"...And I will give you rest."
I remember gardening with my grandmother years ago. One job
we did every year was picking about half an acre of purple hull peas. Looking
back, it wasn’t a big job, but I remember finishing the job and having to walk
around all hunched over for a while – my back had stiffened up while I was
working, and I couldn’t stand up straight! In a lot of ways, grudges are like
that. They force us into uncomfortable positions, and they can keep us there
with a variety of different kinds of pain. In the end, though, grudges take a
toll on our mental and emotional well-being and may not help us at all.
Holding a grudge is burdensome because it requires so much energy
to maintain. Keeping a grudge means we are thinking about the person or
situation, and how it hurt us. Not only is this mentally and emotionally
draining, but it can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, and even
depression. It interferes with our ability to move on and can prevent us from
finding closure, healing, and even growth.
Grudges can also negatively impact our relationships. When
we hold a grudge, it can be difficult to communicate with them
and maintain a healthy relationship. This is especially true when we don’t get
to choose those relationships – like with our co-workers.
Besides, holding a grudge is not an effective way to deal
with hurt or wrongdoing. Instead, it's important to find ways to process and
release our negative feelings. This can involve talking to a therapist,
journaling, meditating, or practicing forgiveness. Many times, we will need
help with any or all of these practices. Forgiveness, especially, is hard. But
remember that forgiveness is not about excusing or ignoring the hurt, but
rather about releasing the negative emotions associated with it.
Letting go of grudges isn’t easy, and it will take time, but
it can free you from the burden you carry and help you move on with your life.