Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?
When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.
What are the effects of holding a grudge?
If you’re unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present moment. You might become depressed or anxious. You might feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you’re at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You might even lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others. Does any of that sound familiar to you? Do you desire more than anything else to cut the karmic chord of unforgiveness and blossom your life into being the best YOU.
You may ask how do I reach a state of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. To begin you might consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time. Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being. Then when you’re ready actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you. Move away from your role of victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation has had in your life.
As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding becoming more and more your experience.
What happens if I can’t forgive someone?
Forgiveness can be challenging, especially if the person who hurt you doesn’t admit wrong or doesn’t speak of his or her remorse. In our humanity this can be a hard pill to swallow. If you find yourself stuck consider the situation from the other person’s point of view. Ask yourself why he or she would behave in such a way. Perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you were faced with the same situation. In addition consider broadening your view of the world – understand the occasional imperfections from the people in your life, after all we are in this world together. You may want to reflect on times you’ve hurt others and on those who have forgiven you. Extend that humility or hand to others in your sphere. We must aim to remember the wonderful quote from the scriptures- “if not for the grace of God there goes I.”
It can also be helpful to write in a journal, pray or use guided meditation — or talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one, friend or coach. Work through nurturing a willing heart to release and evolve into YOUR healing.
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If you have any stories on your process to forgiveness please leave us a comment.