This article first appeared in The Huffington Post…I’m delighted to say!
Enjoy the read and please pass it around. Thank you — Michael
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G R U D G E – What a great word!
It feels good to say right?
It’s one of those words you can grab on to. It has texture and bite.
But… when you think about the grudges you’ve held or are still holding, do they do you any good?
When you google the definition of grudge, here’s what you get:
“A persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury — “She held a grudge against her former boss.”
Synonyms: grievance · resentment · bitterness · rancor · pique · umbrage · dissatisfaction · disgruntlement · bad feelings · hard feelings · ill feelings · ill will · animosity · antipathy · antagonism · enmity · animus · a chip on one’s shoulder.”
Sounds like a wonderful way to live your life.
What do you get out of a grudge?
If someone insults you; doesn’t treat you fairly at school or work or even in your family or circle of friends, then you have every right to be hurt. Some insults should never be tolerated.
But…if you hold on to your anger, criticism and pain without expressing it, you only end up feeding your ego and hurting yourself.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” — Buddha
What a picture!
I’ve held grudges in my life and they never did me any good. Nursing a grudge ecouraged my anger; to burn up with rage and negativity at other people and the world that I saw as unjust to me.
Grudges brought out the worst feeling and thoughts in me – selfishness, meanness, entitlement, getting even, superiority, mockery. I spent a lot of time involved in silly social dramas, gossip and being unhappy and unkind. There wasn’t much in the world to be grateful for when I was in grudge mode.
These dark, stubborn and stuck beliefs were not my true nature; they blocked my essential self that was born to be grateful, generous, helpful and to simply like the world and be optimistic.
How do you get rid of a grudge?
You have two choices:
1. Don’t release your grudge. Grasp on to it. Stew and fester. If resentment makes you happy and it’s healthy for your mind and heart then stick with your anger and bitterness. Be spiteful.
2. Let go of your grudge. Clear the air. Take action. Look at your grudge and see what it’s really about. Then express your feelings honestly and with compassion to the person or thing you’re grudging about and finally make a decision if you want them or it in your life.
You can forgive and forget. You can move on with your life. It’s your choice:
Grudge or Gratitude
Grudge or an Open Heart
– When you harbor a grudge you’re closed off, small, tight. You bury yourself in awful feelings.
– Gratitude expands and elevates you. It opens your heart. It’s generous, organic, liberating.
– When you release a grudge there is instant relief. Acceptance. Understanding. Relaxation.
– You can either cherish resentment and anger or promote happiness and gratitude.
There is a gift in every grudge; something to learn, to grow and change and to become more yourself.
I’ve found that getting rid of anger is essential for an absolute healthy heart and mind. I’ve learned to speak my mind and to trust in instincts and in the world. When I choose to walk away from negativity, and that includes people, it’s because it’s right and healthy for me – it’s where my life truly wants to go – creating a path to the positive, loving feelings that promote life and nourish the very best emotions and thoughts I can possibly have.
Gratitude is effortless and natural compared to the hard work you put into a grudge.
When you choose to express your gratitude and let go of a grudge you open the way to a more grateful heart and welcome the greatness, grace, compassion and positive power of the universe.
It’s entirely up to you who and what you let into your life because… you always know when something or someone is good for you or not. You always get to choose.
Try this. It’s worthwhile:
Measure the advantages of having an open heart or holding a grudge. Then make your choice.
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And also take a look at — Gratitude and Resentment