Jewish law requires that you not hate your brother (or sister) in your heart. This means you shouldn’t nurse a grudge. If someone has done something that bothers you, you should speak to them and tell them what’s bothering you. Give them the chance to ask for your forgiveness or correct things. They might be very willing to do so. You might even find that the slight was completely unintentional. And even if they don’t seem to care, at least you tried.
But there’s another approach to fulfilling this halacha. Try hisbodedus, speaking to God in your own words. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov tells us to talk to God as we would talk to our best friend (even more than that, as we’d talk to a wise mentor, a loving, compassionate parent, and so on).
Before you go unburden yourself to the one who slighted you, ask Hashem to help you choose your words wisely. You can even ask Hashem to help you judge your brother or sister kindly and release the grudge you are hanging onto. Tell Hashem everything that person did and ask Him to help you forgive them. Talk it out with Hashem. You can even play the other side, and argue in this person’s favor, defend Him to Hashem. You almost certainly will find your hurt and anger dissipating.
Why is it so important to try to diffuse arguments and strife, even if we’re the one hurting? Are you willing to subsume your life’s purpose to something that is truly, ultimately petty? Or do you want to try and put things in perspective?
In Likutey Eitzos, the Book of Advice, Reb Nosson compiled vital insights and advice of Rebbe Nachman’s from a variety of sources, and puts them into categories that are relevant to everyone. Under the category of Conflict, there are 30 entries. Here’s number 30:
The whole world is filled with quarreling. Nation disputes against nation. Every city has its factions. Each household is locked in arguments with the neighbors. Within each household the husband argues with his wife, with the children, and the servants. And on and on and on.
Nobody thinks about what the ultimate goal of the world is. Every day a person dies, because the day has passed and will never come back, and each day draws closer to the day of his death.
How can he waste his time on arguments? Anyone who has any sense should understand this and win long life for himself. Let him not waste his life on quarrels big or small. He should control himself and hold his anger in check and live peacefully with everybody. (Sichos HaRan)
Farthest-out Ever Photo of Universe by NASA