An interesting project took place on some areas of the road near where I live earlier this week. I'm no engineer, but as far as I can tell it involved spreading a somewhat thick layer of small gravel on random stretches of the road for no beneficial reason other than to make my personal driving experience less enjoyable. Obviously, that was not the real reason for this project, but that hasn't stopped me from being annoyed by it, and expressing that annoyance to anyone who will listen.
The saving grace of this mysterious gravel project is that it is temporary. Eventually, that layer of gravel will be dispersed by cars and the weather. It will make it's way to the sides of the road and eventually into the ditch, and all that will be left is the memory of that time the road was covered in gravel and I didn't like it. It is a temporary problem that will have no long term affects on me, unless I allow it too.
Obviously, a road work project that I don't understand is not really a big deal. It's just a silly thing that gets on my nerves, but is still easy to laugh about. It's the bigger annoyances in life that I find more difficult to let go of. When people say and do things that hurt my feelings, or when I am faced with circumstances that seem unfair, my natural reaction is to hold on to my hurt feelings until the situation is resolved in my favor. I can recall a particular time I was treated unfairly in kindergarten, and even though I can see some humor in it now that I am an adult, I still get worked up about if I think about it too much. That's how good I can be at holding on to my hurt feelings, and it's not something I am proud of.
While I think it is probably natural to want situations to be resolved so that my feelings can be mended, I have to realize that it is not beneficial to me or the people around me. I don't want to spend my whole life being angry and bitter, which means that eventually I have to swallow my pride and just let things go. It's hard because it doesn't leave me feeling justified and satisfied, but it is better that the alternative, being permanently bitter.
Clearly I'm not going to stop driving on the road for the rest of my life because of this temporary project I don't agree with, so why should I give up on relationships and positive connections because of temporary problems? One day, all of that gravel that annoys me so much right now will be long forgotten, and the minor things that hurt my feelings today won't matter anymore. What will matter is how I chose to react to those things, because that could be the difference between ending good things in a moment of hurt, or choosing to see beyond the moment and realize that hurt is only temporary, and simply moving on.