Today’s daily prompt: “I can’t stay mad at you”. Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?
This question is actually relevant to recent events that have occurred in my life. I find myself challenged with this question, more and more often as I descent from late adolescence into (eventually) full blown adulthood as the people around me seemingly push me to my limits. Friends, family, people I’ve once loved… all at one point or another have presented me with the dilemma: to hold a grudge or to forgive and forget. To be mad, or not to be.
I think anger has a choice, just like to an extent you can choose to be offended. Did the builder whistling at you walking down the street actually offend you or have you chosen to be because that’s just general disgusting behaviour?
Recently I encountered what only can be described as a betrayal from two of my closest friends. I realise now that (somewhere, deep deep, way deep, down) there was general concern and love for me in the hateful and hurtful comments, but for a while I was angry. Red faced and hot blooded anger that I projected onto them in a fierce fit of rage down the phone. Like the several stages of grief, I eventually left Anger and joined hands with that dear friend, Heartache. I convinced myself never to forgive them, you don’t need people like that in your life, right? But the thought of never having two of my closest friends there in the later hauls and rocky roads that our lives have to offer only added insult to injury. I was only hurting myself by holding a grudge, although I wasn’t ready to forgive them, either. After Heartache came Disappointment followed by Nothingness. Nothingness shook the frameworks of my grudge altogether, what was the point in holding a grudge to prove a point that, by now, they’ve learnt never to do again. I learnt it was eventually easier to forgive them and forget the whole ordeal than endure and meet any other feelings, if there even were any past Nothingness. So I chose not to be mad anymore. I chose not to hold onto resentment but to let myself feel at ease and at peace, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because I do.
I know this doesn’t make me a weak person because I didn’t give into their pleas and apologies. I waited until I was ready, until I wanted to rekindle the friendship, and if I didn’t want to, then I know I could’ve done that too.