Two Zen monks noticed, at the edge of the river, a beautiful young maiden sat weeping because she was afraid to cross the river alone. She begged them to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman.
The older monk picked up the girl without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that girl on your shoulders?” He went on and on like this for a very long time. The elder monk didn’t say a word.
Finally, the elder monk, exasperated, turned to the younger one. “I let her go as soon as we crossed the river. Why are you still carrying her?”
How often do we carry around past hurts, holding onto resentments when the only person we are really hurting is ourselves.