Wednesday, 27 July 2016

STEP #11 ON THE JOURNEY TO HAPPINESS ~ FORGIVE & MOVE ON

Step #11 on the Journey to Happiness ~ Forgive & Don't Hold Grudges - life is too short to waste it on toxic things

ANGER AND GRUDGES

Anyone who has seen my Pinterest profile knows I am an avid collector of quotes. I have a whole board dedicated to quotes on disappointment because it is a part of life, and engages our emotions at times in ways we may not always be proud of. One of the quotes on my Disappointment Board has been attributed to Buddha and speaks eloquently of the effects of holding a grudge against someone who has done you wrong ~ "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

The older and wiser I become, the more I see the damage bitterness and anger can do in a person's life. It drains the joy from them, you can see it in their face, you can see it in how they look at the world, you can see it in their relationships with others, and you can see it in the way others avoid them when they start their dialogue on how wronged they've been by someone and the world in general. It dessicates their soul and dries up their heart and spoils their relationships.

THE FRUIT OF BITTERNESS

The trouble is that bitterness spreads inside you, it colours your thinking and it breeds self pity and blame. You can lose perspective and turn it into a much bigger issue than it originally was. Bitterness is the antithesis to happiness. You can't live in a world that you believe has done you wrong and be happy at the same time. 

I've met people who have held grudges for decades, the person they are angry at can even be dead, and yet that bitterness lingers and they feel like the situation is still unresolved. It is too late for that other person to offer an apology or to right the wrong and yet the pain still eats away at the "victim" - who is more a victim of their own choosing than a victim of the original transgression.

Holding a grudge harms you far more than it harms the other person. They are going about their life either oblivious to the hurt or not bothered by their actions. Whether they intended to cause pain or not, they have moved on and you are left re-hashing the hurt over and over again - trapped by that event and stuck.

APOLOGIES (OR NOT)

Another saying that really hit home to me at a time when someone caused me a great deal of hurt was ~ "Life becomes easier when you accept the apology you never got."  There is no point waiting around for an apology before you can feel better and move on. Sometimes the apology comes, and sometimes it doesn't - you can't let that determine your happiness. People are people, flawed and frail - they hurt us and sometimes we hurt them - it's life in all its grittiness. They may not even realize the hurt they caused and if they don't know then they can't apologize. On the other hand, pointing it out to them isn't necessarily the best way to handle it - you might feel better but have you just shifted your pain onto someone else who didn't necessarily deserve it?

Life is going by. Don't waste a minute being negative, offended, or bitter. Choose to be happy. - Joel Osteen

I've met people who have felt the need to tell me when I've hurt their feelings. They are fragile souls who are delicate and far more easily offended than I gave them credit for. Rather than accepting that what was said wasn't intended to hurt or be interpreted in a hurtful way, they choose to become martyrs.

The next step with martyrdom is to share with you the pain they feel you caused them - in doing so, they unload their grievances and leave you with guilt and an unwillingness to engage with them again in case you tread on their toes. 

LET GO AND MOVE ON

We can all be insensitive at times, if we acknowledge that and decide to give someone the benefit of the doubt, we can move forward. Even if the other person is a troll or a snake, move on - leave them behind, don't engage, don't try to extricate an apology. Let it go and find a happier place. There are so many lovely, nice, kind, happy people in the world - seek them out. Share your life with them and let them share theirs with you. 

Happiness attracts people - you don't need the nasty ones, forgive them and move on. Wish them well and forget them, you don't have to forget the damage they caused - learn from it, but don't let it define you. It makes us wiser to have dealt with the less attractive members of society and not to have stooped to their level. We're so much better than that, and ultimately I we win because we're not consumed by it all.

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Step #11 on the Journey to Happiness ~ Forgive & Don't Hold Grudges - life is too short to waste it on toxic things

23 comments:

  1. Thank you. Such a great reminder.

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    1. thanks Jennifer - it's something I have to nudge myself about regularly!

