Keeping score. I believe that a majority of us has a tendency to hold on to things we should have let go of. Over the years, that fear of being judged, that we might be seen as less than we are without the opportunity to speak for ourselves makes us hang on to hurt, pain and let downs. All this gets indelibly embedded in our memory and somewhere, deep within us, it lurks.
I know I hold some of these fears. When I discussed these with my Mom, she lovingly advised me to let it all go. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I would feel like getting even—and she would ask, “Isn’t the pain of holding all this hurt painful enough?”.
Of course, I never did follow up on getting even—that’s just not me. But I have realized, on more than one occasion, that I could have avoided the pain of hanging on to the hurt by simply walking away from it rather than overthinking it and feeling miserable.
We only learn through experience that when something has passed, it is over and done with. How can we live in the present moment and get the most out of it if we dwell on it, especially if it leaves a bad taste and drags us down?
I recall now, how an aunt of mine always ranted about all the lousy things that happened to her, how people had treated her badly. Everyone was responsible for her misery. To her, life was unfair. She kept her scars fresh by always talking about them. As a result, conversations with her were never pleasant because while we empathized, we found ourselves thinking—for how long can you hold on to something that happened a long time ago? What about all the good stuff that’s being ignored? So, yes, she never moved from that mindset and closed herself to happiness. I would tell my Mom jokingly that this aunt was never happy unless she was unhappy and my Mom would chide me for saying that.
I know people–good friends–who keep score, allowing their ego to get in the way of a beautiful relationship and allow it to go sour. Who did what, who did it first, who did it more times…and the bitter train of thought chugs on.
Keeping score is bad enough—but can you imagine how scary it is to want to get even? While it feels good to think about it, in reality, I imagine it will just leave us feeling worse than when we began. Also, it is petty and spiteful to want revenge.
The takeaway lesson here is this: let go of what’s over. There’s no need to hold on to someone who hurts you. There’s no need to trust someone who let you down. Instead, move ahead, move forward because you deserve it. You deserve to grow–instead of reducing yourself to a vengeful creature.
Right? Learn from the past, leave it behind, move forward and see how much lighter and liberating it feels.
Why keep score and feel the need to get even?
Think about how you can walk away, get over the hurt and enjoy life more.
Think about the positive things you can keep score about. For example, good things you experienced with someone that you can reciprocate; an unexpected kindness you can pay forward; you know what I mean.
Do you keep score?
How does it make you feel?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, reflections and humor.