The Upside of Grudges, Gossip and Giving Up
I appreciate an encouraging message as much as the next, but many of these well-meaning suggestions give a bad rap to some of my favorite habits.
Between the pinterest boards I browse and my facebook news feed, it seems the reminders are constant about how to live a better life:
- “find forgiveness”
- “only speak well of others”
- watch my language
- never EVER give up
and on and on …
So I’m here to defend some of the things my well esteemed peers warn me against regularly, starting with:
1. Forget forgiveness.
What do I have against forgiveness? Two things. First, to forgive someone first requires that I’ve judged something or someone wrong. If I’m going to put forth the effort to shift my vibe on a situation, I can probably do better than that.
Second, if I don’t allow myself a grudge because it’s not kosher to feel that way, I’m at risk of not properly owning my feelings. And we know how that turns out. (Not fab.)
Plus, I may be bypassing some very powerful contrast! Who knows what great stuff I’m cooking up as I hold those contrasty feelings and thoughts?! Experience has taught me I get to a peaceful place way more genuinely (and swiftly, too) when I honor the grudge while it lasts. It’ll go when it’s time, and it seems to do that much better when I’m not opposed to it to start with.
So, don’t be so quick to forgive.
And another thing:
2. Don’t watch your language.
If you’re like me, you have many well-intentioned friends telling you to “only speak what you want to create,” and use high energy language to ensure your vibration is top notch. (I’ve probably been one of those friends!)
That’s a nice theory. But real life has a different way of working out.
Here’s why I am in favor of things like gossip and swearing: to put limits on where or how we find relief can botch the system.
And sometimes, to some people, it simply feels better to say what you’re trying not to or what you know you shouldn’t – just to get it out of your system. Plus, some folks get great relief from gossip sessions, so who are we to judge what’s best? Cut a girl some slack – it just may be that a good gossip session helps her get over it and get on with life.
This “find a way to feel better” thing works way better when we don’t put rules around it, and I know lots of people get genuine relief from saying things that others might qualify as rumorus chitchat. Myself included on occasion.
Also, I’ve noticed that the times when I commit to avoiding conversations that feel gossipy is when I seem to attract/initiate them the most. (What we resist, persists!) My better plan has turned out to be “don’t be so uptight about it.”
On another note …
3. Giving up can be good for you.
“Never EVER give up,” the sage advice goes.
But you know what? Sometimes that routine just feeds resistance and attachment. I know lots of us have experienced letting something go as exactly the relief that was needed to get things in gear. So maybe we ought to champion those who are ready to throw in the towel!
* * *
While I’m at it, let me just give a little plug for emotional eating and drug use.
(By now you might think I’m joking, but I’m not.)
Just because someone else might think that eating for pleasure is from the devil, doesn’t mean they need to ruin it for the rest of us.
The way some experts preach vigilance about only eating when you’re really truly legitimately physically hungry, makes me think they have something against the benefits of ‘comfort food.’ If they want to believe that eating to feel better ruins us, then more power to them – but don’t drag the rest of us along for that ride. We have fantastically powerful bodies – when we don’t block them with limiting beliefs.
(And I know most women do have those limiting beliefs, so don’t get crazy with yourself if you’re heavily invested in them.)
I’m not recommending using food as a sole method of feeling good – I think it’s great to have LOTS of ways to enjoy life and feel better. If food is one of them, enjoy! Your body will tell you what it appreciates; you can trust it without regulating it via externally imposed rules.
That goes for alcohol, too. When I find myself the kind of wound up that makes a better feeling thought completely elusive – sometimes I take a dog walk, sometimes I take a nap, and sometimes I pop a beer. Not very often do I fall back on the alcohol trick, but it is a guaranteed effective one for me to loosen up and relax tight thoughts.
Abraham’s soothing words to someone who is addicted? “Don’t worry too much about it.” (Because we know where worry and judgment take us!)
More than anything, I’m saying let’s not have too many rules for ourselves, or too many things we push against. Let’s instead honor where our own inner guidance takes us, and where someone else’s takes them; trusting that inner guidance knows best, and living it free of limiting beliefs about what serves us and what doesn’t. That’s a huge act of self-love.
As I learned on pinterest today, it’s all good. And that includes gossip, grudges, giving up, and lots of other “unapproved” activities.
At the risk of generating an x-rated comment or two, you know I’d love to hear how you find pleasure in things you’re not “supposed” to …