“Father forgive them, for they know no what they do”. This is a quote from the Bible spoken by Jesus Christ to those who had just tortured and nailed him onto a cross. Regardless of your religion and whether or not you believe it happened, one thing can be rest assured, through all the pain, He died the most peaceful death. Why? Because He let go of any hate, anger or resentment against those who had wronged him.
Many times we hope for peace of mind and happiness, but we fail to identify the everyday factors that determine our mental well-being. A major factor is being unforgiving. Keeping anger and holding grudges is a very common self-destructive behaviour that human beings have adopted. Most times we rather delve in thoughts of how we were wronged and vengeance than just letting it go! We even find it hard forgiving ourselves when we make mistakes and wallow in continuous self-scrutiny. Holding grudges has destroyed many bonds between people and will continue to. Absolutely nothing positive comes out of being resentful. We are adversely affected mentally and it begins to show in our behaviours, learning and attitude towards life. Let it go! Free yourself!
Now letting go of grudges and resentments are not easy at all. We all deserve ‘justice’ to an extent. However we have to train ourselves to let go as soon as possible for the sake of our states of mind. Given a situation were you have little control over, such as an abusive driver cursing you before speeding off, why choose to analyze his or her obscene words and how they wound your pride (you might even consider chasing the car to abuse back) instead of immediately taking your mind off? One could ruin the rest of your day while the other wouldn’t. There are 3 steps that could help get rid of grudges quickly:
1. Accept your feelings: Accept that you are indeed angry and or deeply hurt by what someone has done to you, or in other cases what you’ve done to yourself. Don’t try to mask this feeling by blame or channel it to negative thoughts about the person or yourself. Accept this feeling for what it is, an emotional response to a negative event and nothing more.
2. React mindfully: As we know for every action there is a reaction. More emphasis has also been laid on the reaction than the action. How we react is VERY important in every situation. Mindfully reacting would be to aim to react in the best way for your mental well-being, which is normally to calm a heated situation or more generally focus on an immediate solution. Again, this would require mental awareness and self-control and our basic instincts usually drive us to retaliate. It could make it easier if you mention that he or she upset you or has hurt you, not so you get an apology because not getting one after such expressiveness could anger you further, but just to get it off your chest so you’re not brewing anything negative. The way you react either makes it significantly easier for you to let it go or significantly more difficult. Learn to react wisely.
3. Move on: Never raise the issue again. Try your best to forget it. Naturally the occurrence may flash in your head but do not invite the thought as it would adversely affect your mood. Take your mind off it as soon as possible. Let your mind be used to a state of positivity and you’d find moving on would get easier the more you try.
None of these steps are easy, especially in this fast paced modern world were everyone is so self-interested and getting more and more indifferent towards others. However, continuous practice starting from the moment you finish reading this article would help you to maintain a state of mind that most others would not be able to fathom. All because you’ve made a firm decision to let things go.