Who doesn’t lose their sh*t from time to time?
Whether it’s because our day didn’t go as planned, the same person keeps annoying us, or someone close to our hearts betrayed us.
And that last one usually hits the hardest. For years, my circle of friends has become smaller, and that’s only normal while growing up, right?
We discover with whom we vibe most, whom we can relate to the most, and who understands our past and our future at the same time. And sometimes, we fall out of friendships because the person we thought would be our “best friend forever” turns out to be different.
Circumstances play a role. But also loyalty plays a role.
I had this conversation with a friend of mine once. We talked about how much our circle of friends had changed over the years and how we’d stuck together through it all. Through all the circumstances. Through all the sh*t life had thrown at us.
And I realized something I had probably known all along but never uttered out loud.
I forgive but never forget.
Some may say it’s wrong to do this. That this is called a “grudge.”
But to me, it’s not. A grudge never allows us to forgive others when they’ve hurt us. But I do. When I truly wish them the best and don’t wallow in the grief of a lost friendship, I can truly forgive them and hope they get to find a friend they can depend on and love and never have to betray or be betrayed by them.
But I don’t forget what they’ve done. There is always a teeny tiny reminder in my mind of the things that that person had done, not because I want to hold it against them, but because I want to learn.
I want to learn to pay attention to signs.
I want to protect myself from being disappointed again.
I want to learn from my experiences.
Not to hold a grudge.
Not to feel resentment.
But because this is a survival method.
And yet, this also has limits. Because if I keep using that painful memory to hold it against that person, it will turn into poison.
If I keep reminding them of it, it will turn into poison.
If I can’t see beyond the hurt that they caused me and I can’t see the good in them, it will turn into poison.
I only keep the hurtful memories as a lesson I can learn from. As a reminder to accentuate my emotional intelligence. As a tool to sharpen my judgment.
Not as a tool to hurt others or only paint them in a bad light.
And this reminds me of one of my favorite poems by William Blake. It truly embodies the point I’m trying to make in this article.
“A Poison Tree” is a small poem that embodies what repressing our anger really means. It shows the consequences of not taking whatever happens with us as a lesson and learning from it. It shows what pretending everything is okay while building up all this anger inside will lead to eventually.
I hope you can learn from this poem as much as I have in the past few years:
A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.
And into my garden stole,
When the night had veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
Is there any quote or poem to go back to whenever you feel pissed out of your mind?