Let’s talk grudges. First off, the word grudge alone is totally gross. It sounds like sludge and I find it hard to believe that is a mere coincidence. I could drown this article with countless clichés – life is too short, yada yada yada – but I’d like to trudge deeper into the perils of the grudge. Besides, I already quoted Shakespeare in the subject line, which hits an 8.5 on the cliché scale.
This column comes about because earlier today, I reached out to a friend of mine that I hadn’t spoken to in years. We had a falling out over something super lame and simultaneously slammed the friendship door in each other’s face. I can’t even remember the exact details of our demise, but I do remember that I was steaming mad. Like, delete her from Facebook mad. I KNOW – burn, right? Prior to our virtual deletion, she and I were really great friends. We experienced so much together and shared so many good times. If you told me at the peak of our friendship that we were going to go AWOL on each other for years, I wouldn’t have believed you. Regardless if anyone mentioned her name post split, for a long time my eyes would auto-roll followed by a physical body shudder. Why? Because I held a stupid, stupid grudge.
I think when you’re younger and the art of communication is still being learned, it is easier to ignore the conflict and just walk away from someone rather than calmly address the situation and untangle the mess. I didn’t become what I consider to be a good communicator until my late-late twenties and let me tell those of you who are still getting there – it makes your life so much easier and your heart so much happier.
Today my old friend and I mutually apologized, admitted to all wrong doing, confessed to missing each other and washed away the sludgy grudges. It was a long overdue little weight lifted off both our little hearts. Granted, it doesn’t always play out that way. It’s possible that you will extend this type of peace offering to someone and they won’t reciprocate – that is okay. This is really about you releasing any negativity that is holding you back from growing into the better version of you. Because like the cliché quote above – holding a grudge truly is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to trip over her feet in the middle of the mall in front of her crush and lose all of her hair… or something like that. Point is you’re only hurting yourself by holding on to those toxic grudges.
So here I am encouraging you to empty your grudge bank and live with the intention of not having anyone out there that you wouldn’t want to run into on the street. Whether you keep the grudge release to yourself or tell that person about it is up to you. If you don’t know what to say but you’d like to open communication, just send this column to the person that it reminds you of with the subject line saying ‘thinking of you’. What this will mean is that you’re ready and wiling to call a truce.
And while yes, some things are unforgivable – i.e. drop kicking your dachshund, sharpie marking a mustache above your lip while you sleep, etc – let’s remember in some cases it’s acceptable to forgive but not forget. That and also to always sleep with one eye open at a slumber party.