We’ve talked a lot about difficult relationships on Offbeat Home — from cutting out family members to staying friends with ex-lovers to how to cope with the ending of a friendship. I’ve learned a lot from these posts and I’m so glad they’re here.
But my question comes from the aftermath of not having someone in your life anymore: How do you let go of the animosity or even hatred you feel toward a person who hurt you?
What are some suggestions for forgiving people who have hurt you so you can move on with your life and feel more like a responsible adult and less like a petulant teenager with a grudge? -Aurora
My favorite sentiment on this issue boils down basically to something Ariel once said about this topic: “When you hold grudges, you’re letting some asshole live rent-free in your brain. Forgiveness = eviction.”
I like that. It makes sense. But the thing is with me… It works in the opposite manner. Sometimes I think holding grudges like a petulant teenager can actually be helpful.
I hold on to grudges just long enough to figure out if I want to have this person in my life and then when I make the decision that I still wanna keep them around, I drop it! I totally let it go. I think that’s one of my many stereotypical dude-like qualities — one day I’m pissed, and the next I’m like, “Whatever, let’s get a beer.”
Of course the grudges I do keep? Oh ho! They stick around forever, thereby allowing me to keep the ones who’ve done me wrong completely out of my life. I’m a very weak person in a lot of ways, especially when it means, confrontation and/or saying “no” to people. I often let people who treated me like shit remain in my life because I was afraid of hurting their feelings. So keeping the grudge coals hot inside of me allows me to tell them to “fuck off and keep fucking off.”
That’s the long way of explaining that basically, I don’t believe holding grudges is a bad thing — sometimes it’s the best way to keep up boundaries and defenses.
However, I too know the pain of the downward shitty thoughts spiral of obsessing over the people who’ve hurt me. I wish that once I’ve decided to hold my grudges that I could hold them without letting them take up so much space in my brain parts. Therapy has helped — that’s probably my biggest piece of advice. But I ask you, possibly more well-adjusted Homies…
Other than professional brain help, what tips do y’all have to let it go, let it goooooooo?