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Holding a Grudge: Is It Worth It?

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How well do you hold a grudge? Do you hang on to resentment, past insults and hurts forever? Is your memory sharp as a tack when it comes to recalling, with precision detail, why you are holding a grudge in the first place? That many of us even hold grudges is old news. Holding a grudge takes focus, determination, and energy; all positive qualities actually. And probably put to better use elsewhere, if you ask me. So why do we hold a grudge? Is it worth it?

I, for one, was masterful at holding a grudge. I could hold a grudge for years. I could forget where I put my keys, my nighty, your address and my cell phone. I could forget my sisters 'and brothers' birthdays but never forget the grudge I was holding. It was depressing and made me feel anxious.

Holding a grudge tethered me to my fear of being hurt again if I wasn't careful. It also eroded my self confidence by creating uncertainty and hyper vigilance against... who knows what?

Until I learned about living fearlessly that is. As I became willing to explore my unwavering motivation to hold a grudge I realized that holding a grudge was one of my sure fired self-destructive behaviors. Why was holding a grudge so destructive?

Because as long as I held a grudge, forgiveness remained elusive. As long as I refused to loosen my tenacious grasp on my grudges, my pain suffocated any relief brought by forgiveness. As long as I was distracted by pain, I could not live in the present moment. It was not worth it.

As I understand it, forgiveness is one of those other love languages along with generosity, gratitude, and kindness to name a few. Forgiveness holds the power to refresh and renew.

Forgiveness is not a one-time-get-it-over-with-and-move-on event. Forgiveness is a practice I can choose to undertake. As long as I turn away from the courage it takes to release my life- limiting grudges I will remain separated from my strength to connect with the life-affirming behaviors, which at the core is loving-kindness.

Loving kindness envelops me with possibility and the permission I give myself to be happy, joyful, safely vulnerable, and free from the grudges that held me back and separated me from my self love. That is worth it.

Where do I hold grudges? In my breath, my shoulders and in my mind. They also seem to flit around me like a pesky insect. I caught one the other day. I was holding a grudge against a professional woman who lied to me. I caught the thought like catching a fly. I imagined that I held it my hand and I blew into it as if to blow the fly, aka the grudge, away. Then I opened my hand to receive love instead and placed that over my heart.I hoped no one was watching because that could be very embarrassing.

I was instantly filled with a renewed sense of peace and that brought a smile to my face. Do I condone the woman's behavior? Absolutely not. Will I engage in conversation with her about it? Maybe. Will I practice forgiveness in this situation? Yes. Do I feel better already? You betcha, I do.

I've come to realize that holding a grudge takes too much of my precious time and energy and is not worth it. I am very clear about that now that I have experienced the power of forgiveness.

I choose to move forward with the beauty dignity and grace of forgiveness. No more grudges. It is not worth it. Let's see how I do.

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