“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”
Criss Jami (In Every Inch In Every Mile)
Ah, forgiveness, my old friend. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis must think I have a restricted interest in peace and forgiveness because I write about them so much. The truth is, I just don't know anything more important than those two personal qualities in terms of being sound of mind and happy in spirit. Carrying a grudge is like having a big, dirty rock in the pit of your stomach. It may not grow, but neither does it shrink. It just sits there being weighty. It takes up space and dirties up everything you say or do. Its very heaviness directs your mind to focus on it, to feel its weight. Sometimes it sticks out—people see the grudge you are carrying because your behavior clearly shows it—it affects your body language, and your manner of speaking yourself.
Grudges and big old rocks in the belly require surgery. They need to be excised because there's no other way to rid ourselves of them. Such surgery may be painful, since in some ways we identify with the rock; it belongs to us, after all. Some of us have built our personality, even our way of life around that grudge, and to remove it would mean starting over. It would mean learning who we are without that rock to stand on. We may even say, “I can't forgive,” or, more likely, “I can forgive, but I won't forget,” which is the same thing. There's no point in doing surgery and taking out only part of the rock. Removal must be complete, or nothing is gained.
The only way of removing a grudge is forgiveness. And that forgiveness must be complete. Not because you weren't wronged—you may have been legitimately wronged—but because, quite simply, the rock belongs to you, and only you can remove it. Give it a decent burial, and move on. What you will gain is freedom—and possibly as side dish of joy.
In the Spirit,