Thursday, May 29, 2014

Breaking Out of Prison

Sonny is a guy I know from the gym. He’s on the other side of 70, fit, smart, lighthearted and one of those guys who,  when he’s talking, you should be listening.

Yesterday we were talking about the new book I’m writing about heartbreak and how to recover from it. Normally, you think of heartbreak as an emotion linked to romance…well…at least that’s how I think about it. Sonny, however, connected it to “how you feel when you lose the friendship and trust you have for someone because of what they did.”

It seems that Sonny had a very close friend (“he was married at my house”) whose lies started to catch up with him. Sonny said, “I had to meet with him and tell him that while I still liked him we probably couldn’t sit down and joke around and talk about old times.”

It takes courage and faith to make a choice like that. I think of folks I’ve known…and know…who don’t like the confrontation and conflict a choice and discussion like that would create. So, they’d rather put on a happy face around the person and then talk about them behind their back after they leave.

I’m not very good at hiding how I feel and it jumps up and bites me in a variety of ways and variety of situations. If I have a conflict with you you’ll probably see it on my face (and no, I don’t play poker) and I don’t have a problem with the conflict part. However, if you’re willing to talk it out I’m usually more than willing to explain my side of it and listen to yours. And, if I’m wrong I’ll take my heat and then try to get over it.

Sonny was a major exec at a well-known regional corporation. He brought in a speaker for a conference who was a former pilot and had been shot down in Vietnam and spent 6 years as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton. Sonny said the guy’s message was, “I might have been a prisoner of war but a lot of you are prisoners of fear or envy or anger or some other emotions that keeps you locked up.”

Harboring ill feelings towards someone and not dealing with them in some sort of positive way is a type of prison. Revenge, anger and grudges serve no one.

Breaking out of prison is difficult, but not going in in the first place may be harder.

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