I’m thinking about grudges.
When you needed something from someone, and they had no clue. Their obliviousness cut you to the core. They let you down. They didn’t see you. Ouch.
In retaliation, you withhold your love. You put out a literal or figurative palm like a stop sign to block them out of your heart. No. Don’t come near. Don’t you dare.
That’s a grudge.
Expectation is premeditated resentment. They didn’t fail you; they really just didn’t know. What you needed wasn’t obvious to them. “But they should have known,” you think. “They should have.”
Even if this were true, what good does it do? Now, instead of just not having what you wanted from them, you’re also preventing them from being able to provide it.
Grudges are exhausting.
Grudges require so much energy to maintain. I mean, they sap. You. Dry. To the point of utter depletion. You pay attention to the additional screw-ups they make. You count the times they have no clue. You talk about it to other people for sympathy and validation. All that life energy could be used for the things you love, but instead your resentment blocks goodness from coming in. It limits your options. Grudges makes you tired. Sometimes they make you sick, too.
Grudges are a kind of secret. And secrets are toxic.
Rethink your grudge
I say this with tremendous love: No one is responsible for meeting your needs but you. Give no one the power to break you. It is your job to advocate for yourself, to state aloud what you want, and be accepting of another person’s response.
Grudges don’t meet your real and authentic needs. There is always another way.
A larger, more reliable source.
Human energy is finite. On a good day, you wake in the morning with your energy-tank mostly full and then slowly deplete it throughout the day. If you wake up tired, sad, hungry, lonely, or stressed, your tank of energy starts out low, leaving you less resilient as the day wears on.
It’s easy to think that it’s our loved and trusted ones’ job is to help fill up your low tank. It’s not. They have their own energy-tanks to fill.
Fortunately, there’s an abundant source of Beauty, Love, and Support available to you all the time. For some, it comes from walking in nature, or writing down one’s thoughts, or breathing mindfully with eyes closed. Rumi said, “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” It’s true for all of us.
Free yourself from the tyranny of the grudge.
What fills you up? Do that.
For just a moment, set aside how disappointed you are and just show up for you. Do something that fills you up from the inside. Allow yourself to be nourished, filled up by a source that is eternal and present, whatever you understand that to be.
Do this, and you create room to receive whatever you were really needing. You get your energy back. You may even see that person with new eyes and an open heart, allowing the love and trust to flow between you again.
Go on. You can do it. Life’s too short to suffer.