Grudges are painful, strong-willed, and cause nothing but heartache, sorrow, and anger. So why is it so hard to let go of such awfulness we are holding in our hearts? I'm not a professional, but with life experience and education, I'm finding this can help in my life and yours. So let's learn a little and add some peace into our lives.
With a grudge comes a sense of being wronged. A grudge is a form of grievance. Someone did something that hurt us deeply. We feel hurt and angry, usually because the other person did not recognize or apologize for the pain they caused. We blame them- and blame perpetuates pain. However, holding on to this is giving the person control over your life; they are controlling how you feel and act because of what they did. YOU are allowing them that power, and it's time to let go.
So where to start? Knowing a little bit more of why you feel the way you do will help you to jump over the first hurdle. Why do feel the need to hold a grudge? When we feel angry and hurt over something someone did to us, we identify as a victim. As the victim we were mistreated, and are justified in our feelings. The focus is on what the other person did to hurt us. As a victim, we are reaching out to receive the comfort and compassion that we did not receive in the situation of being wronged. We are showing that our feelings matter, and we deserve to be treated better than the other person is treating us. The problem is, holding this grudge as a victim does not bring us happiness. It does the opposite. It's like carrying around a bag full of boulders that get heavier and heavier with every step. Dr. Nancy Colier, LCSW, Rev said, " Sadly, in its effort to garner us empathy, our grudge ends up depriving us of the very empathy that we need to release it. The path to freedom from a grudge is not so much through forgiveness of the "other" (although this can be helpful), but rather through loving our own self."
To forgive our grudge, we must remove the focus off of the person who wronged us and off our suffering and move into the experience that you felt and lived when you were wronged. Focus on your feelings and pay attention to your heart. When you are focusing on the other person and feeling angry, your heart is disconnected. When we shift that focus back to us and our feelings, we are reconnecting with our heart. We are giving ourselves the comfort that we didn't receive by acknowledging our feelings. We do not need to reach out to others for the inner peace that we seek. It is within you.
1. Acknowledge the hurt
2. Decide to forgive
3. Know that you deserve peace and you are allowing yourself to gain that back.
4. Take back the control of your love and affection
5. Build yourself up
Deciding to let go does not condone or show agreeance to what the other person has done. You are simply allowing yourself to move on and be happy. Focus on today and allow yourself to be happy. Sometimes people do things because they are simply being the only thing they know how to be. Don't let anger define you. The grudge only holds you back, not them. Let go of that grudge and be happy. Receive the peace of mind and heart that you deserve, and only only you can give to yourself.