I learned that too, Tyler. Let me explain. My family influenced me very much because of our problems. We don’t generally like to talk about our problems. That’s the problem. Several members of my family have gotten mad at others and instead of working it out they just cut them out of their life. Sometimes it is forever. One example of this was a grandparent got mad at my aunt because of the person my aunt wanted to marry. My grandparent died never working that out. Never seeing their grandchildren. At my grandparents deaths we sneaked our aunt in to see the bodies because everyone was afraid of being cut off from the family. Eventually after this grandparent died my aunt and uncles and all of us cousins were able to see each other again. I was in my twenties. We missed so much time, family gatherings, sleep-overs, birthdays etc… Simply because of one person’s grudge.
This seems to be the way that my family wants to deal with issues. I have had 3 siblings follow this line of thinking and cut other family members out of their lives, without seemingly any effort to fix or heal the situations. Some of these I know on a personal basis. I also have cousins with similar problems. It is sad when this may be a legacy that we leave to the next generations.
Because of these problems, I was determined to not be like that. There was no way I was going to cause that kind of pain to others. I started accepting everyone no matter what they were like because I know what it is like to be shunned by people I dearly love. Any time that there is a disagreement I work hard to make whatever it is right. I learned to love people unconditionally at all costs, no matter what issues that person had. I am not perfect in my love for others, but I dearly try.
The hateful grudges my family seems to hold on to dearly will not find a place in my life. Nor do I believe that it should hold a place in anyone’s life. Coming from a Christian home I hold on to the numerous and unending verses about loving one another and ask, why can’t we truly love? I don’t have the answer. All I can do is love and hope that one day those that I love will love me back.
I know that I am not the only one that has these kinds of families. No matter what we do to mend the wounds it doesn’t seem to do any good. We get frustrated and depressed. We have sleepless nights, we cry, no matter how long it has been. We wonder if the other party even cares. Do they even think about us? What will it take to bring us back together? Is there anything? For my family it took my grandparents death, but it still didn’t stop us from continuing the same actions. Will we ever learn?
If you are one that has been cut out of someone’s life, keep trying, there is always hope that things will change. If we stop then grudge, division and hate have won. If you are the one holding the grudge, ask yourself if it is really worth it, because it probably isn’t. Life is too short to hold on to the anger that seems to be running your life. It’s okay to disagree. It isn’t okay to mistreat. There are people out there that love you and want you in their life. They want forgiveness and reconciliation. Hopefully, as much as you want it.
It’s the holiday season. Hanukkah is about miracles, Kwanzaa is about family and community unity (among other things) and Christmas is about love. What part does a grudge have in any of those? The best present someone can get or give is forgiveness. Let go of those things that hurt one another and hold on to Love.