Bad Habit #9 ~ Holding Grudges
What do we gain when we hold a grudge? Is the person we are holding a grudge for supposed to feel it? You know the old saying, “when you hold a grudge, it’s like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die”.
I read this online months ago, the source was not mentioned, so I apologize to anyone I have taken this from and not given credit. This very short take on “hanging on” stayed with me.
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night.
Remember to put the glass down!
Life is too short and too precious to hang on to something that’s killing you.
This is not one of my issues. As I said on my resolution sheet, I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone remember why I was mad at somebody 10 years ago. I have, however, seen the direct results of unresolved issues that foster anger and resentment and keep people stuck and drive a wedge between families and friends. I’m not good with unresolved issues.
I believe life is all about balance and that most problems can be worked out. And if they can’t be worked out, I walk away knowing that I’ve expressed myself and tried my darndest to resolve the issue. Holding grudges – nope…not my issue.
Holding a grudge isn’t really one of my issues either (finally!). As I sat back a moment and thought about what to share with you to illustrate that neither Lee nor I are grudge holders, I started to laugh to myself. Lee and I have been friends for almost 30 years (which seems impossible, because we’re just not that old). Through those years, we’ve seen husbands come and go and we’ve seen life change tremendously for each one of us. We’ve both had to let friends go for one reason or another. Neither one of us is perfect, and there may have been a point in time when we’ve had our differences, but any bump in our road thus far has been washed away by the thousands of good times we’ve experienced together. Because neither one of us “holds on”.
My mother was the source of a lot of the baggage I carry, but when she died I found a way to release the anger and forgive her…not for her, but for me. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.