Personal Growth,  Love & Relationships,  Mental Health,  Spiritual Growth

How To Let Go Of a Grudge

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Want to know how to let go of a grudge?

Wish you would lessen your grip on someone who caused you more pain?
Wish you could let go of the anger and hatred for those people who have hurt you before you hurt the people who love you now? Or you may have already hurt them and you just want to do something. You are caught in between two decisions. You want to either forget what happened or go straight to the person who hurt you.
It hurts so much to feel this pain that you just want to end it.

I’ve been there.

Did you know that I was ostracized by the community because of a woman’s jealousy and suspicions? There was this male co-worker from a different department who was known as a player and he was committed to this very jealous girlfriend. I think all this male co-worker did was just looked at me whenever I pass by their department.

There were times when he stalked me but it’s a long story and will probably share it on my podcasts. He never approached me once but I do see him from afar. I did like him but he was committed so I tried my best to stay away from him. I don’t involve myself in third party relationships but if ever I did, I probably just didn’t know.

All I know is that the girlfriend was suspicious of me. She probably took out her negative emotions towards me by telling off her friends who were in high places in the community to ignore or avoid me. Most of my friends and the people that I’ve known gave me a cold shoulder. I never knew about it until someone told me what she did.

The most hurtful experience was when I was asked to leave a restaurant without even ordering anything yet. It feels like you are accused of something bad that you’ve never done. The way they acted in their relationship were very childish. Instead of resolving their issues with each other, they took it out on an innocent person like me. 

All I wanted to do was to work there for my family yet I struggled even more because of them. I held back my anger and frustration while I was being ostracized both at work and community. Until I resigned from work, most of them still gave me a cold shoulder. My anger grew into resentment even more after Typhoon Sendong hit our home.

Do you still hold a grudge?

According to MayoClinic, if you still hold a grudge, you will only bring along anger, bitterness, and resentment towards your current relationships or even to your new relationships. These relationships could involve your family, friends, co-workers or partners. 

For years, I was alone struggling with depression and anxiety. I had these negative thoughts in my mind. I had revenge on my mind but it only made me feel so lost in life. I don’t know which direction for me to take. I was just living my life without meaning and purpose.

Instead of showing compassion to my situation, it only worsened. I suffered from depression and social anxiety because of the experience of being ostracized. It took me more than 6 years to finally let go of the pain and forgive them.

Holding a grudge had a negative effect on my relationship with my family, jobs, and relationships. I was actually looking for justice on what they did to me but I don’t have the courage and strength to do that on my own so I had to accept and let go of what happened.

5 Steps on How to Let Go Of a Grudge

1.) Identify the grudge.

You have already thought about what had happened to you over and over. You just can’t let go of what happened to you. However, you need to take a step back and assess the situation. Find out for yourself if it’s something that is worth your time and energy.

If not, just let it go however if you really can’t, think about how it can add more stress in your life. Think about how it can only make you feel unstuck in life.

2.) Acknowledge that you are hurt.

You have pride yourself in being able to handle things but your wounds reveal your inability on your own to handle the situation. You have a difficult time to open up yourself to see what pain you have suffered. You might tend to bury the pain or even just let it flow and disrupt what you do in life.

Allow yourself to feel the pain instead of hiding it, sit with it. Although it may scare you but accepting and feeling the pain can bring you further to become a better person. You can write your pain in a journal or letter. You don’t need to send it to the person who has wronged you.

3.) Release the anger.

We are more intent on getting revenge than trying to understand deep hurts inside us. Being angry is like a form of defense mechanism on yourself especially when you feel threatened.

Before you say horrible things or do violent things out of anger, you might as well, release the anger in a healthy way. You can do any physical activity such as exercising in the gym, walking in the park or simply meditate.

4.) Let go of the hurt.

It’s hard to let go. Freeing yourself from mistakes, past disappointments, and hurt is difficult. At first, you might feel some resistance if you’re holding the pain too tightly. Learn the lessons from the situation and use it to help you grow.

5.) Time to forgive.

Forgiveness is a process. It takes time for you to heal yourself from the pain especially when that pain is deeper that one can imagine. There are times when you think you have forgiven yourself or other people but there are also times when you suddenly feel the pain again. It’s okay to feel that way because it means you are progressing in your journey.

Was I able to forgive them?

I still feel the pain but I forgive them for what they did even though they will always deny what they did to me. I don’t know if this message will reach them but I hope that they won’t do the same thing they did to me to another innocent person.

With or without an apology, you must learn how to forgive. No matter how much it hurts or no matter how small or big the pain is, you must learn how to let go of the past hurts. Even if their behavior doesn’t change because that is never the goal for forgiving someone. You are forgiving them not for them. You do it for yourself because you know how it can help improve your life.

It can help improve your relationships more as it will help you feel free and happy towards your partner. It can improve your health both mind and body It lessens your stress and depression. It can also help improve your confidence.

Thinking about what happened over and over can only drain your energy and waste your time. You can’t move forward with your life and receive the opportunities that were meant for you. 

Starting today, you must learn to let go of whatever negative feelings particularly resentment that you feel. It’s going to be a slow process but believe me that it’s worth letting go than to be stuck up in the past. I believe that you will be able to move past this obstacle and live the life you want.

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Eleanor Wabe is the creator behind The Eleanor Journal, a digital platform of stories about personal growth, mental health, self-improvement, spiritual growth & self-care to help uplift your body, mind, soul, and heart.

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