We all have grudges, small things or big things that people have done to us and perceived slights against us that we refuse to let go of.
Holding on to grudges is not only a waste of energy but it can also be unhealthy. As we are consumed by hatred and anger these emotions begin to manifest themselves in our health and in our relationships. We all know how it feels to be angry, to have our blood boil. When we hold on to a grudge we bury that stress deep down in our body ready to be revisited again and again.
What purpose does holding a grudge serve? None. Holding on to ill will only gives the other person power over you, power that you can if you are willing, take back.
Recognise that you are holding a grudge. Knowing that there is a problem is 50% of solving the problem. Stop blaming the other person and start to recognise that if you are constantly bringing up what they have done just to smudge their reputation a little, then you are letting them live rent free in your head.
Return to the source Neo. Jokes aside, what is the reason for the grudge? Are you after an apology you never got? Were you physically or emotionally injured? Is your pride preventing you from moving on? Are you actually angry with yourself?
Knowing why you are so angry will help you to let go.
Remember that letting go or forgiving doesn’t mean that you are saying everything is okay. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone or accept what was done. It means that you have decided to no longer allow the act to have power over you and allows you to take back control.
Take a deep breath and say to yourself “this grudge has no power over me, I allow myself to move on”. It may sound hokey but this little mantra has helped me on many occasions. Each time you feel the urge to relive the grudge stop and say it to yourself. As time goes by the grudge will fade as you take back your power over it.
Change how you interact with the other person. Holding on to a grudge is as much a lifestyle as it is an attitude. If you are going to make a change to how you feel then you need to back it up with action. If you have decided to renew your relationship with the person then leave out the passive aggressive behaviour. Make a genuine effort to at the very least do no harm. If you no longer wish to have contact with them, then make sure that you follow through. Let them go alongside the grudge and don’t look back.
Commit to your new found power. The grudge will fade over time but only if you do not allow it to contaminate your thoughts again. Actively seek to work through these steps each time you feel the grudge coming back. Remember that grudges are a waste of energy, life is too short for grudges.