Your best friend of eighteen years suddenly cuts the connection with you when their partner fed them nonsense against you. This was the person your mom would pack an extra sandwich for, the one you would save a seat for on the ride back home from school, someone you would beat up the bully in the park for. You were left in the lurch with no explanation, no reason, and a feeling of betrayal. Now, a whole host of negative emotions flood your being whenever you think about this person. You have started avoiding “friendships” because you simply believe that nothing lasts forever and anyone can break the sand castle you built so lovingly.
Whether it is the excruciating pain of being in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable partner who is there for everyone but for you and gaslights you in such a way that you begin doubting your reality or the absence of a sibling when you need them the most, it would be highly dismissive of us to say that none of us has ever borne a grudge against someone we once held dear. Maybe a family member who was supposed to protect us yet ended up being an abuser. Or your mother turned her back on you when you needed her the most. We are all familiar with such thorns that have been dealt to us with no empathy or sympathy whatsoever.
In an attempt to get the kindness and the justice we believe we deserve, we unknowingly hurt ourselves by nurturing grudges so deep within us that we tend to push away the very people who might sincerely want to help us. If there is one thing that cannot be reversed, it is the wheel of time that moves only in one direction, and that is forward. Holding on to grudges and wallowing in self-pity will keep us stuck in a time warp, and those around you will evolve while you might not achieve your full potential. Isn’t it time to break the loop and throw the pieces of burning coal that have served little purpose other than only scarring us from within? Let’s check out doable ways to let go of the pain and grudges and embrace a brighter and lighter life from within!
What are the Benefits?
Well, for starters, you will feel lighter, much like letting go of an enormous burden resting on your shoulders for years and living rent-free in your heart, fuelling consistent anger and resentment whenever something or someone reignites the memory of the hurt that never truly died. In addition to the metaphysical benefits that are quite ineffable, you can literally feel the weight being lifted off your chest; the physical benefits on your body are definitely more measurable.
Life isn’t a bed of roses as much as we would like it to be. However, there are documented benefits of letting go of the poison in your heart to those who have wronged you and may have never even thought of seeking forgiveness, let alone accepting the damage that their actions or words have left on your psyche and peace of mind.
- Forgiveness lies at the core of letting go of a grudge; ironically, it is also the pain point that the bearer of the grudge finds challenging to deal with. Granting forgiveness might not seem as easy as it is for the preachers and someone who hasn’t been in your shoes. However, a study has shown reduced stress and enhanced mental health levels in those who were successfully able to forgive those who caused them harm.
- If you are a victim of abuse or trauma or are experiencing trouble dealing with the mental distress and pain of surviving abuse, please feel free to reach out to certified and experienced mental health professionals or therapists trained to handle unique situations like yours.
- Granting the apology that never came may seem like the most challenging thing, but practicing it can also save your other relationships with loved ones. The pent-up anger that spills onto those with no role to play in the entire situation can be reduced.
1. Acknowledge the Issue
Keeping the proverbial stiff upper lip and remaining stoic never helped anyone heal; you just dig yourself an early grave. Nothing changes the fact that you have been hurt, knowingly or unknowingly, by someone’s actions, words, or implications. The first step towards letting go of a grudge is acknowledging the root cause of resentment and feelings in the heart. Take a piece of paper and write a detailed letter to the one who gave you pain.
Feel free to tell them in no uncertain terms about the negative emotions you have been dealing with for years because of their gratuitous remarks or thoughtless actions. Don’t worry; they are never going to read it! Once you are done, burn the piece of paper or shred it beyond recognition, and in the process of destroying it, reclaim your power over your life and get right back in the driver’s seat, where you belong!
2. Communication is Key
Walking around with unsaid emotions or stories of abuse can feel like perennially carrying a bagful of invisible stones on your shoulders. You weren’t meant to shoulder all that weight alone. Communicate with your family, friends, or even a trusted therapist. However, please remember that there is a human being at the other end who might not always have the emotional bandwidth to listen or may get tired of listening to the same cycle of events repeatedly. In that case, take the hint and realize that it’s best to leave the past in the past and move on with the lessons from the situation.
3. Try to See it From Others’ Perspectives
While this is not something that one would like to hear or read about the person who hurt them, it’s important to change perspectives. This takes a lot of effort and courage, but once you try to see things from the other person’s end, you might realize that it could have been an on-the-spur moment of indiscretion with no harm intended or a blunder that they genuinely regret committing.
This by no means justifies the hurt they put you through, but you have now equipped yourself with both sides of the coin and know best how to process the situation and heal yourself. Pause for a moment and reflect on someone who might bear a grudge against you because of something you said or did. Do you still cringe about that situation that you wish you had dealt with better or treated someone with more kindness? We all have our burdens around the neck, the point is to heal and give or seek forgiveness.
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4. Leave it in the Past
The stone you threw in the lake is now at the bed of the lake, and its ripples have ceased reaching the lake’s edges. The goal is to return to your inner peace and remind yourself that actions, spoken words, and lost time cannot be reversed.
It’s time to cleanse your proverbial closet of the skeletons that should have long been buried and set aflame to the pain of the past with the matchstick of clearer vision and an abundance of grace and gratitude for the beauty of the present moment.
5. Look at the Positive Side
Please don’t give up on days when the silver lining is a little harder to look for! There is almost always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. No, we are not asking you to walk around with a plastic smile while you suffer from emotional pain on the inside. Once you are done venting, writing, journaling, and forgiving (maybe), try to do things that bring you joy or meet people that help you revisit your eternal spark. No one in this world has the right or the power to dim the flame that burns within you. Embrace the positive energy and step away from anything and anyone that causes you pain, whether it’s a toxic partner, colleague, or family member. Keep your boundaries up and clear while you live your best life!
6. Accept That No One is Perfect
Perfection is a myth, one that has stuck around for ages. Accept that a perfect partner, friend, or family member doesn’t exist. We are all flawed in our own beautiful and sometimes not-so-beautiful ways. The point is to recognize that we are all a work in progress, and what matters is to choose to grow empathetically as a person in a way that harms none and lifts others if possible.
Seek Help From a Trusted Therapist With DocVita Today
If a loved one or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues or cannot let go of anger resulting from unaddressed or unresolved grudges, cease to fret! To make mental health facilities more accessible for everyone and anyone who needs it, DocVita is committed to delivering nonpareil support with a team of on-panel, renowned therapists and trained professionals.
You deserve to be happy and lead your best life unhampered by demons of the past. Seek the help you need and embrace a happier tomorrow. What’s more? With DocVita, you can choose a professional who speaks the same tongue as you so that no feelings are left unexpressed. Book yourself or someone who would benefit from it an appointment today.