Could you be holding onto a grudge that has gone way past it's expiry date?
We can hold a grudge for a huge variety of reasons, at the root of which is always the same thing; we have been hurt or emotionally wounded on one way or another. When we are wounded it is a normal process and maybe even build a higher boundary to protect ourselves from further pain until we figure out a smoother way forward.
This is usually a temporary thing, time passes and we are able to have the conversations and clear the air. But what happens when the hurt is too bad, or we are unwilling to make peace?
That is when we can hold a grudge with someone. Its like the air just before a storm, heavy and thick with static, but unlike a storm, this air never clears, even the mention of this persons name can send you into grudge feeling mode.
Is it possible that by holding a grudge with someone and choosing to stay in that energy it could mean that you still care?
Think about it; you wouldn’t give so much of your happiness away to a situation or person that you didn’t care about. Is your #InnerPeace a price worth paying to be able to hold onto a grudge?
If the answer to that is no then you are probably at a turning point where you are ready to at least look at the possibility of moving on from holding a grudge. Perhaps it’s the right time for you to look at some suggestions to process this pain and hopefully move beyond the initial grudge to a place of greater peace, here are some things that you might consider:
Acknowledge and Validate
You have been hurt or wounded by this person, and it still feels raw, and its O.K. to feel what you feel, this is not about making yourself feel bad for the tings that you think and feel. Without judgement allow yourself to explore exactly what it was that this person did or said that caused you so much pain in the first place. Sometimes grudges can be so deep seated and long standing that the details have become lost, finding them again can help you to get things clear in your own head.
The nature of a grudge means that it is something that is as of yet unresolved. It is something that might have been holding your happiness hostage for months or years. Often talking to a friend can help to get closure, by explaining the situation to them you can get an observers point of view. Not only does this help you to validate and acknowledge your feelings, but it also helps you to begin the process of getting closure. You might decide that you can now get closure on your own and begin to move on, or that you need to address this issue directly with the person or people involved.
This technique is useful to use before you approach the person involved in order to seek closure, and if you decide to make peace with this issue yourself. Imagine yourself as the other person or persons in this situation, see yourself in their shoes speaking and behaving in the place that they were at when this incident happened.
Is it possible that there were other things going on in their life that you did not know about at the time? Could it be that they were misinformed about something that played a part in them them to reacting in the way that they did? Is there any room to find some peace in knowing that they might have been doing their best in this situation?
This is not about making it justifiable as such; it is about softening the edges to a jagged and unpleasant feeling space. It is about setting yourself up for a more positive experience moving forwards that gently removes some of the historical pain and hurt, literally setting you free from carrying the weight of this grudge.
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” ― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
If you are reading this far perhaps there is something in you right now that is open to the idea of letting this grudge go. You know that it is causing you pain and the longer you hold onto it the heavier it feels.
Letting go for you could involve contacting the person involved in a way that allows you to clear the air and finally begin to move forwards. Letting go for you could be a personal process, a way for you to find peace with the situation and liberate yourself from the heavy weight of carrying it around. Here are some ideas that can help with processing and releasing, tools for your toolbox:
Sitting on a beach and holding a pebble, putting all the thoughts and energy of that grudge into the pebble and then symbolically throwing it out to sea.
Writing a letter that will never be posted. Expressing every inch of that grudge and what it means to you. Getting it all out, acknowledging you reasons for being hurt or offended. And then releasing your letter (perhaps burning or shredding)
You can literally write your grudge down on a piece of toilet paper and flush that shiz away.
Moving through "negative" emotions can be especially hard when you are following a spiritual path. How can you hold a grudge and still be filled with love and peace? You cant bury it, so best to find a way to gently and lovingly release some of that energy by allowing it, letting it surface and sending it peacefully on its way.
I have learned from the people I work with that they feel so much better when they let go of a painful grudge. We work together to find a way that allows them to feel free and liberated. It condones nothing; it just loosens the binds that keep them in pain. That stuff that kept them tied up for so long disappears, and a greater sense of peace replaces it.
I hope some of these suggestions are helpful to you, I really do. If you need any further support or guidance with letting go of a painful grudge have a look the sessions that I offer. If inner peace is your priority, I look forward to working with you very soon.
P.S. If you have a specific situation and feel like you are fresh out of strategies, check out my bespoke Toolbox Top-Up