The only reason we ever do anything is that we think it will make us feel better than if we didn’t do it.
But, what about grudges?
Why do people hold onto a grudge…
Even after many years of continuing to do it.
It serves us in some way, often without realizing…
And if it didn’t serve or help in some way, we wouldn’t continue to hold onto what really brings us pain.
Here are some reasons all of us hold on…
1) The belief that holding onto a grudge will somehow protect you from future pain.
The truth is that it never keeps you from future pain even though you think it does if we keep what happened alive inside us.
By holding onto a grudge, you create a wall of anger and resentment (even though you may try to hold it in) that keeps you from feeling the truth of what was so upsetting, painful or hurtful.
The weird part of all of this is by holding on to a grudge, you are actually keeping the ill feelings alive because there is so much resistance to the truth of what really happened instead of the story you are telling yourself about what happened.
2) Holding onto a grudge can appear to help you feel better and even superior to another person.
The very nature of holding on to a grudge allows you to puff yourself up, make yourself right and make the other person wrong.
In one sense, you’re creating an enemy in the other person in order to make yourself look good in your own eyes.
In almost every case, holding onto a grudge will create distance and separation and take you away from what you truly want…
If what you want in the relationship or the situation is love and connection.
3) Holding on to a grudge also forces you to put that other person in a box of mistrust.
When you put that person in what we’re calling a “box” which is actually a pattern of thinking you’re holding onto…
That person appear only in a certain way to you no matter what’s said or done.
All other possibilities are removed and you’re only seeing through a black and white lens of mistrust.
Even if that person shows kindness and love in some situations, it’s not accepted even when he or she is sincere.
In a box of mistrust, there is never an opportunity for connection.
If you see you’re holding onto a grudge and want more love in the relationship, ask yourself these questions…
1. “Is this working for me to create more of what I truly want in this relationship and in my life or is this just my attempt to protect myself and keep me safe?”
2. “If I’m trying to protect myself from pain, is all this anger and resentment really doing that or am I just keeping the pain of what happened alive?”
3. “Is there some other way to look at what happened that I haven’t yet considered?”
4. “Is holding onto the grudge really worth it?”
In asking you to consider these questions, we’re certainly not saying that what happened to you that hurt you so badly didn’t happen.
What we are saying that it is your choice whether to carry it throughout your life and allow it to color your present moment, robbing you of happiness, peace and love.
It really is a choice to allow a grudge to dissolve even though you might not be able to see it.