So there's this guy - we'll call him Joe - who is dating this girl - we'll call her Jane - who used to date this other guy - we'll call him James.
Now James was a horrible boyfriend. He cheated on Jane, stole from Jane. He even kicked Jane's dog once. Total nut job.
And his favorite movie is Napoleon Dynamite.
Joe is an amazing boyfriend. He's faithful, honest and kind to both Jane and her dog.
And his favorite movie is Napoleon Dynamite. But he never watches it anymore.
See, James is long gone but Jane's anger for him is ever present. It flares up every time cheating comes up. It flares up every time stealing and animal cruelty comes up. And it flares up every time Joe tries to break out his Napoleon Dynamite DVD.
Because it was James' favorite movie and thoughts of James makes Jane mad.
Since Joe doesn't like to make Jane mad, Joe doesn't watch Napoleon Dynamite anymore. Darn shame.
I sympathize with Joe. Poor guy should be able to watch his favorite movie. It's not his fault his love for the flick is shared by Jane's ex. Why should he suffer because someone else is mad at someone else?
There are a lot of Joes out there. And we all have a little Jane in us. We all have someone that is physically gone but still with us in the form of anger. And that anger creates hardships for the new Joes in our lives.
The solution is forgiveness.
We have to stop being mad at the James' of the world. We have to forgive.
We often forgive people who have apologized and have asked us to cease being angry, but how many of us stop being angry at the people who don't ask and don't care?
How many of us are accepting that what was done is done and that holding on to anger is pointless?
I know. A few years ago, confronted with my own anger about the past, I wrote a series of "letters never sent" in hopes of relieving myself of my pinned up anger. It helped. But keeping it real, I've got a few more letters to write.
If we truly care about the new Joe in our life, we need to let go of being mad at old James. It's as simple as that.
We may all have different ways of letting go (I am a fan of therapy) but we should all embrace a way and let go of pinned up anger for the old so that the new can live.
Remember. No always. No never.
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