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.