One of my big personal flaws is the tendency to hold grudges. This is something that was ingrained as a child due to many reasons. For nearly as long, I’ve known intellectually that holding grudges is unhealthy and can keep a person from fully living life. So, forming grudges, becoming aware of them, and letting go of them have been lifelong struggles. These are reasons I’m addressing the subject of grudges again. (I last posted about grudges on December 27th.)

Early on, I’ve understood how grudges and resentments help perpetuate feelings of victim-hood. Grudges tend to cloud over my otherwise sunny, joyful personality. They obscure the love that is otherwise present.

I’ve come to understand that while I hold grudges, I can honestly say that I don’t hate anyone. Hate is a nasty poison. I avoid consuming poison out of a desire to live. Certainly grudges are the ingredients of hatred, but I monitor my grudges so they don’t spread. This is how I avoid becoming the proverbial mad scientist.

There are so many people who resent the actions of others and hold onto massive grudges. These grudges mentally act in very destructive ways. They influence moods, and nurture the desire to harm and seek revenge. Grudges and resentments fuel family feuds and oftentimes international wars.

One of the most innocuous results of holding grudges is that nursing grudges can lead to people becoming moralistic. They like to imagine themselves as righteous and morally correct. They expend a lot of mental energy doing so. The moralists suffer much darkness of the soul yet believe they are spreading light. Moralists are good at breeding moralism in others. I have to be careful when writing about moralism, because some of my worst grudges have involved moralists who have pointed their fingers at me.

Thankfully, it always comes back to being mindful about resentful thoughts and grudges. I feel the negative tug at their peaks but eventually I become tired of them and realize the harm they’re causing. I’m one of those people who forgives and then has to forgive again, just to make sure the forgiveness is sincere. Just as it is wise to forgive others, it is also wise to re-forgive others from time to time. This should be taught by clerics and philosophers.

It’s mind-boggling how much psychological energy is required to hold grudges. As I get older, I have less of that energy to waste. When I feel an old grudge reemerge in the mind, I actually feel the physical draining of life-force. That sensation is somewhat frightening. I posit that holding grudges can lead to premature death. By working through the process of letting go of resentments and grudges, I may be lengthening my lifespan. Anyway, life is much too short to waste life-force on negativity.

There was a serious process of adapting to the attitudes of family and friends after I became a radio personality. This was more difficult than anticipated. I witnessed big changes in the way some of them looked at me as compared to previously. Most of them retained their supportive attitudes towards me. On the other hand, there was a minority who fed their grudges and displayed envy. It was a running battle to avoid holding grudges against people who gossiped about me. Being aware of those attitudes informed me of the fickle nature of humanity.

Despite much introspection about grudges, it’s still easy to focus upon memories that pop up about past adversaries. I remember how horribly they bullied me. I hope they grew up and got over their bullying personalities. It would be wonderful to receive apologies from them. It’s likely those apologies will be forever withheld. Then I know it’s time to re-forgive them.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes poet William Blake.
“I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Health, Youth and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Grudges

  1. hanspostcard says:

    The older I get the better I am at just letting things go.. I wasn’t always that way. It feels better not being as bothered. Too much wasted energy and emotion in holding a grudge and at times getting even.

  2. I can’t say I disagree with you, but for me, grudges are a very real undeniable thing. Certain things hit a nerve, and they will probably always be that way. If someone has intentionally hurt me, it casts a whole new light on forgiveness. I can’t forgive people who are intentionally hurtful. Hate, dislike–whatever one wants to call it, is very real and too often it can’t be undone. It can be dealt with, but it can’t be undone: if you’ve said something hateful, or worse–done something hateful, it never leaves the recipients. I’d like to say and pretend that I’ve forgotten all the wrong doings I’ve received, but I would only be kidding myself. I agree with the comment above (hanspostcard) that too much energy and emotion can be wasted on grudges. For me, I need to pass them by whenever they come to mind. I’m not going to change what happened, but I can’t act or think as though it never happened. I don’t forgive, I don’t forget. I simply move on.

    • swabby429 says:

      What you’re saying is much of what I sometimes feel. Some nasty trespasses still stick in my craw. I feel the energy drain that the memories cause. My way of moving on is to forgive and re-forgive. I cannot forget because I have a fairly intact, functioning memory. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I agree, holding grudges makes you stay in your feelings of being a victim. The longer you stay there, the bigger it becomes. I know people who don’t forgive and they live as if everyone is against them, it is them against the world. If you are on their side then everything is bright and cheery; but if you are not; then watch out! It is very important to forgive so you can move on.

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