Image for Letters to my grandchildren (15)

Dear Chilliwops,

Life is too short to hold on to unpleasant events of the past; to hold on to grudges; to be bitter about relationships or past friendships, friendships that for whatever reason have failed.

You will often hear people say, “Two things are certain in life – taxes and death.”  That is a truism.  Taxes are necessary to pay for education, hospitals, roads, public transport and the many other services provided by government.  And whilst not wanting to sound morbid, all good things come to an end at some time.

I shall add a third certainty in our life – most friendships don’t last forever.

Sadly, a friendship may not last long for a variety of reasons.  We move to a different town or a different school; we hold different values; we simply grow in different directions; or we have a major disagreement.

Some of the reasons for losing friendships are unavoidable, including the first three examples or reasons I have mentioned.  Even having an argument or disagreement may be unavoidable, depending upon the subject about which you disagree.  But no matter who is at fault or how strongly you disagree you should not dwell on the matter.

Someone once said, “Don’t let the sun go down on an argument.”  Take a minute or two to think about that.  It is a good recommendation – try to resolve the argument the same day.  Don’t allow it to eat at you overnight.

Above all, if you are not able to sort things out in the short term, do not hold a grudge.

Grudges sap your energy.  Grudges serve no purpose.  They do no more than eat at your inner strength.

Having forgiveness in your heart says more about you than it does the person you have chosen to forgive.  It shows you are strong.  It demonstrates your sincerity.  It says out loud, “I am a good person.  I am worthy of friendship.”

If you believe you have been wronged, if you have a disagreement and you do not believe it to be your fault, it takes strength to forgive.  But forgive you must.  Let’s face it, at the end of the day what does it really matter whoever is at fault.  You will be at peace with yourself if you don’t hang on to negativity.

There will be times in your life when you are so angry and so hurt, perhaps even humiliated (now there is a word to check up) but you must not let those feelings eat at you; sap your energy.

If you dwell on those emotions you will not discover your true self.  How can you when you don’t have inner peace.  When you are not at peace with the world or most importantly at peace with yourself.

Being willing to forgive and not holding on to negative thoughts about others releases you from a dark place.  I have seen so many people tied up in knots internally they actually eventually become depressed.  Don’t allow that to happen to you.  Be forgiving and you will be surprised at how good you feel about that.

The actor Chris Northrup once said, “A grudge is like a cesspool; forgiveness like a flowing river.”

Picture that comparison.  Imagine the freedom of a flowing river.  That freedom and peace of mind is easy to obtain – simply do not hold on to grudges, do not hold on to negative thoughts.

Until next time.

Love always,
Your Popple.

*Anton Clever is well into his seventh decade ... a former teacher, soldier, farm hand, lawyer and businessman (not in that order).  He has travelled extensively for business and for international clients.  More recently he has started writing ... currently a thriller (which will probably not be worthy of publication, he says) and has written but not published a series of “postcards” from various places (specifically, Victoria, Papua New Guinea, France, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iran) referring to experiences in those places.  He has also written for several magazines on unusual subjects but matters worthy of debate.