Holding a grudge against someone is something we’ve all experienced sometime or the other! I need not tell you more on how it feels when you do that because, truth is, you already know how trying and exhausting it is. Sometimes, we tend to think time heals everything and it is enough to let things be. But, in practice, we tend to hold on to our feelings and our grudges especially when we feel wronged in some way and forgiveness feels like the hardest thing to do at that moment.
Over time, we grudge-holders believe it is our prerogative to amplify the hurt and intensify the negative emotions. In our quest to teach a lesson to the one who has wronged us, we end up hurting ourselves badly.
So why is holding a grudge so easy and letting go so hard?
I can say this, speaking from experience, that all grudge holders feel that the grudges are completely justified. Having been there, I know how difficult it is to forgive, and it stems from the belief that not everyone deserves our forgiveness. Which may not seem wrong at all. In fact, I’ve also come to believe that grudges sometimes help to shield us against getting hurt all over again, and of course, that feeling of being, oh so right about things. Who can forget that feeling? When I look back, I’ve no qualms to admit today that for a long time, grudges gives me a sense of purpose to go on hating those especially who hurt me or my family. But did it punish the wrong-doer? No, it didn’t. I wouldn’t have thought this ten years back, but today, I can say, no matter how strongly we believe it does, it does absolutely nothing to them.
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” ― Anne Lamot
I’ve spent years bearing grudges within me, weighed down by the baggage from the pain and anger bottled up inside. I hated them so much, they came to haunt me in my dreams too. Then, came a time when I found myself so burdened that I began to lose the possibility of ever being free of it again. What I sought for years was a retribution and the realisation from the wrong-doers of what they had none. Sadly, none came my way. And it made me realise nothing was to come either. Not in this lifetime. Eventually, one fine day I came to realise that unless I decided to walk past the hurt, and prepare myself to forgive them, one by one, I’d never feel happy again. Of course, I learnt it the hard way and it took a huge effort on my part. I fought a lot before I finally learnt to let go. The heavy weight was lifted and I was able to breathe again.
But, I agree, forgiving is not easy. It is a very personal thing. And, I agree not everyone can let go and forgive. But, to me, that sense of relief from letting go has brought a lot of peace and calm that I never had earlier in my life. I feel I’ve grown as a person since then and I feel good inside because I no longer hate those people anymore.
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”
― Criss Jami
What are your thoughts on this? Do you belong to those who hold grudges or do you tend to forgive and move on? What do you think of the quote? Have you ever had a situation where you fought a hard battle while choosing between holding a grudge and forgiving someone?
(Linking this with #mondaymusings by Corinne of EverydayGyaan
and #mg hosted by Mackenzie Glanville.)