Grudges eat away at your emotional and physical health. It puts your body into fight-or-flight mode, Dr. Karen Swartz, a Johns Hopkins psychiatrist, says in an article on the healing power of forgiveness, and the hormones that are released can raise your blood pressure and heart rate and spill into other relationships.
But the familiar is hard to let go of, even when it is eating you from the inside out, because your mind likes the familiar. Your mind knows exactly what file to put you grudge in, how to find that file, and put it into action whenever you feel anything even slightly familiar to that experience. So start from that place, the familiar, with these
4 steps to let go of a grudge:
1. Acknowledge It. You were wronged, betrayed, hurt and it was real. Real enough to you that you have made it a part of your very being, buried it inside your body and carried it around with you for years. So first, give your brain what it craves. Create order! Take a piece of paper and write down exactly what you would like to say to the person that hurt you, regardless of their ever hearing it.
2. Give Yourself What You Need. Now flip that piece of paper over and write a response back to yourself from that person that you wish or want to hear. Not what you think or know they would say but what you wish or want them say. Just as it doesn't matter whether they ever read your side of this letter it doesn't matter if they would ever say these things in real life. What does matter is that you are giving yourself what you need to let go of a past you cannot change and be free.
3. Give Witness to Your Truth. Now, read both sides of that letter out loud to yourself or maybe to someone you trust and give witness to your truth. Giving witness to something gives it power, and in this case you are giving power to the gift of letting go and living in the present, not the past, for one more minute.
That's it...take these 4 steps to be free of your grudge and live a mindful live...your biggest life.