“To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.” ~Unknown
When you think about it, maintaining a grudge really does take a lot of effort.
Holding a grudge takes fight. It takes so much effort, in fact, that you have to physically and emotionally dedicate almost all of your energy and will-power to stubbornness.
Is that kind of a fight worth your time? Your energy? What else could benefit from such an amount of attention? Who else in your life deserves such an amount of fight? Your significant other might benefit from you fighting for your relationship with him or her. A once-close friend and the bond you had shared might be more deserving of your energy and will-power.
To hold a grudge is to be as a human dam, holding back, obstructing, and inhibiting forgiveness from flowing forth. Let the dam break.
Becoming a Human Dam
Between holding a grudge or allowing forgiveness to someone, holding a grudge requires consuming amounts of mental and emotional effort, willful ignorance, and an exhausting stubbornness that wholly consumes one’s attention and energy.
Upholding a grudge — or, even worse, using nonforgiveness as the means to punish someone — is to literally fight natural goodness like forgiveness and reconciliation from flowing forth. Forgiveness and reconciliation are intrinsically wholesome human emotions, much like the language of love itself, and are equally as important as compassion. Becoming a human dam is to side with the Ego over humility; to choose ignorance over enlightenment; to prefer prolonged anger over renewed peace.
But acting like a human dam to goodness, forgiveness and compassion doesn’t only obstruct another human being from finding peace in their wrongdoing.
As a human dam, you yourself are subject to spiritual clutter: sticks and branches of anger and ignorance build up like cholesterol in the heart’s passages — blocking, obstructing, clogging once-clear channels and only serving to cause greater pain and problems and hurt in other aspects of your relationships and life.
Grudges Takes Fight; Forgiveness is Allowed
Unlike the consuming fight required to maintain a grudge, deserved forgiveness is simply allowed. Deserved forgiveness is passive but empowering, relieving, and offers your wrongdoer new chance — new life — new opportunity to learn from mistakes made and to grow and to become a better person.
Forgiveness is to be a liberator, an emancipator, a freer of spirits once shackled by mistakes of the past.
Nonforgiveness is to build a dreadful dam of anger, hatred, hurt, and pain. Would you wish to be a subjugator of happiness? Would you choose to uphold the mantle of an enslaver of a beautiful human spirit? If the answer is, of course, that you wouldn’t, then let forgiveness flow forth.
To forgive doesn’t mean that you must forget. Don’t forget — never forget. Nevertheless, we should always forgive those asking to be forgiven, and especially those who are truly worthy and deserving of being forgiven — if for no other reason, we should let that forgiveness flow forth because you deserve to be freed of the past and the wrongdoing that was committed unto you. Forgiveness is liberating, for both you and the one whom you offer forgiveness.
Let forgiveness flow forth. Let the dam break.
Flickr photo credit: James Marvin Phelps (mandj98)