What weighs you down even more than half of a leftover birthday cake? What is worse for your health than a fast-food sandwich containing bacon, cheese, pancakes, and syrup in one? Its energy is just as real and contains consequences like any physical substance we ingest. It’s a grudge.
When I was in high school I found little wrong with holding a grudge. If I thought you “stole” my boyfriend, or talked badly about me to friends, that was enough for me to carry the weight of negative feelings for you. It seemed just at the time. My compassion grew after graduating high school a semester early, and finding that the daily lives of others were not at all like I imagined them to be. It took time, but I slowly realized that just as my inner life was incomprehensible to even my closest friends, so too were the inner lives of all people. I found that even though I could be affected by the choices of others, their choices were made from their point of view, in their world, with that person as the main character of the story, just as I am my own life’s main character.
To drop a grudge doesn’t mean you approve of past actions taken by an individual; it means you allow the past to be as it was, and forgive it for being. To expend energy fighting against that which is already the case is, bluntly put, insane. The past that now exists in the present as a thought in the mind can persist in draining your life energy through your reliving it in the present, or it can be relinquished.
What would you receive if you relinquished your non-forgiveness? The reward looks different in each circumstance, but rest assured there is a reward, not to mention the actual of feeling of being lighter. The mind doesn’t know this, because its aim and reward is its own thought-made sense of self, which one grudge can easily keep in place. By letting go, the mind thinks it’s losing. And it is. It’s losing its firm grasp on your attention. It’s losing its stronghold on your sense of self. It’s losing what it thinks is all there is: thoughts. Because of this it has cunning ways of convincing you why you can’t let something go, why it is in your best interest to not forgive. Don’t be fooled, the mind will use its best logic to keep its identity as your sense of self. When it uses convincing logic to maintain its position on the pedestal of your awareness all that is needed is to see it for what it really is. The ego.
The mind-made sense of self pales in comparison to who you truly are. A thought in your head can never come close to the majesty of your being. You are consciousness. You provide the space for thoughts to be created and noticed. And one of the best ways to gently let go of the ego is to let go of a grudge. Who can you forgive today?