I have a pair of grudge glasses tucked in my purse somewhere. Their shiny black, thick rimmed glasses with high, sharp, cat-eye corners. They make me look like a bitch. Because that’s what I am when I wear my grudge glasses. A bitch. However, I don’t view myself that way when I wear them. I’m vindicated. I’m right. Justified.
We all have a pair of grudge glasses tucked away somewhere. Even us “good Christians”. They’re out of sight until the moment comes when we need them. When the old, ugly, office gossip that spread nasty rumors about your work ethic walks by, you slide them on with a smile. She called you incompetent behind your back, and told everyone that she was having to do your job for you. You either give her your customer service smile, or your don’t even look up at her as she passes you, yet you do look up when she’s not looking. You look over her outfit with the eyes of an appraiser. You scrutinize her tacky skirt like a dealer looks over an old model car he’s going to buy from you. Just looking at this person brings up every awful thing she said about you. It winds over and over in your mind like a broken record. There is nothing nice you want to say to this person.
As soon as she’s gone, you can slip them back out of sight and move on with your business.
But it doesn’t stop there. Some of us are forced to wear our grudge glasses for a long period of time. When we’re surrounded by people who have done us wrong. Family members who lie, friends who have hurt our reputations, or people who just piss us off in general on a daily basis. Wearing grudge glasses makes it easier to deal with them. It puts up a barrier between us and them. They protect you from seeing the good in any of those people so that you won’t be fooled like last time. They remind us of the wrongs that have been done, and help us to see what mistakes we’ve made by trusting those people so that we’ll never do it again.
Before you know it, you’re wearing your glasses 24/7. You trust no one. You begin to see life events in the same way. Can’t go to a certain theater because of a bad experience, won’t go to a certain restaurant because of one time bad customer service, or even that you stop going to social gatherings all together because they’re full of people who piss you off! You let these events define you until there’s nothing left but you and your grudge glasses.
Even a person you’ve forgiven can be a victim of your glasses. You’ve forgiven, but not forgotten. You watch them with wary eyes, unable to take off the frames, and the moment that person slips up in the slightest they’re on in full force. It doesn’t matter if it’s days, months, or years after the fact. Well no wonder they treated me this way! It happened before! How stupid of me to let my guard down and subject myself to this torture again. The events flash before your eyes like movie reels.
I’m not going to say something sappy like “Take off your grudge glasses!”, because that would make me a hypocrite. I don’t even know how to put mine away permanently. I will ask however, that you slide them down to your nose or put them on less often. I will at least try to do that. If you only view a person from the eyes of an event(s) and not see anything but the bad times, then what do we have left? When that person dies, you have but the dregs of a human. The nasty, murky, clouded parts of that person are all that’s left and that to me, is sad. It’s devastating.
Sometimes I wonder how many people are wearing their grudge glasses when talking to me? Will I be someone’s bad memory when I die?
So what on Earth can we do?
If you’ve forgiven someone. I mean really forgiven them, that also means putting the transgressions associated with them, in a box somewhere forever. You don’t look back inside of that box ever again. Burn it mentally if you need to. Forgiveness includes forgetting. Otherwise, you’re just waiting to dish out those glasses again. How is that fair? Would you want someone to treat you like that?
I don’t know what to tell you about people you don’t like, and will never like. It’s sad, the only thing I can think of is to take the not caring approach. You either pretend the person doesn’t exist, or move on.
And life. This one life that we have. Take them off for life. Stop letting bad experiences, medical conditions, or the potential for something bad to happen set limitations for you. Those things should not define you. They only stand in your way if they do. Greet each day as if it is brand new, without faults and try to start over.
Just some food for thought this morning, as I laid awake in my bed at 5:00 am.