Holding hands, not grudges.....

Friday, June 13, 2014

This was one of my earliest posts....originally published in June 2014.  I'm sharing it again because my following has grown so much since then and I'm pretty sure the majority of you never saw it.  I hope it inspires you or someone you love to consider peace.

I love this quote.  A year ago when I found it on Pinterest, it immediately struck a nerve with me.  Shortly thereafter when I was going through some photos, this picture I'd taken of my granddaughter holding the hand of my then 101 year old Great Aunt caught my attention.   Right then, I knew this picture was meant to illustrate this quote.  What you can't see in the photo is an apprehensive toddler unsure about how comfortable she felt about getting close to an unfamiliar person.  Although this person spoke softly and kindly and smiled when she approached Elena, Elena was still apprehensive about trusting and letting go of her "distance".  This was, of course, a perfectly normal response from a toddler towards a stranger who didn't look like the majority of the people in her life.  My aunt understood that but still longed to hold and hug Elena and eventually settled on this very small moment of acceptance (and bravery) from Elena.   Before Elena opened up though, her heart was filled with apprehension and hesitation.
Can't you just hear her...."C'mon Grandpa, rescue me!"
I think in life we often find it easier to be like Elena......to protect ourselves, to hold back, to be cautious when it comes to people we aren't sure of, people who have hurt us, people who we feel don't accept us.  Sometimes we find it safer to hold back,  hang on to anger than to forgive and "hold on".  Forgiveness, it seems doesn't benefit us, so we hold back not wanting to give the person who hurt us the satisfaction of feeling forgiven and somehow, we feel we protect ourselves from further pain down the road.    We sometimes replay the pain the person caused us over and over again in our minds, as if reliving it somehow validates our pain and the grudge we hold.  Sometimes we do this, even when time has passed and perhaps even after apologies have been received.  Sometimes we just can't get beyond our own hurt to trust and forgive.

But then there are other times.....times when we would be wise to move forward.   I think we can all agree that in life, it is a guarantee that not everyone will like you, accept your ideals, agree with your views or understand your passions.   It would be a pretty boring world if that weren't the case.  I think there was a time in our lives, especially during our youth, when it was so important for our friends and peers to like us, to approve of us.  Mostly as we move through life and mature, we realize it's not so important for everyone to like us.  We are more confident and secure and find acceptance and peace within ourselves, trust our own self and worry less about the approval of others.......at least if we are lucky.    However, when someone we care about does something to betray our trust, or doesn't give us the approval we feel we deserve, or behaves in a way that seems purposely hurtful.....we rightfully withdraw.....our trust, our love, and sometimes even our relationship with that person.   We've all been there I think, at odds with a friend or a family member or a co-worker.  It happens.

I am not saying we should open ourselves up to further pain, or disappointments.  And certainly in life some people are not meant to be our best friends.   But what I am suggesting is this........perhaps we need to trust ourselves to be like Elena.  Maybe we need to let go of the fear, let go of the pain, let go of the replaying of that thing that hurt us and reach out and hold hands.  Maybe we need to give people a second chance.....especially if that person is a member of our family or a close friend.   Maybe we are the ones who need to apologize.   Maybe we've caused someone to hold us at arms length but we're too proud or too ashamed to admit our blame.  Maybe (probably) we are partly to blame for the divide in our relationships.

The people who God placed in your life were placed there on purpose.   Life is short and I feel we pursue so many "things" that we spend too little time pursuing "relationships".  Perhaps if we held tighter to the people in our lives, instead of the "things" in our lives, we'd be more fulfilled, more satisfied and more at peace.  So consider letting go of your grudges, your disappointments and your fear and hold on as tightly as you can........ to the people in your life!  Do you remember when your children were little and wanted to hold your hand?   Do you remember how that felt?   Or when your grandchildren hold your hand?  It feels great, one of the best "warm & fuzzies" you'll ever feel, right?   Well, today is the only day you have for sure.....make the most of it!  Reach out to someone and open your heart.....and your hand!

Hold hands.......not grudges!

Thank you for allowing me to share by photos and thoughts with you!  And Have a Great Day!!!

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