Single Mom Self Care: Let The Grudge Go!

Don’t Let That Grudge Ruin Your Life. It’s Time To Let It Go!  It hurts! Whenever someone says or does something that causes us pain, it hurts. Our feelings are of great importance to us and we want them to be respected, acknowledged and validated. However, we all know that pain is a part of life. Whether emotional or physical, it will be with us as long as we live. We usually cast off pain as soon as we can but sometimes we choose to hold onto emotional pain such as hurt or anger and cause it to become a grudge. Perhaps you have devoted many years of your life to holding onto a grudge against someone without realizing the toll it is taking on your health.

People who hold grudges experience several health problems such as depression, high blood pressure and severe anxiety, so why not let now be the time to let them go. Is it time now to walk away and move on for you? I hope so. Chances are very good that the person you are nurturing a grudge against has already forgotten about the incident that caused it. If you that expect your withholding of affection or recognition is punishing the other person you are likely mistaken.

You are suffering alone!  Because we feel so much hurt over something that happened, we tend to assume that the other person must feel the same level of guilt but, sadly, they often don’t. Why continue to suffer when the other person doesn’t even know or care?   It goes without saying that forgiving someone does not exempt them from responsibility for what they did. Perhaps someone has caused you many sleepless nights and tears. What they have done is a part of your life history now. It is human nature to resent the blight they have cast on your life history. Who wouldn’t? It is easier to forgive than to forget because of that fact. Sometimes we need to remember what happened so as to remember what we learned from it. Especially so, if it was a deep hurt, such as molestation. It would be foolish to forget so completely that we allowed the same thing to happen to us again.    

The first step is to acknowledge that we are all imperfect beings and make many mistakes, even you. Perhaps someone is festering over something you unwittingly said or did right now and you never knew you had caused offense. Perhaps the person you hold a grudge against did sincerely not mean to cause offense. We all have different ways of communicating. Whatever happened to start this grudge, you will feel more empowered if you can let it go.  

I am reminded of the true story of two women who were neighbours. They all but hated each other and held many grudges on both sides. Their local newspaper had a column where readers could share their views on community events and things in general. Both women wrote to this column on a regular basis using pen names, rather than their own. Without knowing it, these ladies found that they agreed on so many issues and both expressed, through this column, how much they admired the other. This went on for a long time until they finally found out that the person they admired so much was the person they had previously detested! They threw their grudges out of the window and began a happy and warm relationship as neighbours.  

Do you know that you may never receive an apology from the person who hurt you, just because they are afraid to appear weak? They may deeply regret their actions, if they were intentional, but just can’t voice it. It is especially hard to forgive and move on when the offence was done intentionally. You know for a surety that this person wanted to expressly hurt you. If this is the case, are they still as hurtful a person now? People grow and improve. What they did years ago, they may not even consider doing now. Millions of people, every day, interact with, and are polite to, others they don’t like. The world could not function if we didn’t understand that this sometimes has to be done.  We work with and are forced to associate with groups of people that will contain various personalities that irritate us.

A polite smile may be all you can manage but it isn’t an assault to your integrity if you give it.   Does it feel good to take on the role of martyr? It often does and we can devote great chunks of our life to it, but think how much better you would feel if you were free of this responsibility to be the martyr. We often don’t understand that forgiving someone is for OUR good, not theirs. It frees our mind and spirit up to move on and embrace brighter things. You can be right or you can be happy. Which would you prefer if you can only have one?   Many times when we get locked into our feelings of hurt, we feel that we have no choice but to stay feeling this way. That’s just the way we feel, right? Not so.

You have a million and one choices available to you in this life. You can take those hurt feelings and mentally place them in a box. See yourself putting the box on a shelf. It’s always there if you want to look at the feelings again but they don’t have to remain ‘in your face’ every day. If you believe in God or a higher power, you know that the person who wronged you will eventually have to face a higher court where they will not be allowed to hide anything. Imagine yourself sitting in the courtroom as the crime is retold and judgement passed. You may well be in the courtroom that day. It’s a conscious choice on your part to move on. They may be thought of as a wonderful person by others and yet you know their flaws. Of course, if your grudge is about something of a crime and someone in authority needs to be told, that’s a different matter. Usually, grudges are about silly little things. When you look back on your life at the end, will the grudge you are holding now seem so important?  

Everyone becomes hurt and disappointed by people in this life but always remember that your self esteem is in no way related to them. You can choose to move on, to educate yourself, to grow as a person in so many ways. Don’t let the past dictate your present or future!  Perhaps you could bring yourself to write down five good things about the person who wronged you? Nobody is all bad or all good, you included. If you still need to work through your hurt, try the following exercise. In this exercise you are going to buy an inexpensive chair from a junk shop. Place it across from where you are going to be sitting. Imagine that the person sitting in the chair across from you is the person who hurt you. Write a letter to this person stating all your feelings in great detail. Read your letter and anything more that comes to mind to the person in the chair. Tell them how you feel, how they made you feel.

Cry, curse, whatever it takes within the law, to get it all out. You can do it again and again until you feel as though it is just a factual account of what happened to you. Now burn or chop up the chair in a safe place where doing so will not hurt anyone else. Watch it burn to ashes and let it go! Enjoy how lighter you now feel. Reward yourself.   We women find it hard to give up a grudge until we are sure that the other person, especially if it is a man, really ‘gets’ what they have done. Men and women think in different ways, so don’t just assume he ‘gets’ it and don’t assume you automatically ‘get’ what he is trying to convey. Talk about it quietly, away from the children.   Set yourself free and give up your grudges! 

June Steed is a caring and experienced life coach located in Western Canada. She coaches worldwide by phone, email or Skype. Her special expertise is in helping those who suffer with panic attacks, and housebound agoraphobics. She will also coach the housebound live, on their cell phone, as they venture out from the safety of their home. Compassionate and dedicated to her clients’ success, she can be contacted at her website on Twitter as @JuneSLifeCoach or at junesteedlifecoach on Facebook.

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