Holding Grudges

I hear many stories of people who hold onto grudges they have against others, sometimes for many years. The sad part about this is a grudge can start off as quite a small issue or words that have been spoken in the heat of the moment. It becomes like a festering wound. We can then think, “Well I can’t be bothered with …….. so I’m not even going to try.”

Before we know it, months and then even years pass by with no interaction and it becomes too hard to even try. It is very common to find in families. We can easily blame our parents, other siblings or an ex-partner for how we have been treated. Sometimes it may be justified, but none the less we cannot afford to hold on to past grievances.

It is ok to feel like that for a while, but then we need to let it go and take responsibility for our own lives. Only then can we move forward as responsible adults. Over the years there have been many things I’ve been “ticked off” about and disagreed with and “wound up” over. But after Scott died it all seemed trivial and not worth the energy of holding on to. There are bigger things to think about, like what is important to me? Our family is what I care deeply about. The choice then becomes what motivates me to make sure I cultivate and nurture these precious relationships.

I won’t get it right all the time, but the point is to be heading in the right direction of making an effort. It is vital we talk about the important stuff, which is very hard to do at times, when our natural response is to avoid confrontation at all costs! My paternal grandmother’s motto was “Peace at any price,” which made it very hard to talk about the things that mattered. Communication becomes more superficial. In our family it is imperative we hold short accounts. We understand tomorrow may never come. There is the tragic consequence of it being too late say what we want to say or put things right that we need to, especially when a sudden death occurs.

We know when we hold a grudge, when we completely over-react to a situation that may not even be related to the “grudge.” If we keep these grudges we develop a hardness of heart and a stubborn attitude prevails. We can lose softness and compassion and the ability to look at things from another person’s perspective.

My message today is, tell your partner and children you love them and give them a hug. Not much else matters. Say it often. Those three little words, “I love you” and the power of a hug are very important.

photo: Auckland Domain. OH what tangled webs we weave