We widows have enough on our plate without carrying a grudge. Carrying a grudge is exhausting, unhealthy, and totally bad for our health.
I used to be great at holding grudges. But just as I’ve learned that chocolate for breakfast isn’t a great way to lose weight, I’ve learned that nursing a grudge might feel justified in the moment, but hurts me in the long run.
Lately, in my capacity as a grief counselor, I’ve noticed a lot of grudges in our lives. I think one reason there is so much ill will is that we’re not encouraged to speak out about our feelings. Because we are grieving, the result is that many conflicts aren’t resolved. What’s more we spend time with others who aren’t necessarily grieving like us and so don’t always share our point of view.
While some of our grudges are the result of accumulated issues, even one single incident can leave scars that may never heal. The problem with grudges is that they are a lose-lose proposition. They take your energy away from healthy grieving, and can cause you more harm than good.
The truth is that our friends and loved ones will only listen to our grudge for so long before they get tired of it. Sadly, we on the other hand, end up going over and over old grievances in the privacy of our own mind. And, in doing so we compromise our health, both mentally and physically.
It’s wise to let little slights pass – not because you aren’t justified in being peeved, but because these gripes can grow inside yourself and become dangerous to your well-being.
A useful tip: Force yourself to dwell on what’s bugging you, writing it all out and giving it your full attention every evening for 30 minutes from 8:00 to 8:30. And then do it again the next evening, and then again the following evening. After three evenings of totally focusing on this issue, you may find yourself saying, “I’m not going to waste any more time on this”.
Really hurtful grudges are not so easily resolved. But you can decide that at the very least, you won’t make the problem worse, and you can also try to understand your part in the conflict.
In the end some relationships can’t be fixed and the best you can do is to stop talking about it, let it go and move forward with those that you trust and care about.