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Gunny sack

Ending the Pain

We face a lot of pain in our lives.  Why do we focus on the things or people that hurt us and create more hurt.  Some people do this to themselves and they seemingly thrive on resentment and to have a conversation with one of them can be depressing.  I am not advocating that you adopt a Pollyanna point of view all the time but you have some control over what you think about and when it is not necessary, don’t adopt a pessimistic point of view and focus on what is wrong with your world.  Don’t let others drag you down.  Have you ever eaten out and had your dinner spoiled by someone at the table next to you who has had their steak either overcooked or undercooked?  Your dinner may have been delicious and you have had no reason to complain about either the food or the service.

I have watched programs where people are looking at houses to buy and no matter how nice the house they are shown, they always find one thing about the house that they don’t like and is the reason they won’t buy it.  Such a negative attitude is aggravating after a while.  What is even worse to me is the news and the negative attitude it generally has.  Where is the good news.  Why don’t we hear about people who have done good things for others.  We are a nation whose life style is generally better than many other places in the world but we seem to have little to be grateful for.

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gunny sack

gunny sack (Photo credit: chuck_heston)

In case you don’t know what a gunnysack is, it is an old fashioned name for a rough woven burlap bag used to hold  things like large amounts of potatoes.  Gunnysacking is a term for what people do when they feel they have unthinkingly been hurt by someone and they collect these slights in their imaginary gunnysack until they are ready to dump them on the person who they think is responsible for the making these slights.

An important part of this activity is that the person who gets dumped on generally is not aware of what they have done so they can also be labeled as insensitive by the gunnysacker.  Also it is important to note that the person keeping track of these unacknowledged hurts does not initially speak up about them.  What is behind this is that he or she feels that the person involved knows that they are taking advantage of them and continues to accept their help selfishly instead of being considerate and letting them off the hook.

Having had a particular gunnysack dumped on me one time made a very strong impression on me.  As a result, I became very cautious about having someone do something for me no matter how nicely they offered.  I felt that I would rather do something by myself than have someone think that I took advantage of them and not find out until later.  In a sense, I, like the person who held these things  against me in the past, was not being  totally honest when I said I didn’t need help.

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