Have you unbuckled your Grudge holding harness?
I was searching the internet for a book when I found this quote happily gazing at me “We often hold a grudge because we don’t want to let the other person off the hook. But who’s is really hooked: the one who’s moved on or the one who’s holding on” (Lori Deschene). It was like a reminder for me to revisit my old grudge holding diary to check for the balance in my account.
I realized then that the grudges or past offences of others can hold so much power over us. A grudge comes to life when we dwell into hurtful events of past where we have been hurt by someone we loved or trusted. What follows it like a shadow are the feelings of vengeance, repressed hostility and resentment towards the wrongdoing person.
Are you using your energy to be angry with someone about an event of past?
Beating him/her in your head and having ruminative thoughts like “I am going to teach him/her a lesson”.
Maybe consistently playing “I will never forgive” tape in your mind to justify the hurt?
Such is the power of holding a grudge. It is like the person who feels pained and targeted doesn’t intend to bargain. Instead they put a harness filled with strings of anger, judgement, disgust and unfair treatment to sooth his/her inner victim.
Sounds blunt, doesn’t it? but most of us go around doing this on a daily basis.
People trick their minds to help keep these memories alive. In fact, their biological mechanisms help them in assigning emotional values to these grudge holding events. They do this with the help of the “Amygdala” located in the brain. Amygdala is the part of brain which is responsible for emotions, memory and survival instincts. This now explains why certain events trigger some people and leave others unaffected.
It could be that people nurture these grudges despite their high maintenance cost to health and mental wellbeing because they seem justified compared to the hurt felt.
Protecting and comforting ourselves by resorting to beliefs/self-view like:-“not everyone can be forgiven”, “I am right and the other needs to accept it” and /or “it is fine to keep the flame of grudge alive as it will protect me from wrong doers in future” are some of the coping mechanisms commonly used by many people. There may be multiple layers waiting to be unpeeled at the core of a grudge-holding wound. It is the aftermath that causes a chaos and not the wrongdoer.
You can ask yourself these questions to identify what is stopping you from letting go;
Was the person really at fault or is it a misunderstanding? Why did I not accept the apology (if it was offered)? Was this an unfortunate isolated event or a deliberate attempt of causing hurt?
If your struggle to be positive is real then why do you wish to collide against the invisible walls and hurt yourself time and again?
Once the intensity of the harm caused is identified, making a choice becomes easier. Then the two choices that everyone has to confront are – to either put back the harness, jump in the same deep waters of hatred or to get rid of the heaviness that keeps them from exploring life better.
It is said that time heals all hurt but I believe occasionally time can renew old wounds. However, if a person make up his/her mind to overcome a grudge it can set him/her free. It is a healing process that would need patience and self-love.
It is crucial to remember that grudges don’t make us feel any better instead they deprive us of the relief and consolation we yearned since the beginning of animosity. They just allow us to carry the badge of survival and courage. Probably, serving as a reminder of the pain and worthiness we think we deserved.