I hold grudges and feel so unforgiving...what can I do?


#1

When people make me mad, I stay mad at them, sometimes for years on end. This happens both with people I encounter online and in person. Whether it's a political discussion, or religious discussion, or some other discussion, if someone makes me upset, I just can't get over it. Sometimes I will forget about it for a while, but I'll eventually start to remember it, and I'll become angry and frustrated all over again.

There are still people I'm mad at way back from high school. I wish I could get over it, but it's like something inside isn't letting me. Just thinking about them makes me angry.

Also, I have trouble forgiving myself. If I make mistakes (on just about anything) I get very frustrated with myself. I put myself down, then I become obsessed with the mistake, and obsessed with correcting what I did wrong (even if it is impossible to fix).

It feels like I'm becoming an angry person. It's effecting my everyday life, and I just don't know what to do anymore. How can I learn to just forgive and forget? Has anyone else felt like this before?

(And this is my first post here. Hello :) Responses are appreciated )


#2

Someone here used to suggest having a Jesus box. You would write a letter to the person who hurt you and then put it in that box, handing the situation over to Jesus. If you remembered something else about the incident later then you could do it again. I was raised by someone who not only held grudges but wanted me to, as well. I tried the letter writing technique and it was helpful to me but I haven't taken that final step to give it to Jesus. Good luck.


#3

Hello and welcome to CAF. You will find a huge amount of help here, but you must be willing to commit to helping yourself (with God's grace of course)

You are dealing with a problem of being overly critical, both with yourself and with others. There is also a problem of prioritizing what is important and allowing unimportant upsets to fester out of control.

This probably began as a child, getting angry with others, and now has turned itself inwardly reaching a point where you cannot forgive even yourself....
This is an attack by the evil one to get you so wrapped up in your anger that you cannot get loose.

Fortunately ou recognize this and wish to break the chains - As always the most important step.

First of all I will ask what steps, if any, you have taken already (prayer, making amends etc.)

Secondly, I strongly urge you to spend time before the Crucifix and the tabernacle. Look at our Lord on the cross and think about how much he put up with without getting angry or striking out. How little our crosses seem when we compare them to his.

Pray for God to take this "sword" from your hand and this blight from your soul.

Then I tell you this - go to confession and explain this to your confessor. Tell him that this is something that is becoming "all pervading" in your life and could lead to dispair (which it surely could). Be guided by his advice in combatting this. Accept absolution for your sins and ask God to remove all malice from your heart and your thoughts.

Take positive steps to counteract you anger. As soon as you feel it coming on, either in memory of some past argument or in something new, have a prayer, an ejaculation, ready to deploy to short circuit the negative thoughts. Sort of like the old adage to count to ten (which is good advice in itself). A short heartflt prayer can have huge benefits. Something as simple as, "Sweet Jesus calm me", or "Dear Lord help me respond in Charity"...Things like this.

This has to start with yourself. You must learn to forgive youself. Then you must begin to let go of old hurts.

Remember this old rule, "Don't sweat the small stuff. and it's (almost) all small stuff".

Finally, don't expect an immediate change. Think of this like an excerize program or a diet. Commit to it but realize that improvement will come incrementally as you diligently apply the virtues of patience, forgiveness and Love, to counter the vises of Anger, Wrath, and vengance.

I hope some of this helps.

Peace
James


#4

Jesus is the source of strength. When you find yourself feeling angry at a person picture yourself giving this person to Him, and saying a prayer for that person. If you keep doing this, which is an act of your will in spite of your feelings, eventually you will have peace towards that person.

Prayer and making such acts of the will helps much!


#5

[quote="lookingforhelp, post:1, topic:222326"]
When people make me mad, I stay mad at them, sometimes for years on end. This happens both with people I encounter online and in person. Whether it's a political discussion, or religious discussion, or some other discussion, if someone makes me upset, I just can't get over it. Sometimes I will forget about it for a while, but I'll eventually start to remember it, and I'll become angry and frustrated all over again.

There are still people I'm mad at way back from high school. I wish I could get over it, but it's like something inside isn't letting me. Just thinking about them makes me angry.

Also, I have trouble forgiving myself. If I make mistakes (on just about anything) I get very frustrated with myself. I put myself down, then I become obsessed with the mistake, and obsessed with correcting what I did wrong (even if it is impossible to fix).

It feels like I'm becoming an angry person. It's effecting my everyday life, and I just don't know what to do anymore. How can I learn to just forgive and forget? Has anyone else felt like this before?

(And this is my first post here. Hello :) Responses are appreciated )

[/quote]

Here is a little bit of wisdom that has helped me and many others. Resentments and grudges are like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Resentments can cause such bitterness inside you. It takes a tremendous amount of energy, mentally, physically and spiritually, to stay angry with someone. And it doesn't hurt that person AT ALL!! It merely destroys you from the inside out.

