“I can’t believe she behaved that way to me; it makes me so angry, and I keep going over and over this in my head. It really winds me up.”
Do you recognise this? It can be overwhelming and the more we think about the person, we’re building and holding onto a grudge, it can be difficult to let it go.
A past client recently got in touch for advice as he wanted to rid himself of holding onto a grudge. I empathise with him as I’ve been there and held on tight.
This reminds me of one of my favourite Einstein quotes “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So, what is the answer?
If you are holding onto a grudge, how long have you been grasping onto this bitterness? A week, month, year or more?
“Going back into the past is like going back into the shower to dry off.”
One client was holding onto a grudge for over ten years when she asked for coaching. She believed that a person had ruined her life; she felt victimised and angry at them and the world. It was affecting her whole life.
During our session, we first explored where our experience comes from. Often, we get caught up in the illusion that it comes from outside, from others or situations.
It never does.
Our experience always comes from inside, from what we are conscious of and via our thoughts and feelings.
She realised that it wasn’t the person affecting her; they had no idea that she hated them. It was her own angry thoughts. She flicked her hand as if to brush these thoughts away. This realisation was life-changing for her – the grudge and anger disappeared.
It may seem strange, but the person who “hurts” us is doing their best based on the feelings and thinking they are experiencing. Their behaviour and mood often have nothing to do with us. I am sure you have experienced feeling moody or angry about something and lashing out at others without meaning to hurt them.
We are not perfect.
I am not condoning anyone’s behaviour when it is cruel, unkind or vicious. However, what if we understand that we all behave the way we do based on our inner world of thought?
And, isn’t it interesting that we don’t get triggered by ALL poor behaviour; at times, it bounces right off us.
When we feel negatively poked, I believe this offers us some learning. It seems that if we don’t learn, then the Universe very kindly nudges us with similar circumstances. And if we keep ignoring these lessons, our issues seem to get worse!
For me, there were certain people, usually strong women, who I was triggered by. I noticed this pattern in me and needed to sit back, take responsibility, and learn my lesson.
I realised that I was taking things personally. It was all about ME! (How egotistical!) When I considered the other women, they were all going through challenging times; they had their own issues! It was as if I needed them to be ok for me to be ok.
In the past, I would judge and berate myself for feeling angst which was not helpful. Like all humans, I was doing my best with the thinking and feelings I was experiencing. It was time to forgive myself for bearing the grudge.
Suppose you’re holding onto a grudge, ruminating. Not only is this affecting you – like self-flagellation but also it’s can be damaging to your mental health.
How would you like to feel instead? What is it that you want?
Once you have an answer, imagine that you wake up tomorrow and magically, all the anger, frustration, or angst has disappeared. You no longer are holding onto a grudge, you sense a weight being lifted off your shoulders; relief, even freedom.
How would that be for you? What would you notice? What would others see about you? What would that mean to you?
“One thought can change a person at any moment.”
For me, I wanted to feel love, peace and connection. I imagined connecting with those I had felt had triggered me. I felt a deep love for them and me. And magically, I have not felt negatively triggered and intimidated since.
How about you? Hey, do this for yourself – it really is freeing.
I hope you find this helpful and can now let go of holding onto a grudge. What makes sense for you from what I have written? Do email me and let me know.
“If you don’t try, there’s no opportunity to succeed.” Moira K. Lime
Hi, I am Lindsey Reed. I love connecting with people and enabling them to remember who they really are, their true selves. And if you want to rid yourself of holding onto a grudge, then let’s have a conversation. Coaching is online, the wonders of technology. If you would like to connect with me, pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
My book Got It: The Answer to a Confident, Productive & Stress-Free Life is available from Amazon in over 25 countries. It describes what Confidence really means and how to rediscover this in yourself.