Grudge Holding – Letting Go of Grudges Comes Down to One Thing

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Today is my 22nd wedding anniversary, so I thought this would be the perfect Friday to talk about grudges!

It has come to my attention that I can harbor hard feelings about people and not even remember why I’m angry with them. I can also harbor hard feelings and tell you the day, time, and weather at the moment that person wronged me. It wasn’t until The St. Francis Prayer resurfaced in my life that I began to change my tune. The line that I credit with saving both me and my marriage is, “Grant that I may not so much seek …. To be understood as to understand.” TeamC, little did I know when I first read that line, but my grudge-holding days were numbered! 

The St. Francis Prayer resurfaced at a time in my life when I desperately wanted someone to take the time to listen to me and understand why I was so full of rage. What I hadn’t considered was that offering others the grace of understanding could be my path out of my forest of misery. Taking the time to consider other people’s perspectives, circumstances, and personal history, was exactly what I needed to stop seeing myself as the victim in every situation in my life. This new focus on compassion not only rescued my marriage, but also positively impacted every other relationship in my life—particularly my relationship with myself.

One of the examples I always think of is when all the children were small. My husband struggled with letting me know what time he’d be home from work. I would beg him, “Just be honest with me! Tell me what train you’ll be on so I can plan my evening accordingly!” But nothing I said seemed to work. And that lingering resentment I had toward my husband on those late nights traveled with our relationship wherever we went.

Change began once I considered the suggestion in the prayer. I thought to myself, I’m so focused on G Man not being honest with me, but do I make telling the truth hard? When this man tells me he’s not getting on that earlier train from Grand Central—he’s gonna get an earful! Maybe the only thing I am in control of is how I respond to him. Maybe, when he tells me he’ll be home late, I can just say, “Ok. Get home safely,” and hang up the phone. 

Now, let’s be clear, Team. I’m not dropping grudges “no questions asked” around here. If Mama ain’t happy, Mama’s gonna bring it up. But, somehow that act of connecting to someone else’s struggle diffuses my frustration and puts me on a faster path to letting go. The more I practice letting go of grudges, the fewer grudges I hold. Also–here’s where the bonus prize lives—the act of dropping grudges releases someone else’s hold over me. You all know, MamaDe doesn’t want anyone else having control over her!

Like most families, mine contains both grudge holders and forgetters, and you know which people are the happiest? Correct—the forgetters. I can decide to hold on tight to any grudge I’d like. But harboring hard feelings for others al-ways hurts me more than it hurts the person I’m trying to punish. Noooo thank you. 

Now I’m guessing G Man and I will hit the diner tonight for our big anniversary celebration. As our TeamConfessioners know, Friday is Date Night. Which has proven year after year to be the perfect time to talk “grudges”…hopefully tonight we’re lookin’ at a clean slate, but ya never know, friends, ya never know! 

Next week I’d like to talk about contributing to the family…so be sure to tune in as I take a closer look at one of my favorite books: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Until then…

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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