Why I am no longer holding those grudges.

(oracle from Amanda Lovelace’s ‘believe in your own magic’ deck.

Is it just me, or do we seem to find ourselves experiencing hatred, anger and negative worries a lot easier than love, kindness, respect etc? This is something that I have really struggled with over the years. I realised that I had a very very long list of grudges.

If you would have asked me a couple of years back how many people I had an issue with or a grudge against, I could have very easily, in a matter of minutes written up a note pad worth of names. If you were to do the same thing right now, it actually might surprise you how many people you have negative feelings towards, and just how unhealthy that is.

In our lives we always find ourselves getting hurt, quite frequently. We also (even though we may not be aware of it) can frequently hurt other people by our words, behaviours, or even just simple reactions to what they did that hurt us. Hurt is sadly a very vicious circle. It is also a circle which, we genuinely have zero control over. It is part of life.

I spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks thinking about the grudges that I had, towards various people from my experiences in dating/relationships and friendships, I learned a lot about myself and what the grudges and negative feelings had taught me to do. So this blog post is all about the reflection and lessons from this and why I am refusing to hold grudges anymore.

Dating and relationships

I have had many struggles with different men for different reasons over the years. I have been misled and hurt over and over again. I tend to always be this ‘second best’ placing in a lot of my relationships. Quite a majority of my earlier relationships were literally guys who were getting over someone else or just using me because they couldn’t get the one they wanted.

I heard a song this week called ‘drivers licence’ by Olivia Rodrigo which has a part in the lyrics which says:

“And you’re probably with that blonde girl
Who always made me doubt
She’s so much older than me
She’s everything I’m insecure about”

I literally am pretty sure I’ve written poems in the past with very similar context to the above. I have spent many, many times dating someone and feeling threatened by someone else the guy is close to or friends with, constantly told there’s nothing to worry about and then somehow, by sheer coincidence, we stop seeing each other and oh, they’re now in a relationship with ‘nothing to worry about’ according to Facebook. I know this is a common thing for a lot of people out there so don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to make out I am the only person this has happened to. I’ve also had men engage in full on conversations with me and acknowledge that I’m attracted to them and play along with it all even though they’re taken, then claim that they never specifically stated they were single (even though their behaviour would give that impression) and I was being unreasonable for reacting the way I did. And then, there’s the whole ‘always being the rebound chick’ thing. I don’t know what it is or why it always happens to me, but most of my relationships are always rebounds on the guy’s part and I’m always the one who ends up broken hearted. Or that’s what I thought anyway. Truth be told, as I’ve grown I realised that I haven’t actually really experienced true love with anyone. With each of my exes regardless of whatever happened, I had good memories and bad. I don’t actually hate any of my exes, I hope they’re all doing okay actually (yes even some of the nasty ones from 10+ years back). They each taught me something about myself or what I didn’t want. Or things about my behaviours. They also taught me what love isn’t.

(I swear the universe knew what I was planning to write about today and all the right quotes just seemed to come up on my feed.)

Although I don’t hate exes etc. The things that have happened to me referenced above have made me a different person when it comes to dating or even communicating with the opposite sex. I am a version of myself that frustrates me. It is of course all down to what’s happened to me before; because of the fact I have always tended to end up being misled by people and going through the whole they express interest and regular communication for a while then suddenly they’re quiet for hours on end, then days and the messages are shorter. You then address it and get given the ‘nothing to worry about’ message but really there was something to worry about, because they were done with your shit. You know how it is, we’ve all been there.

The issue with this was that it has now made me terrified of getting close to someone, and as a result I overthink a lot of situations and panic about how I’m coming across. It’s a vicious circle really, I say something that I worry is off putting, I then apologise for saying something because I’m worried it’s off putting, but they end up being put off by the fact I keep apologising or my constant paranoia that somethings wrong. It is a trait that I try really hard to work on but I can’t help the way my life has turned out and how my brain works.

I tend to now permanently have this paranoid mentality in my head that tells me if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Then I just expect it all to go wrong, sometimes I cause it to go wrong myself from my behaviours. Others the guy is just genuinely an arsehole.

I always hate myself a little bit when I get excited about someone. I can’t help it. I am one of those people who loves the idea of connecting with someone on that level, but I’m constantly worried that I’m not good enough and there’s always that other option. You know, that ‘her’ who’s better then me. I’m a very sensitive person and I get worried about rejection very easily which has unfortunately resulted in me leading my own self to be rejected on a regular basis because of my behaviours through fear. I do try now to keep it to myself when the worries happen, and instead of doing what I always used to do and message and be like ‘is everything okay, you’ve been really quiet today’ or ‘are you mad at me’ which is what normally resulted in me being pushed out of the equation, I try and distract myself and focus on other things until I think there is genuinely some major change or negative behaviour. It is very hard to get into that routine when you are so used to being a pain in the ass but I’m working on it. In fact, a few of my best friends will happily tell you in the past that there’s been times where they’ve advised me to lock my phone away for a few hours because my paranoia was getting too much, I was always one of those anticipating hearing from someone types. And of course, my natural presumption was always that when they were going quiet they weren’t busy, they just didn’t like me anymore. Sometimes my paranoia was correct mind you. But a lot of the time it wasn’t. And I made it worse for myself.

