Moving on

The WordPress team asked us yesterday for how long we hold a grudge. That’s something I can write about because earlier in life, my spontaneous answer to that would have been FOREVER. My longest, serious grudge, I held for twenty-some years and I’m happy to say that I’m over it. Wrote about that here in my blog back in March this year. That post was entitled «To recover lost trust», which was a bit misleading … I don’t think I’ve come that far yet, as to trust again after it’s been broken.

If you were to take time out and read that old post, you’ll understand that I’m almost, sort of, grateful to the person there … his misery actually helped me come to a realization that changed my way of thinking a great deal. All my hateful feelings that I carried around within me, hurt nobody else but myself. I was aware of it and I’d tried to work on it — like a kind of soul searching — unsuccessfully. Now, in hindsight, I still remember that feeling of, almost physical, relief, when I let go of it all. It also goes to show that it does work … up to a point … to work with feelings and thought processes … it can get better. All that hate I’d harboured towards that guy was truly draining because I couldn’t act upon it … it got no outlet. Instead, I guess it was turned inwards. I’ve read somewhere that depression is nothing but anger turned inwards and I believe that to be somewhat true. Not that I was depressed … sometimes maybe … but not in general.

All my life, I’ve done as I’ve been told and avoided all kinds of conflict almost at any cost. Throughout my life, I’ve put up with people … gnashed my teeth  as they fed their own, insatiable egos off me. It was like the above event started a process … where I finally came to the conclusion that there’s no reason I need to put up with that. I CAN rid myself of these elements. The way I was living … trying  to please everyone … I almost lost my self respect. Many people would have been in therapy because of these issues, but I’m fortunate enough to have a spouse … whom I’ve often used as someone to bounce thoughts and ideas off. Someone with an open and dynamic mind.

To sum this up, I’m happy to say  that I don’t hold grudges the way I used to any more. I’m still not really able to handle conflict —that is a part that would take therapy — but I can rid myself of  those energy-sucking grudges, and I have! Secondly … «you can’t please everyone» has become somewhat of a mantra for me and I just need to ask myself every now and then, ‘how important is it to me to please this person?’  This and the ‘holding-grudge-issue’ walked hand in hand for me.


14 thoughts on “Moving on”

  1. Well, we certainly sound very much alike!!! I think I tend to hold a grudge to a point. And there is someone that I still sort of hold a grudge on but it does not consume my life. It once did but when accepted that things will never change between us, I let go. I would never again trust her. That would take years. But I do not obsess over her. I also hate conflict. I have too weak a personality and cannot hold my own when someone is attacking me. I avoid it all costs. I used to let people walk all over me but I am a bit better. Helped when I learned to say ‘no’. Most nurses have the personality of being people pleasers and wanting others to be ok and not caring so much about themselves. I was perfect in that job.

    I well remember your post. I am glad you resolved your feelings against him. Makes your life so much better. When I hold a grudge now, I mostly just ignore the person in question. There is no need to be around someone who is toxic to me.


    1. it’s only the ones we care about that are really able to hurt us … the farther away from me they are, emotionally, the less I care..

      We’re more vulnerable when we love and care about someone..

    1. Judith,
      I’ve spent my life caring about ‘that other one’, in whatever shape he or she might appear. Always tried to put myself in ‘the other one’s shoes’.

      Never felt that it was a two-way-street.

  2. Hi,
    Moving on is a perfect title for your post, it certainly isn’t an easy thing to do in a lot of cases, but I agree it is a relief when some things can be put aside so we can get on with more important things, like enjoying ourselves.

  3. Wonderful post. I have an experience with a long-held grudge that parallels what you write about in your post. Took lots of counseling and time to begin to let go and be free of the pain. One person described holding a grudge is like taking poison in hopes the other person will get sick. While there are still twinges of pain now and then, letting go of the grudge also allowed me to let go of a lot of pain, and took a load off my shoulders. The best “revenge” if you want to call it that, is to live well. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

    1. Cecelia … that was well said, that about ‘taking poison in hopes that the other person will get sick’. That’s exactly how it works. Now I don’t carry any more of those around, and I’m glad you feel free of that too… The little ‘twinges’ will probably always be there — they are just little reminders of what it used to be like..

  4. Like you, I have learned over the years to let go of grudges as they only harm me while the other person isn’t even thinking about me! Avoiding conflict, oh boy, I’m right there with you.

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