Too many years of my life, simmering beneath the surface, was a feeling of anger and resentment. And 'oh do I have good reason to be angry and resentful'. I maintained a shelf full of "reason" movies to replay any time I needed them. And then I was ready to add new ones to the collection just in case the ones I had were not enough.
Then I realized while I was playing my horror movies, a whole world full of exactly the opposite stories was passing me by. Yes, I experienced a lot of great things too, but I wasted a lot time replaying pain that could have been over. While I was replaying that pain - hanging onto it - I was missing opportunities to experience and actually do more good things. Wallowing in my anger meant disconnecting. Some great connections were lost - maybe forever.
Hanging onto anger and resentment makes us more critical of others and more forgiving of ourselves. We use our reason movies for justification. Then we use the same script over and over again. We watch for new opportunities to create the same storyline over and over again. We build this whole collection on the shelf to further justify our anger and resentment. Rerun - replay - recreate....
There are very painful things that happen in our lives. There are things we should not accept. But if it is really that bad, don't replay the movie. Let it go. If we don't replay the "reason" movie, over time the reason - the anger and resentment - grows much smaller.
As I see people who are clearly angry and resentful, the question I ask myself now is 'what pain are they holding onto and replaying?'. Usually it's not directly related to their expression of anger. There's more. That's especially true if the level of their anger seems disproportional to the infraction they appear to be so angry about. There's more and that more is so very personal to them. I understand that. I've been there. Sometimes it's a struggle not to collect new "reason" movies. But I want a more connected life. I want to create a new kind of movie to replay when I want or need. I want the kind of movie that's PG rated and makes me smile. We have that kind of power in our lives. It's our personal movie collection.
What are you collecting and replaying? How's that working for you?