Is there a more unnecessary feeling in this world? I believe not. It is a potent feeling, to be sure, yet, highly unnecessary. The words “grudge”, “hate” and “anger” rhyme even if they don’t! How about that?!

Unless someone killed your parents or spouse or kids, unless someone raped you or beat you up, unless someone ruined your business and you are broke or homeless today, basically, unless someone has done an unspeakable act towards you, what is the point of holding grudges? Some pain and sorrow are so severe that holding grudges makes sense. There is no denying that. After all, we are human, and we are not perfect.

Please understand. I am saying this as someone who, once upon a time, used to hold grudges, mainly as a teenager and it was normal. I didn’t know better. I didn’t know much about life and how disappointments are part of it. Of course, you will get betrayed, hurt, lied to, cheated on, manipulated, discarded, disrespected. It is part of life, there is no escaping all that. Now, how you react to those situations, well, that is a choice, as they say, and I believe it to my core. When I was 21, I started the long process of not holding grudges. It was a conscious decision and I cannot tell you how long it took and how many times I failed. When someone hurts you, the first instinct is to hurt them back. Human nature dictates that. Therefore, to change that reflex, it takes work, a lot of fucking work, goddamn it!

I used to get mad, I used to go after those who hurt me. I would hurt them back, I would avenge myself, sometimes in a disproportionate way. Of course, I messed up. Of course, I said the wrong things. Of course, I hurt people. Yet, I like to think I never hurt anyone who didn’t have it coming for them. In retrospect, I should haven’t hit back in most cases, but I know I learned from those situations. I even ended up apologizing to those I hurt more than I should have. I am not proud of what I did. I am simply proud of recognizing the errors of my ways. To those I hurt in a proportionate way, I didn’t apologize. Why would I? They deserved it. According to Newton’s third law; “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Be careful what you do.

Grudges hurt you primarily. They don’t hurt others. It is an internal feeling, one that will raise your blood pressure, irritate you, destroy your sense of reality, hurt you and leave you mentally and emotionally crippled. I happen to believe in vengeance in rare cases, not as a general rule. I admit not being a “turn the other cheek” kind of guy. As awesome as Jesus is, I don’t agree with him on that part.

A former friend recently hurt me by spreading a false rumor about me. When I heard about it, I couldn’t believe it, but it was out. I could have gone after the person, confront them, talk it out, lash out at them or I could say nothing and keep my anger in. Both options sounded incredibly counterproductive. The person lied intentionally to hurt me. Why? I don’t know and frankly, it matters not. Their motivation to lie doesn’t matter one bit. Moreover, I don’t have time to be the person’s therapist, nor am I interested in their apology or talking to them. So, I let it go. It wasn’t easy the first 48 hours but I have been doing this for more than 15 years now, I am a veteran. It was easy to let go, I must say. Today, whatever that person said, doesn’t matter and as I am writing about it, I am smiling. Besides, now I know who they are and what they are about. I am a half-full glass kinda guy.

Now I am imagining what my life would be like if I had held onto the recent grudge. I would be mad, furious and profoundly indisposed. And for what? Why? What would I gain from keeping that in my heart? What could I possibly gain from the grudge? The answer is: nothing. Literally NOTHING. I am not saying grudges are easy to dismiss or let go. However, if you train your mind and heart to let go of them, it becomes as easy as breathing.

So, I let it go and did so gladly. Grudges are an infection of the heart and the soul. Scratch that! Grudges are actually a cancer. It grows and metastasizes like tumors that riddle your body. Cancer ultimately kills you. Grudges might not kill you but the more you keep them, the more you will want to act and usually, actions based on anger breed destruction. By the way, who wants cancer? I know I don’t, and I am sure no one does.

Grudges are an affliction that stays with your mind and heart. Who wants their mind to be tormented like that? Remember, the person that hurt you is simply going about their day, living their life, not necessarily caring about what they did to you. Chances are, they don’t even remember they hurt you. So, why would you live your life with that anchor? Why not let go of that weight before it sinks you to the bottom of the ocean and you end up drowning? If you know one good reason to keep a grudge, please text me! I beg you! Frankly, I see no reason whatsoever.

Grudges simply cloud your judgment, the same as anger. Well, grudges keep the anger at bay, and it festers, slowly and surely. The long-term results are never pretty, I assure you.

Let the grudges go. Do not keep them. They bring nothing but destruction, pain, sorrow, anxiety and sadness. Let the grudges go and enjoy your freedom. Please, let the people who hurt you, go as well. They don’t deserve to be in your life. They could apologize. When they do, you decide. You either welcome them back or you shut the door. Whatever choice you make must have one goal: peace of mind.

Not holding grudges, well, that is a solid piece of peace of mind.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile, don’t hold grudges and go on with your day!

Freeman. B

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