As happens with many of us, from time to time, we realise we’re carrying a grudge. I like this terminology – based on my own experience, carrying a grudge is just that. A burden. Something to weigh us down. Something that takes effort to maintain.
In the past few weeks, I’ve openly admitted that I’ve been carrying a grudge. At first, my hubris was “I’m carrying this grudge, and I’m okay with that.” That mentality came from a place of hurt, of anger, of mistrust. It was like I was clinging to the grudge with all that I had, tightening my grip. And so, as with anything we grip tightly, it became a focus.
The problem was that I didn’t WANT to hold that grudge. It’s not healthy. It’s not helpful. It’s exhausting. And it’s taking up headspace and heartspace that could be much better used elsewhere.
So, time came when I let it go. I spent significant time in prayer and meditation, and made the decision that this grudge wasn’t worth it. Logically, it was affecting me – not the person who had long ago caused the hurt. It was my heart and mind and soul that was being affected.
So I let it go. I’m not suggesting it was easy, or that I’ll never do it again, but I decided that I was done with it. Like a gradual opening of my hand, to delicately put down something, I released the grudge. In carrying the grudge, my spiritual hand was clenched shut; in the gentle release, my hand was gradually opening.
My goodness, did I sleep well that first night, without the self-imposed burden on my shoulders. I awoke feeling rested and peace-filled, eager to embrace the day. And so I opted to NOT pick up that same grudge again- I would rather stay in a spiritually healthier spot.
And so, by not filling my hand with the grudge to be carried, I left myself open to receive grace. To recognise the beauty that is possible, to embrace the joy that is present. And so I journey in the future, remaining spiritually open, aware that I cannot delight in the gift of grace if I have myself closed off in the grips of a grudge. I cannot fathom carrying the joy of the Lord when I am burdened with the selfishness of a grudge. And so I pray that I will stay open, unburdened, joyful; in head and heart, receiving all the great gifts that God offers on my path.