The Futility of Grudges

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
Oscar Wilde

I’m terrible at staying mad at people.

No matter how hard I try, my anger rarely lasts for more than a few hours, let alone an entire day.

I just don’t have the strength.

And why would I want to? Why would I want to walk around carrying all of that anger, hatred, and jealousy in my head all day?

I’ve known people who seem to flaunt their grudges like badges of honor. “So-and-so made fun of me in middle school, and now she’s my mortal enemy.”

I don’t get it. What’s the point? Why waste your time and energy being mad at someone for something that happened years ago? Months ago? Yesterday?

Why choose to promote negative energy?

Staying mad at someone is hard work. I have to constantly remind myself why I’m angry over and over again. That takes mental and emotional energy. It’s exhausting.

And what do I have to gain? The satisfaction of knowing that my enemy knows I’m angry at him?

Holding a grudge means I’ve become attached to the notion that I was right and he was wrong. I believe it so strongly that I’m willing to devote a portion of my brain to preserving that altercation. To preserving negativity.

It’s not worth it.

I can’t control what someone thinks of me. But, I can control how my mind deals with their opinion. If their opinion is valuable — regardless of whether it’s positive or negative — I can choose to learn from it. That’s constructive criticism. But, if their opinion is not valuable, I can choose to transcend it.

If someone has an irrational problem with me, it’s not my problem. It’s their problem. And their problem isn’t really with me; it’s with themselves. They’re projecting their own self-hatred onto me. It’s unfortunate, but not something I should worry about. I wish them the best in their struggle.

When it comes to grudges, life really is too short to spend it preserving anger and hate. The world has enough of that. Do not be a source of negative energy.

Let go.


Be free.

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