Recently, my husband and I visited with my father’s brother, Uncle Sy. Uncle Sy is in his late eighties, and he is one very cool cat. He listens to jazz, wears a red pocket square, and he serves a mean Bloody Mary.
Halfway through the 2nd round of said mind-altering heavily vodka’ed beverage, Uncle Sy began to wax poetically about his childhood. He shared one enchanting tale after the next, peppered with family photos and memorabilia. But, as all good things must come to an end, so did this happy afternoon.
Mysteriously, Uncle Sy’s cadence, tone and mood turned ugly. No longer joyful and smiling, anger began to surface.
And then Uncle Sy bitterly told us that when he and my father were boys, 11 and 13 respectively, a rather extravagant birthday party had been thrown for my father, but there was no party for poor Uncle Sy. Not then, or ever. No simple party, no extravagant celebration. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
Both my husband and are were taken aback. “But Uncle Sy,” I said rather incredulously, “that was close to 75 years ago.” He stood his ground; further justifying and reiterating his position.
Seeing clearly that there was no talking him out of it, I met him on his turf and sweetly say, “Uncle Sy, you win!”
“Really?” he asked, “I win?”
“Yes, you win. Daddy is dead and you’re not. So you win.”
Uncle Sy was elated. He’d won! There was no shift in his thinking, no change of perspective, no forgiving (whether warranted or not). He was happy, happy, happy! Which, by the way, was equally if not more disturbing than his initial upset.
Dead Weight: Yours, Mine and Ours
Serendipitously, after I’d returned from our visit with Uncle Sy, I read about a teacher who asked her students to bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to class. For every person the student refused to forgive, they were to write the person’s name and date of upset on a potato and put it in their plastic bag. Their bag began to fill up quite quickly. The moral of the story was that they were lugging around some pretty hefty amounts of anger that was clogging their spiritual development, big time. I call it dead weight.
Imagine if we did the same? Wrote down every upset and anger and lugged it around with us all day, into the night? Whoa! That’s some heavy duty, weighty bag that is weighing us down and robbing us of my energy, focus and determination, is it not?
How much ‘dead weight’ are you carrying around with you? How many years does it take to let go of hurt, frustration and anger? Does someone have to die before we let it go? Food for thought, hey?
Your thoughts, please!!!
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