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  2. This is so good, Leanne! My next elder brother divorced some years ago. And for ten years, all he could talk about was the horror of the marriage and its end. All. He. Could. Talk. About. As the years went by, he could more easily be encouraged to another topic, but it wasn't until he remarried that he could let it go completely. I'm sure his ex-wife gave it no thought at all. But it chancred his soul. This advice could have changed his world!

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    1. I often think we can't hear advice like this when we're in the middle of something Diane, but when we look back we can see how much damage we did to ourselves holding onto something that only hurt us - the other person is usually oblivious!

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  3. It takes too much energy out of you to hold a grudge. If you focus on your own happiness, negative thoughts tend to dissipate over time.

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    1. I couldn't agree more Rebecca - grudge holding is exhausting - and serves no purpose in the grand scheme of things.

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  4. This is so huge. In fact, i've come to see that learning this has been my soul's purpose. Truth.
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/do-not-text-me/

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    1. I think all our souls would be a lot better off if we let toxic stuff go and focused on moving forward and leaving hurt behind.

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  5. Definitely a good lesson in life, and sound advice to let it go. Easier said than done sometimes, but always better to let it go.

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    1. I agree Tam - it can be so easy to let an injustice fester, but it feels so good when you realize you've gotten past it and have freed yourself from it.

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  6. I have heard that quote before and it has always resonated with me. I try my very best not to hold grudges and it works...for the most part!

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    1. I'm getting better at it Rena - it creates a spirit of bitterness in our hearts that isn't attractive and corrodes the soul.

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  7. I've always loved collecting quotes too! Love this! Thank you for this message of inspiration. I believe that being free of negativity makes for a much better life.

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    1. Me too Wendy - I also believe there is a song and/or a quote for every occasion!

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  8. This is great! And I am a quote fanatic myself, I actually have 4 of them tattooed on my body!!! (Damn impulsive teenager) Haha j/k I love them, words are just perfection :)

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    1. Nice to meet a fellow quote-aholic Mal (and I'd love to see those tattoos - impulsive youth has a lot to answer for - but what the heck!) thanks for stopping by :)

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  9. Such great advice. Holding onto a grudge only hurts us in the end.

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    1. thanks Helene - I completely agree - why add hurt on top of insult! :)

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  10. Thanks Leanne, you so deserve that crown. This is another important post. I like your point of not letting my happiness depend on their apology. There is a difference between a grudge and a genuine wound, either way I am not to be defined by it.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop - the home of great posts like this one.

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    1. Not holding on to the pain and letting it define your life indefinitely is such a strength to have Kathleen - so many women become bitter from holding grudges and I don't want to be one of them! That crown was amazing :)

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  11. Leanne, I really like this series. As I grow older it seems as if I learn so much more, about myself and others. I don't really believe that I have any grudges. I've been hurt but I've learned that I cannot hold onto it, nursing it like a baby. Grudges can become living breathing entities if we let it, and life is too crazy for me to give life to a being that sucks the energy out of me. That's not to say that I haven't learned from people who hurt me, I stay away from them if possible. Not because of hate or because I feel they have wronged me, stress is something I have to avoid so I try not to invite it in.

    I have also realized that each of us has a sore spot, and there are people and circumstances that rub on that spot. Most don't do it intentionally, they are just being themselves, but their careless words or actions may aggravate a hurt that exists inside of us. To hold a grudge over something they don't understand is pointless. And it doesn't do me any good. I will be hurt for a bit, then I have to decide what to do with the hurt. Moving past it so I can be better is the only solution I've come up with. I can't allow the thoughtless actions of others to keep me from being the best I can be. I've decided it's a waste of time. But it's taken me a long time to get here. And someday's it easier than others.

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    1. I've had to work through it too Nikki - the desire for Karma to even things up still lurks in my heart at times, but I've also figured out that it's much better for my heart and soul to move past it and create boundaries that give me peace and protection.

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  12. I'm a big proponent of letting go and moving on - life's too short to stew about some relationship that's more trouble than it's worth! Thanks for joining us at #FridayFrivolity this week!

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