Are You Holding Grudges or Are They Holding You?

Joyce Shafer

Joyce Shafer

Holding grudges is a heavy burden to bear. If you’re holding them, are you aware of what this is really doing to you?

It’s probably correct to say that most of us have held one or more grudges at some point in life. Some are about significant events and some are petty. Sometimes we’re able to let grudges go either within a reasonable amount of time or eventually. Sometimes we hold onto grudges for a very, very long time. When this happens, resentment we carry can or does turn into bitterness.

Ernest Holmes wrote that the mouth speaks from the heart, and therefore it’s impossible for us to conceal who we are… rather than as we wish to appear to be; and that “…the mirror of life cannot help reflecting back to us that which we really are.” You can easily add: life reflects back what we really believe; and, we behave based on what we believe. Imagine what it means Law of Attraction-wise if we hold resentment or bitterness in the heart, especially if we believe they belong and should stay there.

It’s been rightly said that forgiveness is not about – is never about – saying what someone did is okay, but is instead a way for you to put the heavy burden of resentment down. This is so that you can enjoy life, including the abundance you already have in every area of your life, which then invites more in. This makes sense to do when you think about how Law of Attraction responds to and matches your energy vibration in every moment. Your emotions tell you what you’re attracting.

Something to keep in mind: if the person, or we, had had the consciousness to do better at any given time, he/she/we would have. This fact applies to all of us, and it’s something we meet in every moment. We all have the opportunity to raise our consciousness even one degree, to make better choices than ones we might make strictly from an ego perspective. This is not always as easy as we’d like, but it is doable.

Let’s look at what happens to us when we hold grudges against others, and even against ourselves.

*We keep “records,” our own mental list of every “wrong” we experienced or perceived that we experienced (or did). We not only visit these records repeatedly, but will include one or more past entries in the present, when triggered into frustration, anger, or fear. We do this either with a person we hold a grudge against (including us) or we tell others. We don’t do this as part of a process to heal ourselves, but to drive the nail or spike of our own perspective in deeper. If we talk about these things from a commitment to release them and free ourselves once and for all, that’s altogether different, and encouraged.

*In our retelling of these wrongs to whomever, we paint ourselves as in the right and the other(s) in the wrong. Any wrongdoing or inappropriateness of ours is usually left out of the story. If bitterness is in our heart, we act from a victim or martyr-like mindset, which means the majority of our conversations become ones of complaining and seldom ones of healing or about learned wisdom, or what we intend to create or contribute in a productive way going forward.

*We think of life as a serious business. We place “serious” emphasis on all that we perceive as needing to be done, including busywork. If anyone doesn’t share the same serious attitude, if they dare to be lighter-hearted or even to have fun or be calmer than we feel, we get angry.

*If anyone we hold a grudge against has good fortune, our resentment is amplified at them… maybe even at Source.

*While others enjoy life and serenity and abundance in greater measure than we do, we sit outside of these experiences, stewing or wallowing in resentment.

We feel we have every right to our grudges and to hold onto them; but who pays the greater price for holding onto them? We do – because our perspective cannot help but warp under so much tension and strain. Ernest Holmes wrote: “Man’s experience is the logical outcome of his inner vision; his horizon is limited to the confines of his own consciousness. Wherever this consciousness lacks a true perspective, its outward expression will lack proper harmony.” Stuff happens; but an affected perspective will take nearly everything personally or as a personal attack.

You cannot control what another individual does or thinks, but you can control how you choose to respond or behave. And, yes, even how you think about what others do. When we hold a grudge—large or petty, we restrict any expansion of perspective. This restricts what we can learn and how we can grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. We may complain that nothing and no one ever changes, while we stay exactly the same or worsen. We never punish others with our grudges, our resentments, and our resistance to a more reasoned perspective as much as we punish ourselves.

Effects of grudge-holding show up in our bodies, our behaviors, our finances, our relationships. This can cause us to be on alert for slights of any kind, as though everyone – and even Source – is against us. We may be too upset or distressed (or habituated) to even contemplate how we affect Law of Attraction, what kinds of “instructions” we send to it. We become a house divided against its Self, and hold others or Source responsible.

Our grudges cause us to focus on fragments instead of the whole, to be fragmented ourselves, instead of whole. We seek, even crave, wholeness. But grudge-holding keeps us from seeing that wholeness comes from and can only come from within.

How can you release a grudge? First, you have to sincerely desire to do this for Your Own Sake! You don’t ever have to like or approve or okay what happened, but you can choose to stop letting your grudges consume you and your life. You can choose to say: It happened. It’s over. I’m going to trust there was a reason, even if just to show me how not to be, or was an opportunity to raise my conscious awareness. My focus now is on how to feel, act, and be better and better. My choice is to now focus on the present, which is creating my future, as well, right now.

You can know that the more you put this into practice, the easier it is for you to enter a state of appreciation – for yourself, your life, and the Source of All That Is. You can free yourself from the bitter bile of resentment and its repetitive negative influences on you and your life. You can apply this to old grudges and potential new ones. You can watch how this shifts Law of Attraction to work in ways that fill you with joy and enjoyment… and allow you to more easily connect with the true blessings in your life, and inspire you to be a blessing in the lives of others.

Practice makes progress.


© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at


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