As I’ve made reference before, my favorite book is “It’s Easier than You Think,” by Sylvia Boorstein. Within the book, she talks about having a loving heart and loving everyone as being easier than selectively loving and wishing well only to those not on our personal grudge lists. Often we have grudge lists of people who have done us wrong, or hurt us in one way or another.
In order to be loving to all, regardless of their status on any grudge list, requires finding something about each person in our lives, or each person we encounter, that makes us love them. I’m sure with some grudge list people this is a very challenging endeavor.
SAY NO TO GRUDGE LISTS
I don’t have a grudge list.
Most people that know me, know this of me; I’m very passionate, I’m very excitable, I’m very chatty, at times I have a temper, and sometimes those around me might want to put a cork in my mouth. What’s also true is that I have a very forgiving heart. So, luckily grudge lists don’t work in my life.
I say that, because I approach this blog and sharing of thoughts not in terms of being loving to any grudge list people in my life, but rather, embracing the approach of finding a loving moment with the people in my life. When I first read this book, the author’s viewpoint on grudge list people and finding something to love in everyone made me think of all the people in my life; family, friends, coworkers, people who drifted away from me. And it was pretty amazing how quickly one or two memories came to mind for so many people. So many memories that made me love this person, or that person, no matter what.
KEY TO LOVING
Sylvia Boorstein calls it “your key to loving a person.” And obviously, most of us love many people for many reasons. But, it’s a pretty neat exercise to stop and think about one or two keys to loving someone in your life; and as she suggests, maybe a key to loving that overly critical family member, difficult coworker, or old friend that let you down.
DIVINEMSMEL DOWN FOR THE COUNT
Many years ago, about a year or two before I relocated home to Michigan, I went through a tough break up. I was desperately in love and my heart was shattered. I wrongfully assumed my massive love feelings were reciprocated and when my romantic dreams were crushed, I was unable to cope. It was really one of the few times in my life I felt incapable. The breakup left me unable to go to work (for a brief week or two), and landed me on some heavy duty meds (again, for about a week or two). I actually admit, I didn’t want to live any longer.
For that one tortured week, I couldn’t pull myself out of bed enough to move out of the apartment I shared with my ex. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I stayed in bed, I cried, I took pills.
My step sister was on out of town for work, but called me from her hotel. I’m sure I blabbed on and on, whenever I wasn’t hysterically crying or spreading thoughts of my impending doom. She asked me to come live with her and her husband. Again, I could barely think beyond my own emotions to even contemplate doing such a thing.
A day or two later, when my sister returned home, she came over to the apartment. She knocked on the door and barged in. She had compassion for my emotions and I know she cared, but what she did most was pick me up. She literally left me with no choice, and physically picked my body up out of the bed. “Come on,” she ordered. You are coming to stay with us. I’m not sure if I was clothed, or if I had bathed in days, but she yanked me up anyhow. She forced me into grabbing some stuff. She forced me into at least one initial step in moving forward. She certainly made me feel protected and loved.
My step sister and I have a good relationship and a long history, so she is obviously not on any grudge lists (and remember I don’t have them anyhow). Just the same, that memory is one of my keys to loving her.
And a few weeks later, when it was time to depart from my sister’s family, my Mom flew all the way across country to help get me back on my feet. Again, another key to loving…
EVERYONE HAS A KEY
Luckily, I have such keys for so many people. I’m sure I have such a key for many of the people who might take a moment and read this. Not just having a key to loving someone, but recognizing and thinking about it from time to time, really aids me in maintaining a sense of happiness and a loving heart. It certainly gets tricky, for sure, with some people; but who ever said the things that matter most are the easiest? I do believe it was Tom Hanks in “ A League of Their Own” who shared those wise but often annoying words “….that hard is what makes it great. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.” I’m sure it’s easier to keep grudge lists and only possess loving feelings for a handful of people. But is it more fulfilling? Does it waste precious energy that can be spent enjoying life?
Grudge lists suck! Loving people rocks! I’m so grateful to Sylvia Boorstein, for opening my eyes years ago to a new way of looking at how to “do life.”