November 1, 2008.
"To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee."
William H. Walton
Some of us carry around a pretty big chip on our shoulders. For one reason or perhaps any of a number of reasons we feel like we've been wronged or shortchanged in life. Instead of getting over the negative feelings we harbor and getting on with our lives, we hold a grudge; a great big nasty grudge. And this bitterness weighs heavily on everything we say, think and do.
When we hold a grudge, virtually everything we do is burdened with this huge, heavy, troublesome chip. Instead of feeling upbeat and optimistic, we tend to feel angry and upset. Rather than look for the good that surrounds us daily, we focus on the wrongs we have suffered. With our outlook and attitude laced with rancor and resentment, is it any wonder there's not a hint of contentment and peace to be found?
"I've had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you're carrying a grudge, they're out dancing."
Whenever we feel beaten, battered and badly treated, it's easy to get bitter, to get down on life. Maybe we have been cheated, maybe even mistreated by others; sometimes by people we hardly know, sometimes by those we hold close. How we handle these moments, whether we control our emotions or allow them to control us, determine where we go and what we ultimately accomplish. We can remain bitter and allow our negative feelings to swirl all around us - or we can choose to get over them and get on down the road.
Staying mad and upset after you have been wronged never accomplishes anything but keep you mad and upset. There is just too much to love about life, too much to embrace about living to remain angry or distressed for very long. Besides, the only person who gets hurt when you hold a grudge is you. That's right; you're the one you're hurting, the one you're punishing when you hold these feelings of ill-will towards others.
"Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you."
Norman Vincent Peale
We've all had bad things happen in our lives. Not some of us, but every single one of us have experienced some tough times. All of us have rode out some rough situations. We have encountered all sorts of trying moments and difficult circumstances that have tested our tenacity and resolve. And yes, we have been wronged on occasion.
But come on now, do two wrongs ever make a right? Does staying all riled up get you any closer to realizing your dreams or achieving your goals? Does lugging around a chip for who knows how long make your life more pleasant or enjoyable?
"A chip on the shoulder is too heavy a piece of baggage to carry through life."
When it comes to holding grudges, please don't. Holding tight to bad feelings only holds you back. You've got to let go of these negative feelings, casting them aside before they eat you alive.
If you think someone has treated you poorly, shake it off.
If you believe somebody has done you wrong, forget about it.
If you feel someone has slighted or mistreated you, let it go.
If you sense someone has taken advantage of you, don't let it get you down.
There is nothing to be gained by holding on to bad feelings about others. Or what you believe others have done to you for that matter. Rather than waste one more minute living and reliving unpleasant moments, why not toss aside each and every grudge you hold and start anew?
Hey, your life can be as good as you want it to be. However, if you refuse to turn loose of things that bring you down, it won't be. So get with the program and quit carrying that chip around with you. Get rid of it.
You will feel a whole lot lighter - and a whole lot better.
The Bottom Line: The heaviest thing in the world is that chip on your shoulder.
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