Today we ask you to drop your sad story about something.
What does this mean?
Most people carry around stories about how life has wronged them. Some like to trot out these sad stories for other people to hear: “My son did this,” “My ex-husband did that,” “You wouldn’t believe what my stupid boss did,” “That jerk at the credit card company,” “That guy who overcharged me.” And so on, and so on.
Many people really do love being the guests of honor at their own pity party.
Even if you do not recount your wrongs with other people, you may do so in private. Some people polish their grievances like gem stones. They bring them out and relive the hurt every day. They pray over their grievances like a rosary.
If you had any notion of how destructive this behavior really is, you would think twice about it.
It is as destructive to your health and well-being as a drug habit — and just as addictive.
This is the truth. It is not harmless. It drains you of life force. We do not say this lightly.
We know it is not easy to let go of these stories — especially the ones you have been carrying around for years. The well-polished ones that you meditate on every day.
It is best to start with the small ones. The little annoyances. The petty grievances.
Dropping these stories is like changing your diet. It is just something you will no longer indulge in, like sugary processed foods or hard liquor. Please understand that complaining or dwelling on past grudges — even in your own mind — is far worse for you than a Twinkie.
When you find yourself dwelling on a grudge against someone, SNAP OUT OF IT.
Sometimes the best way is to jolt your physical body. Go for a walk or jog if you can, or even just do some quick exercises at home. It can be as simple as jumping up and down, or even just clapping your hands loudly.
We are not asking you to repress these feelings. By all means, get it out — once or twice. Write it down. Talk to a therapist, or a trusted friend.
The behavior we are describing is the dwelling. If you find yourself repeating the same sad story to different people over and over again, this is a warning sign. If you sit there thinking compulsively about things that happened to you many years ago — question this.
Also, try to put things in perspective. Certainly we do not ask you to condone abuse. But little things, petty things — these can be dropped. And you will feel much better for it.
Whenever possible, it far better to clear the air with someone than to silently be angry or resentful toward them. This does not mean you should aggressively attack someone. But if you possess the presence of mind to simply get something off your chest, it is far better to do so than to go around polishing the stone of your anger toward that person, or complaining about that person to others.
This is difficult work, we know. But dropping this habit is truly like dropping an unhealthy addiction.