Do any of us every fully let go of something? If we have been wronged or slighted, how long do we carry it? Does the mere memory of something imply a grudge? If we hold onto a memory of something bad that has happened, is that an automatic grudge? If that were so, then the memory of a past love would imply we stay forever in love with every lover. Time fades and weakens all things. Only a memory tended to remains fierce and strong.
The difference is forgiveness.
But how much can one person stand? And after a forgiveness, after a thawing into the spring of reconciliation, how much more damaging is a new slight? When the ground is so fresh awaiting the new planting, the soil can be poisoned very easily. It renders the land barren and inhospitable. Is it forever? No. But it can seem a lifetime before even the weakest weed sprouts from the crags and crevasses.
That is not a grudge. That is just fact. You’ll starve to death if you linger on such toxic soil. Nothing will grow. Life cannot survive. You soul withers. Your heart starves. So…..you move on. You let go. You journey away hoping for a new piece of furtile ground. Almost anything will seem better than the wasteland you left. If someone asks you where you come from, the memories can be bittersweet….but that is not a grudge. That is just history.
If I have been hurt or slighted or insulted or injured…..it hurts. No human can claim immunity especially when the barbs come from people closest to us. If a stranger curses us…who cares! Maybe we get embarrassed from the spectacle, but that kind of insult fades quickly. But when someone we regard, admire, respect or love harms us…..it hurts. When it is unexpected, it hurts even more. Do we get over it? Yes, no sane person can function if they get stuck on this type of thing. But, do we forget? I don’t think so. Is amnesia required to be grudgeless? No. Forgiveness and empathy are required. But forgiveness does not nullify the memory. Forgiveness allows us to progress. Forgiveness allows renewal. It renews us personally and it renews the bond we share with the other person.