Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Lighter Load

I am not very good at staying angry; it's just not something I can do. I've always been this way. I get angry, then like a storm passing in the night the anger blows away. Sometimes the tempest is wild, sometimes mild, but always full on and soon gone. I just cannot seem to remember the anger, nor the pain that goes with it.

This may be a good thing or it may be a bad thing depending on where you stand in an argument. My ex-wife could remember every insult, every slight, every misstep. She could recall them on a moments notice, dredging them up out of her memory whether from last week, last month, or 25 years ago. I am told that women have a better memory for these things than men do. I don't know, nor do I understand why anyone would carry that kind of baggage around with them.

The downside, of course, with my inability to sustain my anger is that I rarely won, or win, an argument. I was, and still am, almost always the first to cave; I just couldn't, and still can't, hold out long enough. Over the years, I began to become more careful about what I said to my then wife, not just in terms of saying things that might upset her, something I seemed forever capable of doing, but also in terms of expressing how I felt about something or what my point of view was on something. She had the ability to recall these comments or expressions or feelings years afterwards, hauling them out in a future argument, ready to remind me of something I had long forgotten. I used to call it "weaponizing"; I would not say things lest she weaponize them a some future point.

All of this is to say that in most of my personal relationships, I am quick to forget that which caused anger, quick to forgive that which caused pain. There are perhaps only a handful of incidents throughout my life which have struck me so seriously that I remember them still, only a few hurts that cut so deep as to stay with me. Yet even these I try to let go of, try not to carry around. The longer you live, the more stuff you have along for the ride.

I prefer to forget the anger and hurt and pain, and just remember the good stuff. It ain't easy, but then again, neither is it easy to carry that weight. I prefer the lighter load.

1 comment:

  1. "Forgiveness is the perfume the flower cast upon the foot that crushed it". Out of all the "cliché's on forgiveness, I think that's my favourite. Not always easy to cast perfume around though...but still, tis is a beautiful idea.