There is a famous quote, “holding a grudge is letting someone live rent free in your head.” I’m not sure who exactly said it, but, sometimes I feel they knew me…really well.
Grudges are something that I’ve always excelled at.
The hard part, is that as a normal person, it was a relatively short list. With one business, and then two, the list got longer. At the end of the day, there is only so much space in your brain – with grudges beginning to occupy a large corner, it was starting to take over.
And then, just like that, it was over. We made the decision to change our life and move on. And one morning, I woke up, and wondered why. Why was I allowing these grudges, which really meant nothing anymore, to still occupy such a large part of my brain? I had a whole new opportunity to start down a new path in my life…did I really want to drag along all of these old grudges with me?
Earlier in my life, one of my bosses was a firm believer in karma. She took it very seriously. Every 10 years she reviewed all of her actions over those years and asked herself if there was anywhere in that 10 that she fell short. And then she fixed it. It was remarkable to watch. To see her embrace her own shortcomings and failures to try and move into her next phase of life.
I watched that and wondered, is that something I should do? Is that something I could do?
The problem was, as you delve into some deep hurt, often times you feel less like making amends to protect your karma, as you feel like making sure the universe is paying attention. Hello, do you see how I was wronged? Did you see that?
It is what gives a grudge holder their bearing – the feeling of being in the right. I was wronged – therefore, I will hold this person accountable.
But we aren’t the ones making that decision. Not really.
I’m not traveling around trying to make amends or settle scores with every vendor, customer, employer, or person who I ever felt wronged me, or misled me, or just crossed me in some way.
Nope. And, to really move on I was forced to accept my own role in all of it. To actually let a grudge go you have to actually start showing a little empathy.
There is another quote about grudges, “Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change.”
It is perhaps the quote that has helped me the most.
The reality is that there will always be a reason to hold a grudge.
For me, knowing that I am inclined to do so – the challenge is the letting go part. It’s like when your mom told you, as a kid, that you had to be the bigger person and walk away from the argument or the fight. Sure, it was a noble thought – but it was actually really hard to do. And it doesn’t get any easier just because you are older. Can you walk away and not hold the grudge?
It is sort of less about the being the bigger person in a fight, and more about being the bigger person in a fight with yourself. And, it’s really damn hard.
So, we shall see – it’s the main project on my plate at the moment.
And, I’m still working on it. xo Andrea