“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
When my husband and I first married, though we were in love, it took a while to get used to living together. There were all kinds of issues to settle. Should we use mayonnaise or salad dressing? Hang tinsel on the Christmas tree in clumps or one strand at a time? Place the toilet paper over or under? Use a blanket or a quilt? Most importantly, who got control of the remote? We settled most issues, but not without some squabbling. We might have loved each other, but sacrifice and compromise were things to be learned over time. I recall in particular one night when he let me have it because I forgot to flush the toilet. I don’t remember the details at all. Flushing was not something I was prone to ignore. I had been well trained. Perhaps, I had been distracted by something. Who knows? Now, I know after many years of marriage, that my quiet, rarely agitated husband doesn’t normally get upset by the trivial things of life. If he is raging, it is because something else got him wound up and if I can stop him long enough to delve into the root of the problem, it is usually not at all related to what he is fussing about and most of the time, doesn’t have anything to do with me at all. But, I did not know that then. My feelings were hurt that he would be so unkind to me because I missed one flush. I held on to that slight for a long time, but gradually I forgot about it. Funny thing is, now that we are older, we have to get up in the night more often. To use the facilities, you know, and sometimes, he does not flush. Perhaps he is being sensitive and is afraid he might wake me, but even though my feelings are no longer hurt and I thought I had let that incident go, I think about when he scolded me every time I approach that unflushed toilet. Even though it happened many, many year ago, even though I had not thought of it in ages, the memory wells up in me as though it was yesterday. Each time, I must choose to let it go. To not dwell on it. To not bring it up and throw it in his face. Besides, I am sure, he would have no memory of his words now if I recounted the tale. I expect that sometime or another this year or perhaps in years past, someone has hurt you. They took advantage of you, said something ugly, stomped on your feelings like my youngest son does every time he encounters a spider. As the old year ends and the new one begins, make a choice to let it go. All it does is bring ugliness to your life and weigh you down. Instead of hanging on to that hurt, why not flush it? I do. Almost every night.