Animals can be our greatest teachers.
Such was the case for my pup Jax. Here’s a short story of how Jax taught me the value of letting go.
I woke up one morning while Jax decided to sleep in (which he always does). I usually take Jax out for his late morning walk but on this particular morning, I decided to first run a quick errand while Jax slept. I had a bit of a wet mishap in my apartment last weekend that warranted a trip to the cleaners.
So I left my apartment to head to the cleaners about 5 minutes away. When I returned home and opened the front door, there was Jax looking at me with his head hanging low, hunched over, looking quite guilty. I know this look as I had seen it before. I quickly scanned the apartment and to my dismay I saw Jax had a little accident on the floor.
“Bad dog!” I yelled and wagged my finger at Jax. “Very bad dog!” Gave him a small smack on the butt as he trotted away from me hanging his head in shame. I proceeded to clean up the mess then grabbed his leash and took him out for his walk. He could tell I was upset with him and slowly walked behind me. To show him my dismay and disapproval, I would not look him in his eyes or coddle him as I normally do.
When returning from our 15-minute walk, Jax had seemed to have forgotten about what he did. I didn’t. I wouldn’t pet him and I gave him this stern look that said “I’m still made at you”. Still, Jax happily follow me around the house, made attempts to jump on my legs; he was back to his normal self and had already moved on with his life. He wasn’t walking around carrying the guilt and shame of this morning. Jax was back to his loving, happy, energetic self. Still, I felt the need to be mad at him even after much time had gone by. Why did I find it so hard to let go of being angry at him when it was no longer necessary? I recognized that I was holding on to my anger towards him and yet it was affecting me, not Jax.
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"Resentment is like taking poison, and waiting for the other person to die." - Malachy McCourt
I drank the poison of anger hoping it would teach him a lesson. But I was the one who was holding on and suffering. When I realized this, I laughed to myself and decided to let my anger of the earlier incident go. He had learned his lesson and so did I.
I let go.
Although this light story is of a girl and her dog, it so truthfully illustrates our tendency to hold on to anger and resentment towards another person or situation for the longer than we need to. Meanwhile, life goes on and the person has already moved on and is unaffected by your anger. When we do this, we are the one’s that suffer and become consumed by blame and resentment. This keeps us stuck in the past and unable to truly be happy.
Let it go.
Blame. Hurt. Resentment. Pain from the past. Choose to let it all go. The moment you do, life becomes instantly more enjoyable.
What are you holding on to? How can Jax the pup teach you to let go of your anger?
Share your comments with me below!