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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Holding A Grudge Is Letting Someone Live Rent Free In Your Head!

I heard this little ditty recently when my Boyfriend brought it up in his humorous way (not directed at me, of course).  It made me think more deeply about the work I do with Clients to help them free themselves from old and new hurts in their bleeding hearts. Many enter my office with guns drawn, aimed at all those people that have caused them grief, guilt, anger, sadness, shame and a plethora of other wounds.  After an initial venting period, which is helpful in itself, in which I listen and nod to let them know I hear what they are saying, I then say, at the risk of being shot myself, “What if I told you that these feelings hurt no one but you?   That no one nor anything can actually hurt you unless you let them?”   Most of the time my client will then nod to me in agreement and express with frustration that they just can’t help themselves.  A small majority look at me like I’ve grown a second head!

The statement that others make us feel a certain way is FALSE.  It’s not your boyfriend or girlfriend who’s made you sad, or angry, or guilty or alone. No one makes you feel anything.  You allow YOURSELF to feel certain feelings based on your perception of what others are saying or doing to you.  Here enters an ability we all have to help guide us through life’s tribulations - free will.  It is important to know then, that we ALL react from our own, limited perceptions of ourselves and the world.  We base our beliefs on perceptions that were not ours to begin with. They were those passed along by our family, our religious or spiritual Leaders, our ethnic backgrounds, our society.  We were taught to act in a certain way, think in a certain way, feel in a certain way based on what was expected of us. And how did we form these perceptions of ourselves and our place?  Based on EMOTIONS.. how something FELT when we first experienced it.  Although our learning was taught to us with our “best interests at heart” by our major role models, the education we received on how to navigate the world was not always good for us.  For example, if a Mother stays in a violent relationship, her daughter may likely find herself in an abusive relationship as an adult because this is what she perceives to be her worth.  It was what she witnessed as a child!  That is what she learned from watching her Mother.  She learned that “love hurts”.  Is there a choice?  Yes, there is always free will!

Nothing that anyone says or does to us affects who we are.  Listen again, very closely, to this basic truth…..NOTHING that anyone SAYS or DOES to us affects WHO WE ARE.  Only allowing it to affect us can do that.  People judge based on their OWN perceptions, their OWN beliefs, their OWN preconceived notions of how others should think, act and behave.  They use their OWN measuring stick based on all that they learned from their OWN family’s education.  Is it the truth?  It is for them and only them.  It is not about YOU. When someone judges us, they are mirroring their own dissatisfactions about themselves and their world ONTO you.  And that can’t hurt you.  Whatever someone SAYS or DOES to you cannot hurt you.  It’s the old “Sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS will never hurt me”.  This is the truth! What CAN hurt you is the ALLOWING of the words to affect you.  And only YOU can do that.  Just THINKING about something someone said or did to you can hurt you.  Because thought gives the words and actions POWER.  That is what is meant by “giving your Power away”.  You give the other person’s words and actions POWER because you gave their words and actions your thought….your attention.  And you have CHOICES. You always have the CHOICE to ignore those things, to choose which things that truly call for action and which do not. It’s always YOUR choice to act on something or to ignore it.

Is this person (or situation) still in your head, raising hell, because you allow it? Yes, you let them live there. Perhaps for a week or a month or for years!!! Take time to examine the anger or frustration you feel. And look deeper to find the sadness underneath as a deep sea diver searching for buried treasure.  The gold you will find is in the quiet depths of your mind, the insight that has always been there.  Perhaps you’ll find that you hold the grudge because this person’s words or actions had you feeling small or helpless.  And to feel this way and have this thought then there must be a core belief giving it power.  So the words thrust at you in anger or jealousy in themselves had no effect unless you allowed them in to trigger an old, outdated belief about yourself. So you can look at yourself and ask, “Am I really small and helpless or do I have a choice to continue believing this?”  The answer will invariably be ‘no’.  By holding on to a grudge, it’s you that hurts yet expect the other person to be the one to hurt.  Rather than continue, a call to action is required and that action is forgiveness.  Forgiveness isn’t something to be doled out sparingly to those we feel deserve it.  It isn’t given out rated on the degree of harm or injury to yourself.  It is instead a deliberate thought process powered by feelings (positive feelings, that is) that sets you free.  It allows you to vacate the part of your mind that has occupied a free-loader.  Remember that you are the Landlord, and that it is your right to say “enough”.  And with that clean and empty room in the house of your Mind, you can choose peace and self esteem to decorate the space that is ultimately yours.

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