Slow Poison

All that matters is the path that lies before me.

“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~Malachy McCourt

My friend, Heather, posted this quote on her Facebook page today. I am certain I’ve read it before, but it washed over me then because I had no use for it. Today, though, it hit a little closer to home. I took the time to think about it as I was on my long, open space hike with my dog, Ruby, this afternoon. As much as I’d like to be able to say I’ve never felt resentful, that would be a whopper of a lie. I’m guilty of letting the green-eyed monster take control of my brain from time to time and allowing it to work me over. Sometimes, I fail to recall how very lucky I am and find myself focusing instead on what I don’t have rather than what I do. In those times, I become resentful of those friends I have who appear to be living my dreams. There are quite a few of them.

It’s stupid, really, the energy I have expended feeling annoyed, frustrated, or depressed by opportunities that others have had. In the time I’ve wasted begrudging someone their happiness, I’ve deprived myself of my own. I suppose this is one of the reasons that I began this blog. Although I’ve so far been unable to stop completely the greedy gimmes that vex me, I at least now understand that I need to spend more time living in the present and letting go of the things that don’t serve me. This, unfortunately, has always been easier said than done. I am working on it, but I’ve a long way to go.

Why do I find it difficult to remember that the only road that matters is the path that lies before me? ME. Not the gal next to me or the guy across the street. Their journey is their journey, and I don’t know what it’s about. I have no right to judge it as preferable to my own. I don’t know where they’re headed. Perhaps they’re going somewhere I’ve already been. (Of course, if to reach that place I’ve already been they have to travel through Italy, it hardly seems fair.) It’s no wonder I’ve been tripped up on my journey because, as I’ve been looking over someone else’s itinerary, I’ve not been paying careful enough attention to where I am going.