We *think* that holding grudges against someone prevents the thing that they did to us from ever happening again. The reality is that it happens again and again, not because of the other parties involved…but because we continue to play that same hurtful song on repeat.
Holding grudges has nothing to with reality. Between the illusions that rob us of the good things in our lives and the reality that can set us free to pursue those good things is forgiveness. It’s the bridge that we have to cross. Yes, it’s guarded by big angry trolls that we created in our own minds and yes they are terrifying. We have to face the trolls. Intellectually we know that we will be better off. I’ve read on many occasions that forgiveness benefits the forgiver and releases him or her from the shackles of pain. I will admit that in the past I thought that was stupid and that revenge would be far more rewarding than forgiving and letting go.
There a ton of “techniques” in forgiving others. Most of them involve working on the easiest to forgive and working your way to the hardest. Finding something loving about them, or putting them in the frame in your mind with someone that you love. These never worked for me. Mostly because I couldn’t get past the “Yeah but…” aspect of what this person or persons had done. I didn’t love those people and I didn’t see myself loving them. Ever.
It wasn’t until I really felt like I was a slave to my emotions that I became interested in letting go. I was recoiling when I heard their voice or they popped into my mind. The pain was on like the Pagan chant “we are a circle within a circle, with no beginning and never ending”. It went on and on. The people that I was holding grudges against were probably doing great without any thought to what I was going through.
So why was I?
I created my own healing practice. I smudged my home regularly. I meditated with a dark moonstone for new beginnings and to let go of the past. I journalled and found my way through expressing the old emotions. It took just over a month for the the work to manifest itself and take root.
I had a dream last night where I was at a big banquet and everyone who had done me wrong was there. One by one they approached me and they gave me a gift. I thanked them for the gift and hugged them and kissed them. When I woke, it took me a few minutes (and maybe a cup of coffee) to process the meaning of the dream. The gifts I was receiving were those elusive gifts New Age writers have been talking about. The gifts I received is having unwavering calm, peace of mind and the evolution of my soul. Realizing the power of those gifts requires trust to surrender to the moment.
It requires letting go of the illusion and stepping into reality.