It doesn’t take long in life for injustice to come your way.
Your mommy takes your toy away before you’re finished with it. Injustice! How do you deal with it? Maybe you cry, or throw a hissy fit. Chances are, since your attention span at 18 months is pretty short, you’ll forget about the injustice and get another toy.
Life isn’t fair, and neither are some people. Things go wrong. Plans get up-ended. Promises aren’t always kept. A friend or family member may offend us. Someone we love may destroy themselves with addiction. We might be the victim of a heinous crime.
Live long enough, and the injustices (both real and imaginary) will pile up. What to do? Crying may be appropriate. And there’s nothing like the emotional release of a good hissy fit every now and then. But, after that, then what?
The easy thing to do is turn each injustice into a grudge. That way, you can stack the latest grudge on top of the others you’re carrying. If your grudges become disorganized, you can spend some quality time dwelling on them and get them reorganized. If they get too heavy, enlisting the help of others to carry some of your grudges is always helpful.
The burden of a grudge is carried by the victim. The perpetrator, whether real or not, carries no such burden. The perpetrator may carry regret, but they feel none of the weight of your grudge.
In our quest to never forget the lessons of an injustice, we wrap these lessons inside the grudge. It’s a package deal.
For this reason, letting go, forgiving, can seem impossible. Forgiveness runs counter to our natural instincts. But forgiveness is about much more than survival. It’s about finding a way to thrive with a clear focus on the things in life that really matter.
Letting go of a grudge doesn’t mean ignoring the lesson. It means freeing yourself from the weight that only you are carrying.