There are a lot of things my mom tells me that I should make a mental note of, but one of her many isms that I never forget is:
“If I held onto everything, I would never be able to get out of bed in the morning.”
Holding grudges is one of the nastiest habits that is as easy to pick up as it is impossible to quit, neck-and-neck with biting your nails.
With the guidance of my mother, I have been able to dodge forming this habit and becoming a serial grudge holder (but, I do unfortunately bite my nails from time to time).
I will never be able to understand why someone would spend their time, something that is so fleeting and irreplaceable, to hold onto something that only taints life with bitterness and deprives that someone of being able to see the pleasant things that lie ahead.
Everyone (even me, and yes, you too) has made a mistake or done something that stings us with regret. Whether we directly affected someone or not, we know ourselves so we know that these actions do not define us—we insist that these actions do not define us when we seek forgiveness. So why not choose to grant others this same luxury? Why choose to let our perspective of whoever it is that wronged us or hurt us soak for days, months, or years in a bitter marinade of stubbornness and resent?
The longer a grudge is held, the harder it is to let it go. Part of the reason is because as more time is wasted gripping onto the past, the more the grudge-holder realizes how utterly stupid the grudge is and letting it go after so much time would simply be embarrassing. Well, at least that is my hypothesis.
One thing that is for certain is this: holding onto grudges will only hold you back.
There are more side effects to grudge holding than just mental arthritis from too tight of a grip. They include: loss of friends, growing insecurities that the world is out to get you, pessimistic outlook on life and, of course, excessive amounts of wasted time.
And the longer you hold on, the farther away you are from moving on.
The first step to moving on is to forgive. It does not happen overnight, but it is much more satisfying and freeing than anything that results from holding a grudge.
I would like to end this the same way I started: with a quote.
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”
Instead of anchoring yourself to the past with the weight animosity and bad blood, take a few steps forward in the right direction toward forgiveness, and you will find your future.
Carole Hodorowicz is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]