10 Best And Powerful Ways To Stop Harboring A Grudge And Bitterness
It is impossible to live without getting offended by loved ones, friends, families, and others especially if it’s intentional. The closer you are to someone, the higher the risk of them hurting you and the more painful it can be. Regardless of the offense, it becomes important for humans to learn the art of forgiveness and self-forgiveness. Grudges are best described as withheld offenses or retained resentment arising from hurt, differences, and ill feelings.
While a grudge is a retained issue of conflict or contempt, bitterness refers to a deep intense feeling of hurt that has been left to fester over time. Both can lead to becoming broken if allowed. While it is in human nature to get angry or take offense, holding on to grudges and bitterness only causes more issues, especially for the individuals harboring them.
Tons of philosophies explain why not to be bitter and hold a grudge for the sake of your mental, emotional, and physical health as well as how to gain acceptance and peace for things beyond your control and that you cannot change. Most of them explained do not always state that grudges and bitterness can trigger the karmic effect when acted upon but keep reading.
Some people believe that what’s put out in the universe (good or not good) can end up coming back to someone, and with astounding accuracy. Grudges and bitterness harbored may only end up changing one’s personality and altering one’s psyche and good and inherent values. Essentially, someone can become morally, ethically, and spiritually ruined or bankrupt if they allow grudges and bitterness to overwhelm and overcome them.
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Here are 10 efficient and powerful ways to let go of grudges and bitterness:
1. Review the situation from a different perspective: Remember the times that you may have fallen short and hurt others intentionally or unintentionally. Should someone hold a lifelong grudge or vendetta against you or bring or encourage lifelong harm against you and others you love and care about? The answer is probably no. It’s possible that you or someone else may have acted out of ignorance, naivety, and a lack of guidance with no awareness or forethought of the pain or damage that was inflicted. Maybe, someone was young and foolish, and their offending actions were not personal against you at the time they thoughtlessly acted. Perhaps, they even later apologized for their actions, but you believe that an apology is never enough and that they must endlessly suffer. Put yourself in the individual’s shoes and see things from a different perspective. The result of this is that you may be able to see the individual’s offense in a better light and forgive them more easily especially if you have committed the same or similar behavior in your past. Decline to become so broken that even psychological counseling becomes a challenge to heal your emotional pain, grudges, and bitterness. If you have EVER hurt others, even though your offense against them may have been different than the offense that hurt you, remember that your past actions too may have hurt someone. Pain is pain though some may believe to varying degrees. It’s up to the receiver how hurt they feel and up to them to decide if they will forever dwell in the pain or let it go because they too are human and subject to err and hurt others.
Image Source: Pixabay
Image Source: Pixabay
2. Release the past that you cannot change: Whatever has you dragging grudges and bitterness has happened. No amount of threats, hate, or intentions to harm someone will change or undo the past, but you can change your focus and redirect your energy in positive and productive ways. You may have more to lose if you do something crazy. You may jeopardize your freedom, lose time away from your kids and family, put others in harm’s way, and even lose your life if you try to get back at someone who acts in self-defense. Letting the past go is the first step towards accepting the future. If you hold on to the pain from the past, all it does is hold you back from enjoying the present or even achieving better things with the individual in question. While you may be entrapped by grudges and bitterness, the other party who doesn’t view you as an enemy may not be suffering like you may want them to, which can make you a lifelong victim of a self-pity party and your own worst enemy. The bottom line is: Some folks don’t have enemies. They simply have grudges and bitterness they refuse to let go stemming from old wounds, feeling insecure, emotionally wounded, and/or jealousy. Never give others the lifelong power to control your mood, feelings, thoughts, and peace of mind.
3. Remember Karma: Despite what some folks may believe, karma is real, just like a lot of universal theories and concepts! Some folks believe in karma while others believe that you reap what you sow. Either way, the universe always finds a way to pay you back for good or bad. Know that bitterness and grudges only make you want to ENDLESSLY hurt who offended or whom you believe offended you in the worst ways possible to get even. If this happens, the karmic law DEMANDS that YOU be hurt by something or someone else whom you have offended and to an even higher degree. Realize that resentful, malicious, and hateful behaviors can activate karma. Do not take karma into your own hands. It can backfire and you may be the one on the receiving end of bad luck, tragedy, and misfortune despite the unfortunate situation that has already happened to you.
