Grudge-Free Alignment

photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When Ben Affleck picked up his Oscar for best picture (Argo), he shared his thanks for those in Hollywood who taught him that you can’t hold grudges.

“It’s hard, but you can’t hold grudges.”

Those impactful words reminded me when I asked dad (whose motto our whole life was “buy American”) what in the world he was doing as the proud new owner of a Toyota.

He answered, “I don’t hold anything against anyone any more.”


I wondered what that would be like to just decide to give up all resentments and grudges; to replace judgments with peace; to shake hands instead of draw  lines?

Well, I’d like to find out.  If dad can do it, surely I can, too.

And if Ben believes this practice is so crucial that he shares it in his acceptance speech, it’s probably worth checking out.

Deliberate creators know that alignment is the name of the game in living the good life.  And it’s hard to be lined up when you’re carrying heavy resentments and nurturing old wounds.

So wherever we might be holding something against another, it’s worth rethinking our way to vibrational liberation.

  • for the past bosses who didn’t do right by us
  • with the former sweethearts who didn’t keep promises
  • on the family members who didn’t know any better

We’ve probably got a variety of opportunities to clear the air and live grudge-free.  And it all starts with the conscious intention and commitment.

Which is worth choosing, because how cool would it be to genuinely say, “I don’t hold anything against anyone any more.”

Pretty smart, dad.

  • March 16, 2013
  • That is a challenging situation, Anna! I’m sending good vibes for it, and knowing that Universe is brilliant at sorting things out when we just remember to manage our focus and allow miracles to unfold.
    All the best to you, my friend!

  • Anna says:

    This article is really nice, and might actually be able to help me. I fortunately don’t hold grudges anymore, since the day I realized how much doing so had been holding me back.
    Unfortunately, I am in a relationship with a guy who does. About two years ago, he and one of my best girlfriends had a disagreement, and until now, he doesn’t want to make peace with her; even if she’s told him she would like to talk about what happened and straighten things out. Because of this, my girlfriend and I sort of drifted away from each other, as I spend most of my time with him and he can’t be in the same room with her.
    I think you could imagine the dilemma I’m in. I just recently told him I want her to be back in my life like before, and now he’s making me choose between him or her. It’s tearing me apart. I want to help him let go of this grudge, and make peace with my friend, not only so that I can have them both in my life (which might sound pretty selfish), but also so that he can free himself from any grudges he’s holding against other people.
    Also, I really love him, and I don’t want to lose him, but I’ve been thinking that I don’t want to be married to a person who holds grudges.
    Thank you for this article, and wish me luck! 🙂

  • Kimberly says:

    This is exactly what I did on New Years Day. If you remember me from GVU last year, I was dealing with regular abuse from my boyfriend’s parents, his sister, and my own mother (which lasted my entire life).
    Thanks to what I learned about LOA, I knew that I needed to start talking about what I wanted and part of that was to start sharing how I will be treated by people. In the past few months, I’ve lost a friend – because I didn’t like the way she treated me. I explained how I wanted to be treated, she didn’t feel that she could do this, so we parted ways. I don’t hold a grudge.
    I also don’t hold a grudge against my boyfriend’s family. It does suck that they can’t find a way to get along with me, but that’s on them; not me. Instead, I chose to turn my attention to our dogs and cats, my blog, my followers, reading, movies, and – of course – my awesome boyfriend 🙂

  • Pernille Madsen says:

    I think I’m in the same place as your father, as I find it harder and harder to judge anyone. And I know how I got there!
    I’ve heard both Abraham and the Communion of Light say that everything we do, we do to feel better. When we feel “bad” in any way, feeling better will feel like relief. So you might as well say that everything we do, we do to find/feel relief.
    And this resonated so well with me that over time I’ve made it a habbit to remember this, no matter what anyone does in any situation. And when I realize that they are only doing it to find relief, I often end up feeling sorry for them (I mean, if the only way someone can find relief is by killing someone or treating someone really bad, boy must this person feel awful!)
    And when I think of former unfair bosses or disrespectful boyfriends, etc., and realize that whatever they did had very little to do with me – it was just their way of trying to find relief – the grudge totally disappears and I feel free 🙂

  • Salman says:

    hmmmmmm nice sharing. Thought provoking 🙂

  • Rob says:

    If we hold grudges, it’s really holding a grudge with ourself. And by holding it, we focus on it. And as we know, what we focus on expands. So the more you hold the grudge, the more you will experience situations that will cause you to hold even more grudges. Let them go and be free!

  • This was a tough one for me for a long time and the reason why I think I had a tough year in 2012. I finally had to find the line between not allowing people to get to me and choosing how I was going to react to others.
    When I finally accepted that I had the power to move forward without carrying that baggage with me – it was so freeing and relaxing. Whewf!

