OUTLIVING THE BITCHES – AN OLDIE, BUT STILL A GOODIE

One Sunday in church, Pastor’s sermon was about forgiveness. He asked everyone in the church to stand up. Then he asked those who had any enemies to sit down. Everyone sat down but one very old woman.

“You have no enemies at all?” asked Pastor.

“Not a single one,” she answered, nodding her agreement.

“Please, come up here and tell everyone how you reached such a great age without having any enemies,” said Pastor. A deacon accompanied the elderly woman to the pulpit and everyone in church applauded as she slowly made her way up the steps. Pastor adjusted the microphone.

“You must have done a lot of forgiving,” said Pastor. “Please, tell us your secret.”

The lady smiled beatifically. “I outlived the bitches,” she said.


Life marches on. You get older and after a while, you realize all the people you used to obsess over, the people who hurt you, are gone. By the time you pass 70, a lot of people have disappeared from your life both those you loved and those you disliked.

Chickens come home to roost. Crazy drivers meet their maker on a dark highway. Heavy drinkers, smokers, drug users find a sad end. It turns out that hating them was a waste of energy. Cancer, heart attacks, and other things weed out people, the best and the worst, remorselessly. Meanwhile, older generation pass away, one funeral at a time.

Time makes most of the fears and worries of life less important. It turns out, forgiveness is not about repairing relationships so you can be friends again. It’s all about letting go. Passing stuff to your “higher power,” whatever that means to you. Acknowledging you can’t fix everything. And recognizing it’s not your job to fix it.

I know people who had wonderful careers full of honor and respect who lost their jobs and promptly declared themselves failures, as if that one bad thing — getting fired — negated everything that went before. I know men and women who were abused as children who still define themselves as victims 50 or 60 years later.

If you like yourself, you can be reasonably happy no matter what life throws at you. It’s that simple and that complicated. So when you start forgiving, forgive yourself first. Forgive yourself for all the mistakes you made. For the bad choices, the stupid decisions, the jerks you married, almost married, allowed to mess with your head.

perfect path in the woods

The jobs you screwed up, shouldn’t have taken, should have taken but didn’t. The opportunities you blew. The unfinished manuscripts, the unpublished stories. The great ideas you always planned to do but never quite got around to it. The times you were wrong and didn’t apologize. Your failures as a parent, the books you didn’t read. All the “shoulda coulda woulda” stuff you’ve accumulated.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

If you throw it all out, you won’t end all your problems. The money you don’t have won’t suddenly show up in your accounts. Youth and health won’t return. But, you won’t have to haul the past with you into the future and you can enjoy what you do have without obsessing over what’s gone or what you missed. The sooner you do it, the better. Life isn’t forever, even if you live entirely on salads and never miss a day of exercise.

And when all is said and done, with a little luck, you’ll outlive the bitches.



Categories: Humor, Personal, Relationships, Anecdote

Tags: , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. This is wonderful, Marilyn. Thank you!

    Like

  2. I absolutely love this!

    Like

  3. That’s my plan, and the only reason I get up in the morning! I desperately want to be the last one standing, but only time will tell…

    Like

  4. so true! Thanks for the reminder, Marilyn! X

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amen to all of this. You said it eloquently and truthfully. I never did ‚hate‘. I learned forgiveness early on and finally I also forgave myself for mostly not living up to my own expectations towards myself. Since then I‘m a happy woman. I‘m also in the lucky position to truly forget the bad stuff and only retain the good happenings. When I lived in France, I had for some silly document to state the date of my long ago divorce. I couldn‘t remember and had to phone my ex who provided me with all the copies necessary within 20min…. Go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

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