I’ve been struggling with this post for awhile. I write something, I erase. I get to where I think it’s complete, worthy of the Publish button. Then I have second thoughts and start revising. Writing this post has been painful and healing, forcing me to really see the person I wish to be.
My New Year’s resolution was to give up grudges against people whom I feel have wronged me. Admitting that this is a big enough problem for me that I needed to make a resolution about it, is not something that makes me proud. This is a major flaw in my character and I really am trying to overcome it.
Generally, I’m a really nice person. In new social situations, I think people see me as someone who is quiet and shy. It takes me time to warm up, relax, and feel comfortable around new people. When I do make friends with someone, I expect a lot from them. If I need help, companionship, or loyalty, I want them to provide.
I can’t always say that I give as much as I expect. It shames me to actually type this and admit that I don’t always meet my own requirements. I don’t call people as much as I should. I don’t offer help as often as I should.
There have been friends who in the past have broken one of my arbitrary friendship rules. Maybe they didn’t come through for me when I felt it was needed. Maybe they made me feel left out. What happened in most cases was that I expected something from them and when I didn’t get it, they landed in my personal penalty box.
I chose to give up grudges as my New Year’s resolution because this is not the person I want to be. Do I want to teach my children to be petty? Do I want to them to see that forgiveness is a “weakness”? No. No. No. I want my children to have the ability to look past the minor indiscretions that occur between friends. I don’t want my children to be petty like me.
The loss of a friend or the intense anger I’ve felt towards them has eaten away at me for years. I’ve allowed this to happen. I made the decision to stay angry after being hurt. Anger was something that I controlled. The hurt was something they imposed upon me. I can’t live a complete, full, and happy life if I continue to let this festering anger fill me.
Although I have no way of knowing, I suspect most of the people who have been on my grudge list have no idea they were even there. It’s been hard to let go of the hurt that I feel they caused, but it has also been very freeing. I continually remind myself that the anger needs to go. It’s a decision I make every time I feel the anger and hurt swell inside of me. No longer am I going to live in the past, angry with anyone who couldn’t live up to my expectations. I’m living for now and looking towards the future.