We all know that to move forward, we have to let go of the past. We also know that to fully savor a brand new day, we have to come to terms with things that are not in our control. What if, over the course of our trying to let go of the past and be Ok with the unpredictability of life, we keep having encounters with the exact person, who has caused us misery in the first place, what do we do then?
I was once a club member along with this particular guy. When he first joined the group, I was in charge of the club membership. To make him feel welcome, I patiently and enthusiastically introduced to him every little thing about the group, while using every opportunity I could find to start a small talk with him to make him feel included. As responsive as he was initially, I could tell that something just did not click.
I used to offer to videotape club member’s presentation of their own projects so that, afterwards, they would get the chance to rewind and witness with their eyes their own performance. I gave the same offer to this guy and he took it. After having sent him the first recording via an email, he replied to my message by saying how useful this method was to help him with his growth. Because of his demonstration of appreciation, I continued on with this offer for the second, third, fourth, and fifth time, but never again did I receive any gesture of gratitude from him.
I felt frustrated, especially since this offer was purely a gesture of my doing my part to give back to and help build the community, from which I had benefited a great deal. My frustration did not cease to grow, and it got to a point, where I decided to put this videotaping offer to sleep once and for all. Naturally, my interaction with this guy just kept getting worse and worse.
I did just to make amends with him, at some point, during our continuously deteriorating interaction, because I thought I was being overly sensitive at first. I tried to break the ice by taking the first step to greet him, several times, but only to end up with getting an icy stare or a cold shoulder from him. In the eyes of other members, there was no problem between us. In his public evaluations, he gave me praise for my effort in preparing for my duties and roles, while, in private, he would say hi to every other member in the group except to me, after having sat down on the chair next to me. I want to kick this guy out of my mind, because he is not worth of any sacred space in my brain, but I do run into him, once in awhile, in the gym, whose presence just conveniently reminds me of all the psychological discomfort he had caused me.
I want to embrace fully a new day, because I am sick of replaying the same old movie clips over and over again in my memory. Confronting someone, who has done us wrong takes strength and courage. By the same token, I am made to think that ignoring or being indifferent to someone, who has treated us poorly also requires the same amount of strength and determination.