I have a confession to make:
I have been harboring a secret grudge.
The reasons behind my grudge aren’t original. It’s an age old story: blah blah blah best friend blah blah blah betrayal blah blah blah heartbreak blah blah blah fury.
You can probably relate, right? I know you can, because people are not loving and loyal all of the time. Not even me. Not even you. Someone once betrayed you, or broke your heart, and left you with a world of rage to simmer in, right? Or am I alone on a limb out here?
Listen, do not think for even a moment that I am innocent in this story. No matter how many times I indulge myself in a narrative in which I have been done wrong, it just ain’t the whole truth. The larger truth is that I picked this person–let’s call her Daisy–to draw into my closest confidence. I ignored all kinds of evidence that this might not be a great idea. I continued to stay in the relationship–even when it became increasingly clear that my well being was not a priority. I am the one who didn’t pay attention to clear signals.
The thing about my grudge is that it eats at me. It gnaws at me sometimes before I go to sleep. Sometimes I have conversations with Daisy when I’m in the car driving–alone. I argue with her the shower. In an instant, a single thought of her can fill me with a white hot fury, or revulsion.
I recognize that no matter how much yoga I practice, I am not exempt from any part of the human condition. Rage is every bit as much a part of the human experience as joy, or peacefulness. I have studied too long with my teacher to not understand that.
But it’s enough, now.
I have spent enough time affirming my rage. It’s time to let it go.
I want to forgive. Not because I’m such a big person but because antipathy is toxic. Hostility is just a bad plan. It’s like chugging down poison in hopes your enemy will fall down dead. (I believe Lauren Zander of The Handel Group™ deserves the credit for saying that.)
It’s easy enough to practice what I preach when it’s easy. It’s when it’s hard that the rubber hits the road, and this is hard. This grudge runs deep. I recognize a part of myself that could hang onto it forever, and keep it polished up like a trophy to the great injustice that was done to me. It’s a test of my mettle is but I am not going to be that person. I will affirm my feelings–to be fully human I have to really feel them–but I also refuse to sit in them forever.
Good old Oprah; watching this video actually really helped:
Hey, if there’s anyone up there listening–can you please help me to let go of this? I’m tired. I don’t want to carry it around any longer, and I’m having a hard time putting it down.
I surrender, okay?
Thanks for your consideration on this matter.
* * *
(Do you have a grudge or resentment that you’ve struggled with but ultimately successfully let go of? How did you do it? Or, is there something that plagues you that you want to be free of? You’re not alone. Leave a comment below, and read more of Bernadette’s posts here.)
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