4. Balance the power distribution: Power is given to the things to which we subject or dedicate ourselves. An individual who subjects himself or herself to drinking becomes a servant to alcohol. An individual who subjects himself or herself to holding grudges against someone subjects themselves to that individual. Your thoughts and actions give them relevance and power over you. You’re allowing them to occupy space in your life and mind, rent-free. Sometimes, you can create your own mental hell by holding onto things from your past that you should work on letting go.
5. Lean towards forgiveness: You must realize that no matter what you do to seek vengeance, you can’t control others, only yourself. The best way to control yourself and the outcome of the situation is to forgive them and/or forgive yourself and move on. Responding with vengeance doesn’t close the case but may rather stir a chain of reactions from your offender. This is how wars often start. Remember that their vengeance can be worse especially if they get to a point where they feel backed into a corner with nowhere to go and believe they have nothing to lose. If you maintain the belief that you must be engaged in a lifelong war due to harboring grudges and bitterness, then remember that it’s possible to lose the battle and the war if you go to your death with hate, bitterness, and harboring grudges in your heart. It’s not about winning or losing; it’s about choosing a peace of mind over feeding your pain.
6. Avoid the rabbit hole: Bitterness is like a rabbit hole. It never ends but just keeps going on. The longer you dwell on the offense, the angrier you get and the more you seek revenge. Even if forgiveness is too hard, take your mind off the grudge and avoid a repeat as much as possible. Avoid or non-harmfully manage possible triggers. Don’t allow what happened to eat away at you mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The rabbit hole of revenge can be endless yet never enough to fix what’s hurting or bothering you. You can end up bringing physical or emotional harm to whom you have a grudge against and bitter with, even going so far as to end their life, and you still may never have peace and closure. And, that’s because you CHOSE to dwell in a bottomless rabbit hole of bitterness and harboring a grudge.
Image Source: Pixabay
Image Source: Pixabay
7. Put yourself first: When you calculate the cost-benefit, you realize that YOU are getting more hurt from the situation. Putting yourself first helps you react properly. Stay positive and focused on your self-care and self-love. While you’re choosing to focus on one or two individuals, there may be a long list of other individuals who later come out of the woodworks with more offensive or painful news. Are you going to choose to dedicate your life to focus on others or YOUR peace and enjoyment in life?
8. Forget about any negative stigmas and seek intensive professional counseling or therapy: There’s so much that therapy can help you cleanse, but the stigma around therapy dictates that those who seek it are weak mentally or probably ill. This is all wrong. Therapy is the safest way to help you work through life’s issues while maintaining privacy and confidentiality. If you believe that you are beyond therapy, then don’t be surprised if your desires to harm or get back at someone catches up with you. Don’t be ashamed to seek help. Genuinely getting to the bottom of why you’re still holding onto grudges and bitterness can free you of a lifetime of misery.
9. Refuse to allow any negative thoughts, family, or friends to fuel the fire and pull you into a deeper mental and emotional rut. No matter who supports any toxicity and revenge, it may only feel like a temporary “fix” to what you have decided to permanently invest your time into or consume you. You must keep others out of your business to the extent that they fan the flames and throw gasoline into the fire. Avoid instigators as best as possible no matter who or what they are and beware of stalking on social media with ill intentions. Remember that cyberbullying, threats, slander, libel, defamation, and harassment are punishable crimes or offenses and deleted social media posts can be recovered during civil and criminal investigations.
10. Pray to your Higher Power: A lot of the time, prayer often works like therapy on steroids. Prayers are often comforting and bring peace. If you believe in any power or concept, you can seek peace and resolution there and work on your grudges. Religious or spiritual beliefs give powerful, life-changing messages that help redirect minds and are one of the most effective ways of tending to grudges and bitterness.
Belief in karma teaches you how to avoid the karmic boomerang effect by becoming malicious and vengeful but rather sharing empathy, kindness, self-forgiveness, and forgiveness when you’ve been hurt so that kindness is returned to you. Grudges and bitterness have no positive impact on you, your mental and physical health, your relationships, and your productivity but rather endanger them all.
Your consciousness becomes slowly darkened and ruined over time when you hold on to ill feelings. This is why it is important to let go of them and seek peace of mind and fulfillment. It is not easy to do so, but through determination and consistency, it is possible to lead a grudge-free life empty of bitterness. Choose to let go of grudges and bitterness and forever release yourself from living your own lifelong hell, right now and today. You can and have the power to do it!