I used to be an expert at holding a grudge. I would stand firm in my personal righteousness, because that’s what we are supposed to do when wronged, right? Little did I realize that holding a grudge was actually hurting me and the other person(s).
It didn’t matter if I had a reason to be upset or not, at the end of the day I still felt like crap. In giving my anger and frustration to others, I was giving them power over me. I allowed my happiness and peace of mind to be disturbed by unhelpful emotions.
Yeah, but what about being angry and upset at myself? Because over time, I began to realize that I was far more upset with myself for “falling victim” or getting myself stuck in a bad situation, than at the situation or person that “did me wrong”. I should have known better. Why did I let that happen?
This happens to be an ongoing theme in my journals, but it was this journal entry (see image) that was the first real conscious moment in time that I realized how much I blamed myself for a vast amount of things. In fact, pretty much anything negative or anything that went wrong, I found a way to cast fault with myself.
And I know I’m not alone, this is a major issue that plagues so many people in our world. An inability to see how much we cast blame or throw guilt on ourselves, is a major cause of self-worth and self-esteem issues. And it’s such an automatic process that most people don’t even know they are doing it.
I didn’t until it started popping up in journal entries. After awhile, I started to realize that maybe the reason I wasn’t getting very far in life was because I was pointing the finger at myself too much. How can we step out in confidence and be our best, when we are constantly belittling ourselves?
It dawned on me how important forgiveness is. All forgiveness. The forgiveness of others, and of ourselves. Once I started actively forgiving, my life started to change. All the hurt feelings and old grudges started to heal, and slowly but surely my self-confidence started to emerge.
I still have a long way to go, but I acknowledge the fact that as long as I stay open to forgiving, my life will see even more improvements. Sometimes I have to do daily forgiveness. But that’s what my journals are for, so I can pour out what needs to be addressed.
I do catch myself holding grudges against others and myself from time to time, but I work through them. The important thing is I caught it, and then I do the work to address it. Sometimes a simple journal entry will do, and other times I need to write out an actual letter (that only gets seen by me). Both ways work, and both ways help me release the damaging emotions so I can be open to love and understanding.
My life has become far more peaceful and happy as I have learned the power of forgiveness. It really is true that love makes the world go round. Love really does conquer all (in a very good way).
Note: Image was taken from my book A Writer’s Wings:A Journey of Discovery and Transformation.