A professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students,’ How much do you think this glass weighs?’ ’50gms!’…. ‘100gms!’…..’125gms’…the students answered.
What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes? ‘Nothing’ the students said. ‘Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked. ‘Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the students.
You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?’ ‘Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress and paralysis and have to go to hospital for sure!’ ventured another student and all the students laughed. ‘Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?’ asked the professor. ‘No’ ‘Then what caused the arm ache and the muscle stress?’ ‘Put the glass down!’ said one of the students.
We have seen many marriages marred by old scars of misunderstandings and unmet expectations. Just like young kids, young relationships are also very impressionable. Before the strong bond of camaraderie has formed between the spouses, any little
point can scratch the relationship. And if the little wound is not nursed and the emotional bleeding not arrested immediately, the innocuous looking episode can lead to permanent scars. Scars don’t hurt physically, but their very sight reminds us of the episode that caused them; and that hurts, over and over again, forever.
The professor just taught the students a priceless lesson. Put it down! Don’t carry the day’s small disagreements on your mind for days. Perhaps your spouse was harsh today, perhaps he or she needled your weak spot. That doesn’t make him or her your worst enemy. Yes, it hurt, but talk it out and get done with it. If not addressed immediately, you will find yourself referring to this one old silly incident years afterwards. Years of carrying it would have artificially blown up the issue out of proportions – just as the glass’s weight “increased” after holding it for long.
Radhanath Swami explains that the nature of the mind is that it’s never satisfied. The mind can’t tolerate any little opposition. It expects more and more from the partner. And the more you expect, the more you suffer. Humility is the divine virtue that brings gratitude and inner satisfaction. It bestows the sublime quality of forgiveness. As long as we hold grudges against people who we think have done something wrong to us, that hard feeling is like a fire that burns our very soul. It is miserable to hold grudges against our spouse.
Radhanath Swami concludes: Forgiveness is real power. Holding grudges is a sign of weakness and cripple-mindedness. The power to forgive is the sign of real inner strength and integrity.