The practice of forgiveness is another essential practice for mental wellness. Holding grudges and resentments against others seemed to be one of my favorite past times. It was only when I was convinced of the fact that these grudges and resentments only affected me and my life and not the other person that I could change.
The explanation that worked was when someone explained to me that holding a grudge or resentment was like setting yourself on fire and expecting it to harm the other person. It doesn’t work that way and never will.
When I hold a grudge or resentment I am holding myself hostage for the perceived wrongs of others, most of the time they neither know or care about how I feel. That is the most frustrating part, they don’t even know what is going on inside of me. How could they, or anyone else know, what is going on inside of me. There are few, if any, mind readers in this world and I seldom told anyone how I really felt.
With our illness controlling our lives we always feel slighted, less than others and our emotions control our lives. In seeking help we are given medication that causes our mood swings to be leveled out. We no longer should have the high highs or the low lows. The medication does not change how we think or controls our emotional upheavals. We are responsible for that on our own, with the help of others. But we are ultimately responsible for anything we think, say or do.
When it comes to grudges or resentments we are also responsible for how we react to others and the feelings that we carry in regards to others. We cannot change other people and what they do but we can change how respond to them. Sometimes our hurt feeling, the basis of all grudges and resentments, are just because we have weak feelings. This means we need to strengthen our feelings not shut them off which is the direction many of us take not knowing any better. We need to learn to strengthen our emotions through understanding ourselves and changing our reactions. It boils down to choice and remembering that we always have a choice to react differently.
Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.