As a Taurus I feel 100% qualified to write this blog. I mean it is all opinion-based anyway so… yeah. My fellow bulls understand. People like to say that we are the Kings and Queens of holding a grudge. I wouldn’t exactly argue, because I have been that bull that claims to NEVER forgive. Why? Because I didn’t have to. It wasn’t until I was much older and more mature that I realized that grudges only hurt me. And when I say much older, I mean like a year or so ago. Up until last year, I carried the mentality that forgiveness was super fucking human. It seemed almost insane to offer anyone my forgiveness, because again, why? That Rick Ross album or song—I don’t know because I don’t support him anymore—God forgives, I don’t? Yeah, that was my slogan in life. I walked around like keeping my forgiveness to myself was a badge of honor.
It wasn’t until I took a deep dive into my spirit that I learned grudges were seeds of anger, regret, and bitterness. It was the very thing stopping me from growing and progressing on every level in my life. I was mad at my Dad, mad at my family, mad at majority of my exes… and for what?
I have had several people tell me that I needed to learn how to forgive. What I was hearing from them that I needed to give people a pass for the fucked up shit they had done to me. I’m here to tell you that nobody, absolutely no one gets away with bad behavior. They will pay, whether you get to see it or not. I have touched on forgiveness before and I’ll reiterate here. You can forgive, but you do not have to forget. You also do not have to allow people that you have forgiven to be a part of your life.
Are y’all tired of hearing about my ex-wife yet?
I hated her the most and held the biggest and longest grudge. I somehow believed that my anger was how to make her pay for all that she had done. I never stopped to realize that she paid heavily for her deeds when I walked away. Being mad at her only kept toxic behavior alive and well inside of me. My anger toward her was a scapegoat for me and my own healing. If I had a dollar for everytime I said I wasn’t going to engage in something because of something my ex-wife had done to me, I’d be rich. My grudge literally stopped me from living, from trusting, from loving, and moving forward as the woman I knew I could be without her.
I’m still shaking of some debris of that statement “My ex used to…” Let’s just say that it’s nice to have someone in my life that doesn’t mind when I need to talk some shit out.
I can remember her always contacting me randomly after I left her. I always took the bait and was pulled into toxic banter. She’d beg, plead, and apologize. I’d list everything she’d done to ruin our marriage. It became a song on repeat in my mind. Because in constantly engaging with her and reminding her of how trifling she was, I was reminding myself. The reminders would reignite and restart my grudge after I’d found stillness and calm.
I have always loved the quote “He who angers you controls you.” She was a puppet master. How do I cut the strings?
I had to realize the pattern in her obviously abusive and manipulative behavior. I also had to remember when my therapist said that as long as you are arguing, you still care. It was true, especially if you know me as a person. I carry a silence that cuts deep. I got stern with myself and I stopped responding anytime that she would say anything to me that had nothing to do with the legal dissolution of our marriage. Even when obligated to respond, she never got more than five-word responses out of me. I had created a boundary, which is much different than a grudge. There is no emotion attached to boundaries. She was going to respect my space and need for peace. Period.
Once I created a boundary, I gave myself room to purge. I had to sit with all that I’d felt during the time I spent with her. It was a huge wave and crash, but I made it to shore. Forgiving her made it easy to stand firm in my boundary and to not be provoked to anger. There was no anger. I had released it. You can’t fan a fire that isn’t there and blazing. I was free from whatever emotional control she had over me. She was only step one. Forgiving her was realizing that all she done had nothing to do with me. Were my feelings valid? Absolutely, but I didn’t have to carry that hurt forever. Forgiving her helped me to forgive everyone that came before her, because they too had their demons. It was just unfortunate that I got hit in the midst of their personal fights with themselves.
You have to decide that you are not the victim. They are victims to their own insecurities. There are a list of things that make people behave badly in relationships: childhood trauma, secret addictions, shame, self-hatred, etc. None of it has anything to do with you.
Set boundaries. Tell people what you will not put up and wait to see If they will respect you. If they do, cool, they survive another day in your life. If they don’t, wait to see if they correct themselves. If there is no correction, remove yourself and don’t be upset about it. Don’t be upset with them. Wish them well and go on living.
See the difference?
Boundaries good. Grudges bad.
It’s okay to build walls and forts around yourself, but always ask yourself what foundation it is built on. What is the root? You can do it. If I can, you can. There is nobody on this planet more stubborn than me or at least I haven’t met them yet. I dare you to challenge yourself and your growth.