“Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” (Dave Willis)
When I was molested at 12 years old by a male coach on the swim and dive team I was on, I lived with anger, resentment, and basically just a huge grudge towards the man for several decades after. What I never realized though during all those years was how much that grudge grew worse towards not just him, but many others who carried the energy of him. Anyone who reminded me of this man in any way, shape, or form essentially became him and I’d go on to hate them as well, even when they definitely didn’t deserve it.
You see, grudges really don’t hurt the person they’re being carried towards, they only hurt the person that’s carrying it. And boy, did this grudge hurt me, as it pushed away so many good people from my life, especially when I treated them as if they were my molester.
I used to think that all that anger made me strong and is what carried me through all those years I held firmly onto that grudge, but really, it didn’t make me strong at all. It merely left me in a constant state of fear of what was hidden behind it.
Thankfully, I finally faced that fear on a spiritual retreat in my early 30’s and forgave the man who robbed me of my sexual innocence, once and for all. The freedom I felt afterwards was so liberating and I’m happy to say that I haven’t seen the energy of him in any of the men I’ve grown close to ever since. Yet what I find is even more important is that I have nothing but sadness, compassion, and a God-based unconditional love for someone who I can see now was simply just spiritually sick and had fallen away from living in the Light long before.
And overall, I can clearly see now that grudges truly don’t ever make anyone strong, they only make one bitter like this one did to me for far too many years. But forgiving and letting the grudge go didn’t make me weak either, because in the end, it ultimately set me free…
Dear God, I pray that I never hold onto any grudge again in this life, not even for a single moment, because I know that it will only end up hurting me in the long run the more I hold onto it, and will do the very thing that’s the last thing I’d ever want in the process, which is to feel separate from You. So please help me have the strength to always forgive, no matter how hard it may ever seem, as I know in forgiving I’ll be set free and remain close to You.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson