Grudges and Letting Go
I've been a major grudge holder in my time so I know how toxic it can be. It's probably one of the worst things you can do. Holding on to the anger and bitterness is so damaging while doing absolutely nothing to punish the person you are angry with. Because a lot of the time that is what we are hoping for when holding a grudge. To hurt the person who wronged us. But it never works out that way. They go on living their life and most of the time hardly give you a passing thought. It comes down to the saying; "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies." It just doesn't work that way. You are only hurting yourself.
There is a way you can let go of the wrongs that have been made against you. It's hard though. It's having to change you whole thought process which takes time. In the book, 'Miracle Morning' by Hal Elrod he talks about the fact that once something happens you can't change it, no matter what. In fact, he has gotten a tattoo of the words; "can't change it" on his arm as a reminder that once something is done it's done. You can't go back and change your childhood. You can't undo that bad interview for a job. You can't take back ugly words you threw at someone or the ones they threw at you. You can't change the fact that someone cheated on you, disrespected you or wronged you in any way. You just have to learn from it and move on.
I know I am making this sound easier than it actually is. Trust me, I know. But if you start to think about things as a way to bring you to where you are supposed to be maybe that will help. Maybe your spouse cheated on you because you were meant to be with someone else. Maybe you lost that job because there is something better out there waiting for you. Maybe that friendship ended because it was bringing you down in ways you didn't even realize.
One way you can practice letting things go is with driving. We know there are many jerks driving on our roads everday. I used to get so angry when someone cut me off or rode my tail. I would want to retaliate and pass them or ride really slow so they had to go even slower. That just angers the other person and then we have two angry people driving down the road. When someone is riding my tail now I usually just pull over and let them pass. It's better for my peace. I used to think that was letting win. But win what? Who cares. Once they pass you won't give each other another thought. But if you slow down and try to engage with them it could go on for miles and miles. Just let it go. Let them go and be on your way in a peaceful, safe way. I have to say it's been a lot less stressful while driving once I started putting this into practice.
There are things that have happened to us that could affect us the rest of our lives if we let it. Bitterness at how we were raised or the type of parents we had. Even if we had an awful upbringing it likely gave us some good coping mechanisms and shaped us into the people we are today. Now it's time to let go of the anger and realize the rest of your life is up to you. Going through a break up or having a loved one betray us is hard. And there is a time to be angry and upset and let all the feelings flow. But the faster you can get past what happened the better off you are because you can't change it. I know, it's hard! But you truly are only hurting yourself by not being able to let go of these things. Sometimes you won't ever get closure. Sometimes you will never know why something happened to you. There aren't always answers. Just ask anyone who was severely hurt in a car crash or who was diagnosed with cancer or some other awful disease. Sometimes you don't know why things happen to you. All you can do is take the cards you have in your hand and make most of what is there.
Have you ever noticed that people with a terminal disease are more likely to be grateful for everything? It's because they know the end is near and they won't let little things steal the happiness they can still enjoy. It's the same with people who lose limbs in accidents. I've often seen determination and will of these people and am astonished at how they handle such a random tragedy. They are willing to work harder than the average person because they know what they've lost. They don't stay stuck on the why of the situation, they move on to the how to make it better for themselves.
Giving up grudges can be hard. But it will be one of the most important things you will ever do to improve your happiness. Stop drinking the poison. Let it go. You can't change it. Move on and make the most of the life you have right now. Be happy and live a more peaceful way of life.
If you would like to learn more about how to let go and move forward in your life I offer coaching! Check out the training section on my website at hopefulist.com and click on training.
Thank you for tuning in today and please share this episode with your friends! Now go on out there and be badass this week. You know I'm right here cheering you on.