The dangers of harbouring negative emotions

Let go of the past and move forward

We often hang onto burdens from our past; nursing old wounds, carrying hatred for those who hurt us in some way, refusing to let go and move on . Some of us live in the past, remembering it as a time when life seemed better than at present. However carrying around these old emotions is not healthy and just serves to reduce our energy thereby making it harder to move forwards with our life.

Here is a little story which perfectly illustrates this.

A primary school teacher  decided to let her class play a game. She told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato was given the name of a person that the child hated, bore a grudge against, or had some other negative feelings towards. So the number of potatoes that a child had in their plastic bag depended on the number of people he/she felt bad toward.

Some children had two potatoes, some three while some had up to five potatoes. The teacher then told the children to carry their bag of potatoes with them everywhere they went for one week (even to the bathroom or to bed ) . As the  days passed by the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. And the more potatoes a child had, the heavier their bag.

The children were very relieved when the game finally ended. Their teacher asked them: “How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for one week?” The children let out their frustrations and started complaining how difficult and annoying it had been to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they went.

Then she told them the hidden meaning behind the game. She said: “This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred, grudges or negative feelings for somebody . Just as the bag of potatoes felt heavier as the days passed so the burden on your energy will become heavier as you continue through life. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just one week, can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of negativity in your heart for your lifetime?