OK, don’t go straight to the obvious here, yes we all know that our Mum’s and Dad’s had a powerful influence, positive and negative, on all of us as we grew up. But, step back a moment and take a long look at your life; at the choices you have made in your career, the paths you have taken with your friends and the people who have loved you. Don’t just look at the people who have been a positive influence in your life, I want you to have a good look at the people who may have created an element of negativity that had repercussions throughout your life. No matter how painful, these people can have a profound influence in your life; on the decisions you make and the outcome of those decisions.
“Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade.”
Mitch Albom, The 5 People You Meet in Heaven
In Mitch Albom’s enlightening and wonderful book, The 5 People You Meet in Heaven, an elderly amusement park maintenance worker called Eddie dies at the very beginning of the story while trying to save a young girl on one of the rides. Eddie meets five people in heaven that have shaped his life, and in turn learns from each of them what he was supposed to have learnt through his time on earth, and ultimately the meaning of his life. At the end of the book he waits in his place in heaven to welcome the person he has had a profound influence on in their lives, and instinctively he understands the lesson he must impart on them in turn.
Over the past few years I have learnt a few painful lessons. These lessons can be summarised as thus; As soon as you have lost your temper you have lost the argument! I had felt for years that I had no right to feel the things I felt, because those closest to me were no longer listening. But over time I have come to realise that you have a right to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. But instead of holding on to anger try this; take the lesson you have gained from the person that hurt you and move on. If you have really gained the knowledge of that lesson there will be no room for anger in your life and they will no longer have such a negative influence on your future.
Afterall, the only true revenge in life is success! Be successful in everything you do, then maybe the five people you meet in heaven will be five amazing people who were a positive light in shaping that success, and hopefully you can also be someone else’s positive light in their heaven.