So here’s the thing–I have always prided myself on the fact that it’s hard for me to hold a grudge. It was kind of the same pride I used to exhibit when I would declare that I was a low-maintenance kind of girl. I thought it was super cool that I was one of those chicks who didn’t mind a simple dinner (tablecloth and non-plastic utensils unnecessary) and a movie. After all, I wasn’t trying to break a brotha. Just thought it was nice to do the ‘quality time’ thing. But I found that settling for burgers and the dollar theatre all the time gave the impression that a person didn’t have to value my time. That led to broken dates...no-call/no-shows...inconsiderate behavior.

 

Basically, instead of being thought of as a woman who was interested in a man for who he was instead of what he had or could do for me, I was being thought of as a “cheap date”. Not cool. At all. I also found that not holding a grudge was working against me in that my forgiving nature was being taken for weakness. And that I was turning all of my anger inward instead of making people in my life take responsibility for their thoughtless behavior and hurtful actions. I said all of that to say this: I had to find a middle ground. There’s nothing wrong with setting some standards early in a relationship. There’s also nothing wrong with calling a person on their crap.

 

But on the flip side of that, there are those of us who pride ourselves in holding on to a grudge until our fingers bleed. We feed it, incubate it in our hearts, let it grow until it controls our lives, corrupts our thoughts, puts a strain on our health...Also not cool. At all. The result of holding on to the past until it festers and infects our lives is bitterness. And bitterness is not sexy. Nobody wants to be a doormat, but there comes a time in life when you have to decide between holding on to the pain and being happy. That choice is a lot harder for some of us to make than others.

 

Holding on to resentment thinking you’ll get rid of it once you get your revenge is pointless and counter-productive. I know you’ve heard a million-and-one times that you can’t move forward if you keep looking back. Honestly, I hate it when people say stuff like that. When you’re in the grips of the worst heartbreak you’ve ever felt, clichés and well-meaning advice are the last thing you want to hear. I know this. But there are actually a few that I was able to dig out that actually happen to be true...

 

1. “Living well is the best revenge.” It’s trite. I know. But it’s also extremely true.  Nothing hurts a person more than knowing they did their best to destroy you and not only did you survive...you thrived. They did their best to take you out and you’re doing better without them in your life than you ever did with them in it. Handle your business and do you. You’ll be surprised how the anger and hurt will recede when you look back at all you’ve accomplished in spite of...

 

2. “It’s his/her loss.” Again, it’s corny, but when you really stop to think about all of the great things that make you who you are, you’ll realize who really lost out. Keep all of the treasure that is you to yourself until you find someone who’s worthy.

 

3. “Everything happens for a reason.” No, you can’t see the bigger picture at the very instant some douche-bag screws you over, but with time, you’ll see that you probably dodged a bullet when that person did whatever it was they did...(cue Beyoncé’s “Best Thing I Never Had”). There is something better down the road for you. How far down the road? I can’t say, but if you stay stuck and miserable, you’ll never find out how awesome your life can truly be.

 

4. “When one door closes, another one opens.” It’s enough to make you chunk a shoe at the head of the person saying it, but if you’re so consumed by losing one opportunity/love/relationship, you’ll miss the alternative route that may lead you to your destiny and your true soul mate or your life’s purpose...When things go sideways, take a deep breath, acknowledge that you’re pissed and hurt and look forward to the next chapter.

 

5. “To err is human. To forgive is divine.” Not to get all preachy on you, but it’s worth mentioning that nobody’s perfect. The sad fact of life is that people mess up. It really takes a spiritually and emotionally mature person to remember that the day will come that they mess up. Maybe you should let it go and forgive the person just on the general principal that you will need someone to forgive you some day.

So many of our relationships (and potential relationships) are poisoned because we carry so much baggage that we just. won’t. put. down. Don’t let one person or incident define who you are and take away your chance for happiness. 

 

Published by A. Rozelle