Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hold Onto Me

How long do I get to hold a grudge?

It's your birthday and he forgot; no perfume, no flower, not even a box of candy from the local CVS. You're hurt and you won't forget this!

She brought another $500 comforter set, when it was agreed the next purchase would be your car stereo. You're pissed and you won't forget this!

You had to work late, so there was no way you could make to the in-laws for the dinner party. You're embarrassed and angry and you won't forget this!

Whatever it is that got you so angry, hurt or disappointed the fact is you're there now - holding a grudge and it doesn't look like you're going to budge from that holding point anytime soon, not even a nudge.

So how long do you get to hold a grudge?

You don't.

Cut the grudge.

Make it as short as possible; try to nudge it out of your system as soon as you can because your inability to budge on a grudge will get you nowhere...literally you become stuck.

You know the feeling; perhaps you can remember as child 6 or 7 or being 12 or 13 and your parents pissed you off and you got mad and you intended to stay mad for as long as it took to show them! You would show them what happens when you don't get your way; show them how bad you can make them feel when they're so busy at work earning a living for the family that they forget you wanted the red sneakers and not the blue; you would hold that grudge as long as it takes to make them sorry. Yes, you would show them how long you could hold a grudge when they said couldn't spend the night at your friend's house because no one over 18 would be there to chaperone. And that time they grounded you for poor school grades, you were really going show them and hold onto that grudge so long it would hurt so much, your parents would cancel the decision to ground you. Yes, you were going to hold onto that grudge!  And as you remember it worked ...right?

No, of course it didn't work (at least not at my house and my mom wasn't even the punishing type).  But eventually we learned (and then unlearned) that holding a grudge doesn't get you what you want - and it certainly doesn't make things any better for you. And this is especially true in grown-up intimate relationships - holding a grudge doesn't really get you what you want, it isn't a magic talisman that can reverse what happened, and if you're honest, it doesn't even make you feel better.

Of course when something doesn't go as we plan or when someone can't meet our expectations, we are disappointed, hurt and yes, at times even angry; that's human nature. And it's probably a good thing we have those feelings - instead of denying how we feel, stuffing it and letting it fester into something worse. And that's the point - cut the grudge short because you don't want to hold onto a grudge and let it blister into a big argument, or time missed you could have spent together, or drive a wedge between you so wide you can't come back together. Its like Colin Powell said, "Get mad, then get over it."

Don't hold on to the grudge.

Hold onto a good memory of being together, hold onto each other, and hold onto why you love and want to be with the person, but cut the grudge.


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