I Hold Grudges Like Bad Judges
After writing the Forgive Yourself post, I thought about forgiving other people and how that plays into life situations. From there I thought about not forgiving other people and how that plays into situations. A few days after the post, the topic of "grudges" entered a conversation I was having.
I hold grudges proudly. I'll let you know and I'll let the person know. Growing up, "If I don't fuck with you, I don't fuck with you" was the mentality and it has stuck with me. That's what it will always be. But I don't hold grudges in the traditional sense most people view grudges as. I never have.
Grudges Shouldn't Consume You
When you think of a grudge, you think of someone spending their day putting endless energy into someone they don't like. You probably imagine their face is always scrunched up. Every word they speak is about how much they dislike a specific person, and so much energy and time is invested into disliking that person. That's obsession, not a grudge.
A grudge is the desire to always remember what someone has done and to use that memory as self-support to avoid letting negativity back into your life. You can love someone but hold a grudge against them. You can forgive someone and still hold a grudge against them. And obviously, you can not forgive someone and hold a grudge. Some people don't deserve forgiveness and that's OK.
As an individual who lives in an ever-changing society, you set the rules that govern who you want to interact with and how you will allow them too. Some people are racists, some have specific sexual "preferences", some are bigots, while others only talk to people who fit their class standings. Regardless of the criteria other people need to meet in order to have a relationship with you, there are rules that you setup and expect them to adhere to.
What Causes A Grudge
Although we like to believe in common sense, there are no universal laws when it comes to relationships with others. And although you establish general standards, each relationship is different and has additional "rules" that you allow or don't allow. e.g. Anyone who grew up in a neighborhood similar to the one I grew up in can get away with using the word "nigga" in my presence. If any other type of person used it, there would be a small problem. A conversation is going to happen and from there mutual understanding.
A grudge should be a secondary feeling. People should get a chance to explain their actions and you should clarify what is right and wrong when it comes to relationship dynamics. Is your husband having a mistress OK? If you lend someone a large amount of money and they never pay you back is that OK? Is your best friend sleeping with your wife OK? These are some of the ways people violate relationships, leading to grudges being held against them.
Moving On From A Grudge
Sometimes a person wrongs you and whether they are sorry or not, in your heart and mind you don't want to deal with them anymore. The thought of them angers you and you think to yourself if you see them again you might put hands on them. Grudges hold powerful energy!
A friend once told me "There is too much to have in this world to ever get caught up on one thing." If you're not going to do whatever is necessary to resolve the issue, and it's obvious the other person isn't going to either, don't let that energy consume you. Once you forgive yourself for the wasted time and energy, you can heal from that rage. The grudge will always live on. Let it. You deserve to set boundaries in your life and those who don't respect it don't deserve to be part of your journey. Always remember who has crossed the line, but never let that memory be part of every waking moment of your life.