Vail Daily column: Letting go of the grudge
Did you ever meet anyone who had been extremely betrayed or hurt, a horrible wrong done to them, and yet they seem to have the ability to continue on with their lives positively happy and at peace?
How do they do it? We are all capable or vulnerable of being hurt at some point, some can deal with it or mask their hurt for a period of time, while others’ capacity for forgiveness is so great, that it far exceeds the impact of the hurtful action placed upon them by another.
Forgiving isn’t always forgetting, and with enough time, love and forgiveness comes inner peace.
Grudge matches make sporting events fun. Big-time rivalries between high school teams, college teams, and professional athletes help build up fan and player intensity in anticipation of each big game. And regardless of the outcome, the rivalry continues to grow as we will all look forward to the rematch or next grudge match where our team can either repeat the victory or get even with the bad guys.
And in some cases we even see grudge matches going on in business as one company tries to out maneuver their competitors with clever marketing and advertising, and maybe even discounted pricing.
However, in personal relationships it is time to let go of the grudge. Holding on to anger does us more damage than the person or event that brought on the hurt in the first place. The harboring of resentment and pain only tears us down mentally, physically and spiritually. The long-term effects of hanging on to a grudge, carrying a perpetual axe to grind, and using super glue to secure a permanent chip on our shoulder will only make use completely miserable human beings.
Again, forgiving isn’t always or even necessarily forgetting. There are some significant hurts that have taken place for sure and I get that, I really do. But what I get even more is this, by feeding and fueling grudges and anger we allow other people and circumstances to control who we are and what we do. Whereas if we take the time to nurture our intentions and flex our love and forgiveness muscles, we maintain control of who it is we are and what we are capable of achieving.
If you are a visual learner think of grudges, anger and resentment as big, giant, rusty boat anchors lying on the bottom of the ocean decaying and collecting all of the barnacles of each one of our hurts. Our anchor is so entrenched in the sand, we are incapable of moving on the tides of happiness and joy.
Now think about forgiveness and the capacity of letting go of our grudges as we sit atop the snow-covered mountains, taking in each fresh breath of life, the sweetness of each sunrise, and scanning the horizon unencumbered from our past hurts, and driven by our future possibilities. We are able to follow our vision and go anywhere and any place that our forgiving hearts and minds can see from our vantage point atop each peak we climb.
I would love to hear all about your capacity to forgive at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you can let go of those grudges, I am absolutely it will be a better than good week for you.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.