“Life is too short for grudges,” they say. “Carrying a grudge is like being stung to death by just one bee” they quote. “Grudges are a waste of happiness,” they insist. Sure, petty and trivial grievances are pretty insignificant. Proper grudges though? “You have to let them go!”
Nope. I simply don’t care. I fail to see how all of the people who made primary school and high school miserable for me, for example, deserve my forgiveness. It certainly wouldn’t make me happy. In fact, I know it would make me feel worse because it would mean they still have a hold over me. There are people who I’ve given countless chances to, tried to forgive and forget about the shitty things they’ve done, only for them to turn around and do something worse. There comes a point when you can’t just ignore or move past someone’s actions. And that is okay. It’s completely alright.
You shouldn’t feel obligated to give someone a clean slate, especially when it puts you in a position to get even more hurt. You can hold a grudge if you want to. I may be bitter but I swear that has nothing to do with the fact I won’t forgive certain people. In fact, I like having grudges; they remind me not to take people’s shit or to let someone be able to manipulate me. I’m sick of being walked over by people because I thought by forgiving someone I would somehow be happy. I know now that that is a load of shite. Forgiving people doesn’t make you a better or whole person. Bearing a grudge doesn’t make you a twisted, resentful person. You can let go of something and carry on with life without forgiving all the awful things people have done. Sometimes something is unforgivable. Sometimes absolution leaves you open to more pain. You give some people an inch, they’ll take a mile.
You do not have to forgive people to move on with your life. You don’t have to forgive someone you called a friend when they treat you wrong. You don’t have to forgive your childhood bullies, no matter how “nice” they are now. You don’t even have to forgive your family, if what they’ve done is bad enough. You don’t have to forgive your abusive parents’ actions because they felt they were “doing the right thing”. You don’t owe forgiveness to anyone, except maybe yourself. Forgive yourself for all your mistakes and move on.
Any injustice or ill treatment against you is wrong. You don’t have to feel bad if you don’t want to forgive someone. Your feelings are worth more than some warped quote telling you that you’ll never be truly happy until you let people get away with hurting you. I don’t see grudges as burdens. I see them as reminders. I don’t believe grudges are “toxic” or “destroying me from inside” or that letting them go will “set me free” or some other shite like that. The people who try to make you feel guilty for holding a grudge are almost as bad. You can’t tell me someone trying to make you feel bad for being wary and on the defensive because of how you’ve been treated is alright.
Once more, I reiterate:
Grudges are not inherently bad. You don’t have to forgive. Your happiness will not be affected. Take it from me.