Here's something for you to think about: who would still be a part of your life if you could just "forgive and forget?" Think of how many people you have removed from your life over something that could easily be forgiven. Or maybe not so easily, but where forgiveness could still be granted. Personally speaking, I have recently come to allow these people that I, at one point, resented, to be crossed off my "hate list," and here's why you should too.
I have received great satisfaction from making friends of, or at least being friendly, with ex-enemies. Being able to be friends with everyone is what I strive to do. Now that I have befriended my foes, I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Knowing that there were specific people who were not fond of me bothered me. I like to think of myself as someone who can get along well with others. These few exceptions held me back from my goal.
Holding a grudge is childish, let's be honest. Just because this girl messaged your boyfriend in seventh grade while you were dating asking him if he was going to the football game on Friday night, does not mean that you should refuse to sit by her in class, still, to this day. Just like because a girl has a boyfriend and is not interested in a relationship with another guy, should he constantly make rude comments and ignore his, at one point, close friend. These insignificant occurrences should not hold us back from possible friendships.
Being able to smile and make conversation with someone who does not like you, will induce a peace of mind. Knowing that you have the ability to move on from the past, becoming the bigger person, will bring contentment within yourself. Hopefully, the kind gesture you made, will be returned after the realization that the past can be the past.
What I came to realize about holding grudges is that most of them were so long ago that I can't even remember what happened between us. All I remember is that I did not like that person. However, It is not right for one to ostracize another for so long because of something that happened years ago.
People can change. People can grow up, and can better themselves. People do make mistakes. All of us do, at one point or another. People may regret their poor choices and actions. But when we get angry with someone and just shut them out of our lives completely, we do not allow them to show us that they are sorry.
Here's a challenge for you: swallow your pride, reach out to someone you have been holding a grudge against, apologize to them and allow them back into your life. Life is entirely too short to live your life full of hatred for others, especially for what has happened in the past. You do not want to go your whole life collecting enemies, rather than friends. Learning to let go and move on will bring happiness within, happiness that will, in return, spread to others you encounter. So, find the strength to rekindle an old relationship that had almost died out. If you do not, you may find yourself regretting your decision down the road.
XO and best wishes,
Ashley Rose Corbin