Grievances–grudges, judgment, criticism, resentment, blame, disapproval, or attack—block us from happiness and serenity.
“Well I don’t DO those things,”
You might think this, and you’re probably right. But what about the condemning attitudes living in our minds? Can any of us say we don’t constantly judge others’ words and actions? Of course we do.
It sounds like this: “If I were him, I wouldn’t do that.” “Why can’t she just get along with us? What’s wrong with her?” “They should not be doing that; they’re corrupt.”
The Problem with Grievances
Even though such statements seem true, the problem is that we’re focusing on the negative rather than the positive.
When we choose to hold a grievance, we can’t see the other person’s true self—the purity of their spirit. Further, if we can’t see the goodness in them, we can’t claim it for ourselves. What we send out to others comes back to us; it’s that simple.
Many of us deny our own negativity by numbing ourselves with substances or other unhealthy habits—a dead end to positive growth. Even those trying to be more positive still struggle with inherent dark thoughts. I certainly do.
How to Overcome A Grievance
Here’s a technique that showed up today as I read Lesson 78, “Let miracles replace all grievances,” from A Course in Miracles. First I was to recall all my negative thoughts about an important person in my life: what that person had done, their “weaknesses,” and other offenses. Then I was to ask spirit to help me see him through the eyes of love—“Let your mind be shown the light in him beyond your grievances.” Then it suggested that I thank this person for prompting my negativity and discomfort so that I could release it and be peaceful and happy.
I just did the exercise as directed. As I chose to focus on the perfection of this person’s spirit rather than the images my mind had conjured, I found a deep peace creep over me. I could hardly remember what I thought was “wrong,” and I felt a loving connection with the person. As a result, I felt the light of spirit growing in myself.
The miracle of replacing fear with love had occurred. Amen.
I would love to hear from you: What gets in the way of your serenity? How do you overcome grievances or grudges?
Gigi Langer has been clean and sober for 33 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She’s a sought-after speaker and retreat leader who has helped thousands improve their lives at work and at home.