I saw this quote this morning and had to stop and really think about it. I have to admit, there have been times someone has kind of rubbed me the wrong way and I spent more time trying to see through them and what they were up too, and not just helping them along.
I confess to not being the most trusting person, though I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when I first meet them, but if they should betray my trust or lie to me in some fashion then it will take a long time and a lot of good experiences with them for me to begin to trust them again.
That’s not to say I am holding grudges. I am not a grudge holder in the least. I will, usually, forgive the action, but not be so willing to trust the person whole heartedly again. Grudges are hurtful and can cause the holder of the grudge to become bitter, angry and resentful. What’s more is the person you are holding the grudge against may not even know you are holding a grudge, so who are you really hurting?
It took me years to truly own the gift of forgiveness. Forgiveness is for you, trust is for them. You can forgive and live your life free of bitterness, anger and resentment, and then decide who you will trust and who needs to earn your trust again.
I choose the path of forgiveness because I refuse to waste my energy with wasted emotions like hate, bitterness, anger, revenge, and grudges. That’s not to say that those things are not justified at times and that I never feel them, because I do, but I choose what stays and what goes in my emotional bank.
It bothers me when I talk to people and they bring up some grudge they have been hanging on to for years. They get animated when they talk about it, their face turns red, their voice gets louder, anger flashes in their expression, and their whole demeanor changes. Stop and think about the changes that just took place in their body and what possible effects that could cause. I have known several people, filled with bitterness that are constantly plagued with one illness after another.
How we view others, respond to our circumstances, attitude and mindset have an impact not just on our mental health, but our spiritual and physical health too. Everything works together and if we are holding onto old baggage like grudges and hurts from the past, then we are holding on to a type of spiritual and mental poison that is affecting us every day, and having no effect on the person we’re holding the hurt against.
As for me, I am making it a point to discuss these type of issues as I come across them in my life. I would rather choose to help someone along and see them grow, succeed and be happy. Life is about celebrating milestones and learning to appreciate the things and people around us. It’s so much easier to do that and be aware of what’s going on when I’m not focused on something that happened a long time ago.
Cherry Coley (c)