  • Lisa says:

    I had to smile as I read this post Jeannette — my dad was a WWII veteran and for many years felt the same – buy American. He harbored a lot of animosity from his experiences from the war and wouldn’t talk about them. He held on to them for a long time and it was toxic. You can imagine the surprise when brought his first Camry — we were all amazed and it was also a sign of easing up on this grudge and embracing differences too.
    Just read an article out of Stanford on how businesses are starting to embrace forgiveness in the workplace for all its positive benefits and a means to elicit change and collaboration — a topic near and dear to my heart. They point out that the root of grudges stems from fear of losing control, fear of losing trust, fear of losing power like Darliss mentioned. So it’s very nice to see research being done in this area and organizations listening up!
    Ultimately for me it’s about compassion, not being sucked up into the drama of a situation, seeing the other’s point of view and then taking action from a heart centered place. Thanks Jeannette!

  • Cat says:

    For those who like ease — and I mean “it-can’t-possibly-be-this-easy” ease — in their practice and development, Access Consciousness is an amazing tool (or set of tools) for giving up things like judgments and grudges. Free subscription video series available from one of Access’ developers (one of those people you just know you like, even though you’ve never met them) at How does it get any better than that? 🙂

  • Darliss says:

    Oh, Janette. We are so in the same wavelength. I was having a rare political discussion with someone and they were talking about the gun control debate here in the US. My response was, “What is the third way?” One side wants to take away all guns to keep their families safe and the other side wants to be able to keep all of the guns they can get their hands on to keep their families safe. They are really concerned about the same thing; their motivation is safety for themselves and their families. But, they are making it about guns because that something they can control. If we want to find answers we need to address what lies underneath. What are our real human fears and motivations. XOXO

  • Darliss says:

    I think the thing that helps me the most with this is to look for the person’s motivation. Usually when someone does something hurtful it comes from a motivation of self protection, self preservation and sometimes even from love. Example: I have people in my life who think that I need to follow their religious beliefs or I am going to hell. They use many ways to share this belief with me to try to convince me of the “truth” including scolding, guilt trips and shaming.
    Someone i shared this with said to me, “They must love you very much to risk their relationship with you to save your soul.” I wish I remembered who the wise one was who said it. I would not only like to give them credit but to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Now I look for the motivation behind the action and try to find the pain or the deep love that the person is expressing so I can respond with true love for them. It’s not really about me.

  • Janette says:

    Oh, yes! After reading this I wondered if I had any grudges left (and I’m a girl who KNEW HOW TO SULK lol!!!). Turns out, I don’t. OMG, such cause for celebration!!!
    And how I got here? Two things, I think. First, I began to examine every hurt or slight or disaster that I might have thought was caused by someone else (we know it’s not, but that’s another conversation); and I sought out the hidden gift within. Tthere is always one to be found, even if it requires a magnifying glass, a sniffer dog and a can of Luminol. That took out much of the sting, and made it easier to forgive – even sometimes appreciate (wouldn’t that person be surprised to know I’m grateful lol???)
    And second, for some months I have been consciously practicing seeing others as Source (aka God) sees them – including politicians whose views appal me and those who commit atrocious acts of violence. So even the most so-called “evil” person, from God’s perspective, is a beloved child of the Divine. And I begin to imagine just how painfully disconnected they must have felt at their core, in order to do such terrible things. And – at least in that moment – I can find compassion for them. By deliberately practicing that, I have discovered that the comparatively small hurts and offences I’ve felt are much easier to let go of. It’s worth noting that this practice was really difficult to begin with! But it does get easier.
    And of course, none of this means that I condone or allow them to abuse me again. But I can – it turns out – let go of the past. Such relief! 🙂

  • I can feel the liberation you gave yourself, Robinvk, with that choice. Yay for letting go!
    And is it just me, or are family members especially good at giving us these opportunities? lol Maybe it’s just anyone we spend a lot of intimate time with. Of course, I guess it could just as easily work the other way, too, in that family is easier to cut some slack to since after all, “they’re family.”
    Thanks for posting, Robinvk!

  • Michelle, do you have any secrets to share about how you got there?
    In the post I said it starts with consciously deciding to do so – but I’m really curious to hear how others got to the place you’re describing.

  • I’ve found this to really set me free, even if the other party holds still holds a grudge. Even when you can still feel that they are angry, but you’ve forgiven them and moved on, it doesn’t have any power over you anymore. Can you tell I’ve been dealing this over the past few months? It’s worth the work to let it go.

  • robinvk says:

    I’ve had lifetime issues with my brother. It’s safe to say that I am in the better place because I chose to forgive him and move on. What I didn’t realize, is that I was holding myself in the same place (for years) by holding on the grudge I had against him. Once I made that connection, I was free of the whole situation. Unfortunately he is still angry, and hasn’t moved on. Letting go of the grudge and the anger was as big as forgiving him. great post! thanks

  • >