In truth, our grudge, and the identity that accompanies it, is an attempt to get the comfort and compassion we didn’t get in the past, the empathy for what happened to us at the hands of this “other,” the experience that our suffering matters As a somebody who was victimized, we are announcing that we are deserving of extra kindness and special treatment. Our indignation and anger is a cry to be cared about and treated differently—because of what we have endured.
When we start paying attention to our mind, we see that it is always beckoning us to reenter the story of our pain. Something amazing happens, however, when we make the choice to refrain from taking the mind’s bait, resist engaging with such thoughts. Our relationship gets a whole lot better, and feels, suddenly, like it’s happening in the present tense, like we’re meeting our partner freshly. I am absolutely not suggesting that we deny pain when it is felt intensely and directly, in the body, but rather that we choose not to extend, intensify and freeze it, keeping it alive in our mind when it (possibly) might not need to be there. Pain is a truth, but if we don’t feed it, it has a natural life span. It is we who (often) make pain immortal.
To this end, it is important that we notice when we are actually feeling okay, not in pain, not resentful, not hurt, and we still choose to jump on board a thought train to pain. It is important that we become conscious of this habit to get back in the saddle of hurt. It is an odd choice really, but one that we all make, until we don’t anymore, until we become aware that we are choosing it.