Joyous Joy 18: Where’s the Beef?

Big Juicy Steak

Big Juicy Steak

Where is it? I am not talking about red meat. I am talking about grudges. Over the years I’ve had some serious beef with a variety of people – from family and friends to bosses and even the super cranky cashier at my grocery store (who’s line I seriously refuse to go through).

Grudges are inevitable. They are like a cake layered with hurt, frustration, resentfulness and sometimes even anger. They are complicated, as the situations that create them often are.

When I moved to NYC nearly 5 years ago I knew the key to my happiness and success was to surround myself with people, places and situations that bring out the best in me. As a result, I went on a bit of a firing spree and removed people from my life that did not bring positive value. This very healthy decision eliminated the drama and anger that was depleting my happiness.

In the last few years, I’ve focused on resolving my grudges with those fired. One of the first resolutions was the result of a connection made with an ex-boyfriend on facebook. I had carried a massive amount of guilt about how things ended between us. These feelings often made me question my worth in the relationship department. I embraced this opportunity to apologize and make sure he knew he didn’t deserve to be treated that way. This relief spurred my commitment to resolve all the beef in my life.

From a full-blown, sit down intervention-style apology to a simple reflection on the anxiety and pain my old boss must feel to have treated me so poorly, they were all dealt with differently, but had the same end result. I let go of internalized stress and began enjoying the peace that followed.

On a recent trip home to Ohio I resolved the last of my beef. This grudge wasn’t the size of a rib-eye, it was an entire cow. I fervently held onto this grudge and never thought I’d let it go. My reconnection to this person was again through facebook (Oh, the power of facebook!). We spent this past year catching up on each other’s lives and I am genuinely happy that she is doing so well. Deciding it was time to see her, I invited her to join me and a mutual friend for dinner.

We didn’t end up going into details or thrashing things out, but she did admit that she was inclined to call and apologize a few years ago, but never did. At that moment I saw sincere regret in her eyes that showed me she understood my hurt and frustration. I raised my glass to her and simply said, “I am just glad we’re here.”

I missed my flight on my way back to NYC. One of the airline employees said, “Well, there is a reason you weren’t supposed to make that flight.” I thought about it and agreed. After all, everything happens for a reason, and I think this is why… I ended up sitting next to a stellar man with whom I discussed my idea for this post. He loved it and applauded me on resolving this final grudge. Then he asked me something unexpected – “is there anyone that still has beef with you?”

With a puzzled look I replied, “Huh? I have no idea. I never even thought of that.”

I’ve been mulling it over ever since and am so curious. I hope that if they do, they choose to resolve it with me. I wish them the same sense of peace.


3 thoughts on “Joyous Joy 18: Where’s the Beef?

  1. Just read this in an e-newsletter I get from a woman named Cristina Diaz about positive thinking: It made me want to let go of my beef with the cashier at my grocery store…

    “For instance, you may notice that you tend to dislike the cashier at the supermarket, because he seems grumpy and never smiles, and then you think that you don’t know what’s going on with that person – maybe they don’t want to be doing that job but they see no other option at present, or maybe they are sick, or maybe they received bad news, or what have you.

    When you realize that you don’t know what’s going on with that person, you start letting go of the thought “I dislike him/her”. And as you let go of that thought, you ‘undo’ your mental conditioning. And so it is with the next limiting thought or belief, and so on.”

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