wedding box next to my tiara and the bow bouquet from my rehersal. That was a special gift. Sorry I couldn't come up with something special for you. I wanted to give you this latch-hooked pillow that I've been working on since 3rd grade, but I didn't get it done in time. Perhaps your first born will be the lucky recipient. I miss you! Maybe see you around Thanksgiving or Christmas?