I remember when Ben Affleck won his Best Picture Oscar for 'Argo' a few years ago. One of the things that stood out in his acceptance speech was when he said, "Don't hold grudges". I have interviewed Ben several times and I have always found him extremely smart, present and very gracious. And, I think he was totally on target when he talked about releasing ourselves from grudges - especially during times when we feel like gloating. He had the stage that night and could have talked about all the people who did him wrong in Hollywood. But, instead, he used the opportunity to be, once again, gracious and uplifting.
We have all had things that have happened to us that have made us angry. A friend who was inconsiderate, someone who was intentionally rude or even a person who tried to maliciously hurt us or someone we love. You may have endlessly spoken about how this person did you wrong or even fantasized about plotting revenge so that "justice could be served".
But, you may have also heard the saying, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die". Being angry is just toxic to one's own spirit and really does nothing to make the situation better. Deciding not to hold onto a grudge is, just that...a DECISION. It is deciding to free yourself and not be under the control of the person who offended you. Holding onto bitterness zaps your creative energy, it affects your decision-making skills and can damage your relationships.
To move forward with your life, you must not wait until the offender apologizes. Realistically, they may not know they hurt you or they might not even care. And, that is okay. This journey isn't for them, it's for you. You will become the bigger person when you forgive. And you will find strength that you never knew you had when you make the decision to move on with your life and free yourself of the bondage of grudges.
Reward yourself when you successfully forgive someone who hurt you. You deserve to be commended for taking such a big step because it's not easy. It can be a small gift to yourself or just a simple pat on the back. Or, make it a symbolic gesture. Write a letter to the person who offended you and tell them why you are releasing the anger. Then, tear the letter up as a symbol that you are tearing up the grudge and letting it AND them go.
The gift you receive for doing this will be much bigger than an Oscar. It will be your peace of mind and your FREEDOM. ~Shaun