“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” -Nelson Mandela
I was deeply saddened and reflective upon learning of Mandela’s death. I was home from work and my husband saw it on Twitter moments after it was announced. We had just been having a discussion about something he said to me the night before. I didn’t feel it was very kind and yes, I was a little resentful. We were talking it through – rather I was talking it through. He was listening and then waiting until I was through and changed the topic – usually how it goes. Usually leaves me feeling unsettled and resentful.
Then Mandela died and I was overcome by a flood of memories. Memories throughout my life of learning about this man. I have always been an admirer. He has been an inspiration through out my teenage years and beyond. I sat down and turned on the news. I listened to the President speak. I cried a little. Then I turned off the tele and went to pick up my daughter from daycare. I embraced her with the love of ages. I silently tried to transfer a respect for Mandela’s journey and what I have learned. I gave thanks that education is and always be an opportunity for her. I soaked up the sight and sounds of her to carry with me whenever we are apart.
Then, yesterday a co-worker reminded me of this Mandela quote. Of all the quotes that flooded to my head, this one did not…until she gave it to me. I needed it. I didn’t know how much until that moment but I needed it.
I am swirling inside with unresolved bitter and hurt feelings. They seem to increase every time I try to work them out. This weekend I am reflecting on this quote and examining myself and what I hold onto. I am rejoicing in the here and now as it is full of love and hope. I shall try to “forget the past” and leak out my toxic resentment.
Love is strength.
For the longest time I had people close to me tell me I needed to learn to be more selfish. I thought what a horrible thing to aspire to – but I gave it try. I think my efforts have failed me as I have learned to be selfish in the wrong ways. What my loved ones meant when telling me to be selfish was to be stronger in my commitment to myself, my dreams. I need to be more confident in my place in this world as a beacon of love. The more I try to please others and their manipulative ways, the more manipulative and unhappy I become. Then enter the resentment, the poison. It has been festering throughout my body and has caused me sickness, sanity and time…time that could be spent being content.
Ok Mandela. I continue to learn from you and be amazed that someone so human and so prolific has been in my world. I begin a week of reflecting on letting go and setting goals formyself. It sounds so new age and flimsy but I am inspired.
“It always seems impossible until it is done” – Mandela