We have all most likely witnessed or been involved in a grudge match. Ask yourself, “How did that end?” Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of someone else. Some people have been hurt by their own actions. This hurt may lead to extended feelings of anger, bitterness, or even revenge.
Confucius says, “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” That alone tells us that each one of us have complete control over letting go of the past and moving on to a greater and brighter future. Steve Maraboli in his book, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience writes, “When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt but the two rarely meet.”
Isn’t that what a grudge is all about? A grudge is nothing more than trying to get even and hurting someone as much as you perceive you have been hurt. Life doesn’t work that way. The person who ends up getting hurt is you. Again, again, and again. The cycle never stops until you determine it is time to stop. The past is the past and that is where it belongs. As much as you try, you cannot bring the past into today or into the future.
Let those past hurts and grudges fall by the wayside. Begin the healing process. Allow today and the person you see today be the person you engage with. You do not have to welcome them back into your life, but you owe it to yourself to allow peace and harmony into yours. So how do you make this happen?
Tip: Try this. Take an extra two minutes out of each day to learn your barista’s name (they wear a name badge) or tell the receptionist at work to have a great day. This does more to brighten your day than it does theirs. Did you know that many Starbucks purposefully misspell your name on the coffee cup? Why? First, it is an opportunity to laugh it off and to make a joke out of it. The experience becomes memorable. Second, how many of these have you seen on social media? It is a marketing technique that invokes humor. Humor and a grudge do not mix. Humor is the grudge’s anecdote.
When you begin to employ humor in your life you are also opening yourself up to receiving love. Love comes in many forms and from many things. The love you have for your family, your significant other, is different than the love you have for a friend. How about a pet? They display the quintessential unconditional love.
Begin by accepting help from friends when they offer it. This is an act of love. How often does someone offer help and you refuse? You don’t want to be a bother. If they did not want to help, they would not have offered. By refusing their help, in many ways you are insulting them. Likewise, accept compliments when they are directed to you. “Thank You” is the most powerful and poignant phrase we can speak.
When you welcome these forms of love, and help and compliments are, you begin to allow yourself to be loved in tiny ways you never thought possible. Much like a win, with love, even the smallest forms create the largest results. As you open yourself up to receiving such rewards you also open yourself up to loving yourself even more.
After all, if you don’t love yourself and praise yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? Remember that unconditional love? Let it begin with you towards you.
bartism: Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on. (Criss Jami, Salome: In Every Inch In Every Mile)
bart is a nationally known, sought-after motivational speaker, author, blogger, personal coach, trainer, entrepreneur, and major advocate of the theatre community.
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