But as I have learned all this about myself, it also made me both learn and appreciate that although I can’t help the way that I am, the fears that I have, the way I’ve been treated, that I always seem to find men who lie to me. I can help how I address the situation and how I feel about it.

I can’t keep being mad at men for not loving me.

Friendships

Friendships fall apart. That’s life, sadly. Over my 34 years of life I have been through many, many different friendship groups. I have thankfully been blessed with some of the closest friends ever who have been around for more than seven years now – which is something I never thought would happen. Reason being because I always used to have this thing where I would go from friendship group to friendship group. Sometimes it would be a drift apart situation, sometimes major fallout. A lot of ex-friends from years back would probably tell you I’m a spiteful mean person, and truth be told I can be. But in general, if you’ve ever had a spiteful response from me or I’ve reacted to something in a bad way, it’s because you’ve hurt me. I’m not justifying the spite here, I’m just putting across what my reasoning is (doesn’t mean it’s right).

There’s been many mean things done between me and friends: spiteful comments, I’ve slagged friends off, friends have slagged me off, I’ve hooked up with a friends ex, a friend has hooked up with my ex (and ironically of course I got annoyed about it even though I’d done it to a different friend myself) and it’s just all things that for whatever reason, justified or not, we simply can’t control.

The thing is, we can’t control our feelings for a start. If you fall for someone or you feel a strong connection with someone there isn’t a lot you can do about it. It doesn’t mean it’s justified at all. But back to my comment at the start of this, being hurt is inevitable.

The thing I’ve addressed this year is that it’s not about what happens to you. It’s how you react to what happens. And believe me when I tell you that from personal experience…

Grudges. Are. Fucking. Exhausting.

The problem with you personally holding on to grudges is that you are allowing so much negative emotion to take control of you, in mind, body and soul. Have you not ever noticed that when you hate someone and someone mentions that one girl that stabbed you in the back or that ex of yours you get filled with this horrible negative emotion, anger, and before you know it, you’ve actually gone from being happy hunky dory about your day to suddenly getting pissed off and ranting about someone who upset you. Half the time you’re angry about something they did five years ago and let me tell you, it’s not worth it.

I am not saying that everything a person does to you is okay, or that you have to go around messaging everyone you hated to say you love them now (because that would be weird and also they might still be holding grudges against you so let’s not make it worse), but what I am saying is that in a majority of cases; when it is silly little things, you can use what’s happened as a learning curve. Accept that what happened is absolutely shit and move on. Because no one is worth your negative energy really. There are better things we can all focus on with more positive emotions. There are way too many bullies, trolls and keyboard warriors in this world, don’t become one too just because of some grudge against the guy who was a dickhead or the friend who called you a slut in front of your mates back in 2005.

We have to move on. We have to forgive ourselves for our reactions to things and just release that negative energy.

A lot of this came to mind to me in the last week, because of the unfortunate loss of my friend Jason. His death got me to thinking about how short life really is. How we don’t actually know what is going to happen to us at any time, we don’t have control over when our time is up. I ended up sitting there thinking about that over and over again, for a whole weekend. I then realised that if Life is really that short and unpredictable, why am I spending all of my time being suffocated by anxiety and negative emotions about people and past experiences that I cannot change. It is too much energy. Rethinking how much people have hurt me and getting angry about it or emotional just wears me out. I’ve had times where I have actually felt violently sick, just because I was upset over a guy who text me non-stop and acted keen for weeks to only then die down the conversation and make out I was being crazy for being upset about his lack of chat etc.

My body and it’s health is really important to me. So why am I allowing grudges to fuck it up and make it feel unhealthy. Is the girl that I only ever really disliked because I was threatened by her beauty really worth another migraine? No. Not one bit.

I have spent way too much time focusing on so much negative energy that I am actually exhausted from it. Even just writing this blog post tore a lot of emotions out of me and it is just an exhausting experience to say the least. I need to spend more time focusing on kindness, on people that care about me, the friends that always leave me fun voice notes about silly things on WhatsApp, the best friends who send me presents to cheer me up and always have my back on everything (even when I probably am in the wrong), the experiences I’m going to have in the future, the amazing people I am going to meet along the way. That’s what I am going to be excited about and focusing my energy towards. Not silly little things from the past, we’re all entitled to change and grow after all. Who’s to say the people that did me wrong haven’t changed?

I may not be able to just stop worrying about things going wrong, and apologising for silly worries, and I may still have my dark days and angry moments. I will always be just a little bit paranoid.. But my focus going forward is to express myself positively as much as I can. To smile more (even if I do think my smile is a bit weird looking), support my friends, think positive.

People are still going to hurt me time to time, but now I have learned how to take my time to react to what’s happened, express my emotions – have a little cry maybe and then when the heartache and pain is over, I will find ways to learn from it; reflect on the situation as is and move on in a more happy way.

I want to experience love a lot more than hatred. And that’s my mission in life going forward.

Post rant over. Have a fantastic weekend. also if you do like my blog posts and want to keep up to date with them, feel free to click the follow button and you will then get an email every time I post something 🙂

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