Pray to Jesus - pray the rosary - meditate on the Cross. Look at what Jesus forgave! He is forgiving your sins right now! Also, go to confession and confess your bitterness and pain. Grieve for the pain you have felt and the hurts that you've held onto. God wants more for you than that!

And welcome to this wonderful forum! I've only been visiting for a couple of months now and it's helped me tremendously. There are a lot of really great Catholics here. You can ask just about any question and get solid answers, not just opinions.

Something just struck me - your mentally returning to past things that made you angry is a little obsessive/compulsive. Counseling might help, but not going back into your past to explore what caused it - it would have to be directed at breaking that repetitive cycle of rumination on things that anger you. You are feeding your anger when you do that.


#6

It does help to focus on Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.

Anger and resentment just hurts inside and takes up a lot of energy that could be going to something else. Letting go of it is a wonderful feeling. I have struggled with it too. When I forgive, it's powerful; it feels like a heavy burden has been lifted and my energies can go to something worthwhile and positive. It isn't easy. It does take time. But prayer, focusing on the good, and letting go of the past which cannot be changed will help get you there.


#7

Do all the spiritual things that others here have advised, but also check with a psychologist...it sounds as though you may have an obsessive-compulsive thing going. Go get it checked out. It isn't anything to ashamed of.


#8

God bless you for your honesty. Best IMO to read the four Gospels and especially Luke 6 strarting with verse 27 --- We all feel things strongly, but to let it go and forgive shows that we really do beleive what He did. Part of his last words --- Father forive them they don't know what they are doing --- If we do not forgive we will not be forgiven --- we don't talk about this much but perhaps we should think about it seriously


#9

Imagine how many grudges God should hold against us everytime we kinda say, Forget you, God, and then sin against him. Imagine how many times God looks at his son on the cross, then looks at us, the ones who caused this torture of his own son, and then still forgives us. For years, and years, and centuries he forgives the same sins over and over and over!!


#10

I like using your name as the OP's answer - his name is
lookingforhelp and yours is HeWillProvide.

:)


#11

[quote="lookingforhelp, post:1, topic:222326"]
When people make me mad, I stay mad at them, sometimes for years on end. This happens both with people I encounter online and in person. Whether it's a political discussion, or religious discussion, or some other discussion, if someone makes me upset, I just can't get over it. Sometimes I will forget about it for a while, but I'll eventually start to remember it, and I'll become angry and frustrated all over again.

There are still people I'm mad at way back from high school. I wish I could get over it, but it's like something inside isn't letting me. Just thinking about them makes me angry.

Also, I have trouble forgiving myself. If I make mistakes (on just about anything) I get very frustrated with myself. I put myself down, then I become obsessed with the mistake, and obsessed with correcting what I did wrong (even if it is impossible to fix).

It feels like I'm becoming an angry person. It's effecting my everyday life, and I just don't know what to do anymore. How can I learn to just forgive and forget? Has anyone else felt like this before?

(And this is my first post here. Hello :) Responses are appreciated )

[/quote]

Welcome to CAF my friend.

I used to be alot like you, and to tell you truth, I still can be. It's a struggle with my nature. I had a miserable 4 years of high school, by far the worst part of my life-and I take politics real personal, so sometimes I do hold a grudge and get real angry. toward people. I've done that without ever being called an angry person, and I don't think any of my friends would call me that-but it is a struggle with myself.

The best thing to do is to keep busy, the busier you are, the less you time you have to think about things like that. (Hard work solves alot of stuff!)

Make a choice to be happy. Happiness can be, and in some ways is, a choice. So many people seem to love wallowing in the gloom, bringing everybody down with them, or something along those lines. It makes them feel "hip" or something. Realize that with so many people depressed/cranky, it makes it easy to fall into that habit. Be yourself, and be happy. Say, "I will make it a point for people to say about me, 'there goes the nicest/happiest guy I've ever met.'" Don't be afraid if people call you phony. That's there own problem.

Find a sport. Release that energy of anger into something constructive. Years ago, back some schools would catch two boys fighting in class. They'd break it up, and tell them to met a few weeks later in the boxing ring, so it could be controlled. The schools had it right-young men need an outlet for their testosterone. Now a days, they don't know what to do with it so they emulate Eminem, play endless video games-that rubbish.


#12

When I feel angry I try to reflect on how Jesus taught us to pray to God the Father: "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us". If we want to be right with God, we need to forgive people who we feel have done us wrong. How can I ask God's forgiveness if I want to hold on to grudges? Why should God (who is perfect), forgive me (a wretched sinner), when I don't forgive others (who I am no better than)?

Forgiveness can be hard, but a commitment to fogrive is the important first step. A great next step is reflecting on Jesus' forgiveness...of the soldiers crucifying him..."forgive them Father, they know not what they do"...or of Peter who denied him three times as he was being handed over to death...Jesus forgave some pretty hard things, and generally the things we're called to forgive don't seem so hard in comparison.


#13

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