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Thank You GPS Woman

Dear {insert name},

It began as a disagreement. It has exploded out of control.

When I saw you walk into the restaurant, I immediately buried my face in my food. Oh what a sick feeling I had knowing you were there. I felt tense and nervous . . . I couldn't finish my meal . . . or any conversations . . . I became obsessed with avoiding you. I couldn't wait to get out of that restaurant.

When I was invited to a wedding of a mutual friend, I immediately called the bride-to-be sure that she knew that we could not be seated at the same table. Instead of looking forward to this celebration, I worried about and belaboured the fact that I would have to be in the same place as you. I had a hard time enjoying myself at the wedding.

I saw you in the grocery store and jerked away so quickly that onlookers probably thought that I was having a seizure. I have never raced through a grocery store with such speed. I forgot to buy most of the items on my shopping list.

I worry about seeing you. I dread bumping into you. I obsess about our disagreement over and over -- rationalizing, defending, collecting evidence, reliving, dreaming about retaliating and just plain hating you.

This ugly situation has escalated to such a ridiculous level that it pounds away at me and my emotions, draining me to the point of exhaustion. Just thinking about our conflict has an impact on my overall mood.

How long can I let this go on?

"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free." -- Catherine Ponder

I am sick of feeling my blood pressure skyrocket. It is absurd that this battle of ours has the power to keep me up at night.

I am writing to tell you that I have decided to move forward and to let go of this struggle between us. I am not suggesting that we become friends again. I am simply ready to remove the hands on my throat that are choking the happiness out of me whenever your name is mentioned, whenever I see you, whenever I think about you. I am going to make peace with the whole situation, move forward, and focus my energy on positive things.

This is all thanks to the epiphany I had in my car. . .

I was driving to a destination, following the directions on my GPS system, when I missed a turn. Instead of getting upset with me, the lovely woman inside the system simply said, "recalculating". She didn't scold me for missing the turn and ending up on the wrong street. She didn't go on and on about how I got lost, where I got lost, or why I got lost. We didn't get in to a huge disagreement. She simply "recalculated" from where I was, to where I wanted to go - and I was back on track, heading in the right direction.

That's when it occurred to me that I could do the same thing with relationships and situations in my life. When I end up in a "place" where I don't want to be, instead of staying there, stuck in that dark place of negativity and robbing myself of joy, happiness, relationships, pleasure, fun, peace and contentment . . . I could just, "recalculate".

When we get lost in life, take a wrong turn, end up somewhere we don't want to be, there really is no point in looking back and digging up old negative feelings such as regret or anger. Those emotions just eat away at us from the inside.

Instead, we can make peace with those negative experiences, use them to motivate us to do better, choose to forgive and forget, and then move forward. It is then that we can focus our time and energy on the good stuff, the positive stuff - not on anger, resentment and sadness.

"As long as you don't forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy a rent-free space in your mind." - Isabelle Holland

So . . . I decided today that I will forgive and forget. Not for your sake - but for mine.

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - Louis B. Smedes

I have decided that I will "recalculate". I will move on with peaceful thoughts about you and our mishap.

Just knowing that I have made this choice makes me feel better. I feel liberated.

What took me so long??

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