I recently ran into someone who is clearly holding a grudge against me for a situation that happened two years. I wasn’t even the person in the wrong, but I have found forgiveness and decided to let it go. I lost a lot because of the situation so I am proud of myself that I have been able to let it go. But, the other person is still holding on to the feelings and anger. When I saw that, I felt sadness and it taught me something. I realized that holding grudges isn’t worth it. It keeps you imprisoned in those feelings when it’s easy to move on from them. It doesn’t mean that you have to forget. It doesn’t mean that you have to put yourself in the same situation. It simply means that you forgive the person and move on with your life.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”– Buddha
We choose everything that we do in life. We choose how we respond and what we do. Commitment is a choice. It’s choosing to be or do something every day. You have to make the commitment to holding a grudge against someone. You have to make a commitment to being angry at someone every day. Our bodies don’t even know how to hold anger and our heart doesn’t know how to hold grudges. Our hearts and bodies were built for love. Therefore, to hold a grudge or anger, you are using all of your energy. You are stealing precious energy, oxygen and cells from vital organs to hold this anger and resentment in your body. After awhile, it’s like running your car’s engine all day every day at its highest speed, eventually it’s going to burn out. So, if you are angry and hold grudges, you are using your energy in a way that your body is not prepared to handle.
Today I am grateful for the ability to change. The surprising thing is we have the power all the time. Our brains are like swift computers that compare, calculate, formulate and forecast, but we ultimately make the decision. The decision to change happens so quickly that we don’t always acknowledge how quickly it happened. For example, you could be on your way home from work and a friends call to ask if you want to go to the movies. You were all ready to go home and had things that you planned to do when you got there, but you decided that you really need to get out. You tell your friend that you will go and you change direction and head to the movies. You changed your mind. It took minutes and you probably enjoyed the movie and time with your friend.
If you want to let go of a grudge, it’s this simple. Let it go. It doesn’t take anything from the person that you were angry with. You can decide to do it now. You can decide to do it for you. You can choose your health. You can stop being angry this minute and release all that stress from your body. Find the lesson you were supposed to learn in the situation. You can thank that person for teaching you the lesson and move on. If you’ve moved on and your circumstances are different, what does it benefit you to stay stuck in the anger and resentment. Why stay in a jail if you have the key and there is no one guarding the door? A grudge is the shackles you place on yourself for someone else’s crime.
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” -Catherine Ponder