A great hero will face many challenges in life. Not least will be how they respond to those who have hurt them or betrayed their trust.
‘By demonstrating empathy and practicing mercy, we are enabling ourselves to abolish the damaging grasp the Grudge has maintained over us.’
Dashing around the murky forest with agility and determination, our hero skids past foliage and hastily scrambles across the thickly knotted underbrush. From the depths of the darkness comes the fearsome cry of the Big Bad Grudge - the foul beast that has relished in it’s unflinching pursuit of the hero. With stark horror it dawns on our adventurer that the time has come for them to vanquish this loathsome foe. Reaching into their trusty rucksack the player retrieves their weapons and prepares for battle.
The Sabre of Acknowledgement
The most crucial step in overcoming the unyielding Grudge is to simply acknowledge the situation at hand. It is pivotal for the adventurer to understand whether their negative emotions stem from the immediate issue or from other things that are placing emotional pressure on them, which might have caused the argument to blow out of proportion. Identifying the issues at hand enables the player to adequately prepare for the next stage of battle and recognise their emotional state of being.
In order for our brave protagonist to defeat the looming beast, the player must be courageous and open up a conversation with the person on the other side of the conflict. As long as both parties are open and generous, this conversation can enable them to express how the other person’s actions have made them feel. In the best possible case, the argument will then dissolve as both people come to understand the other person’s point of view better.
The Shield of Understanding
Although the mighty fists of the Grudge cause the ground to shudder and convulse in anguish, the protagonist merely needs to equip their shield of understanding and allow themselves to envision the situation from the opposing side to soften the blow. It is important to recognise that this exercise neither condones nor condemns the other’s actions but rather enhances the sense of compassion shared between the two.
The Flowers of Forgiveness
Sometimes, however, the weapons aren’t enough and the Grudge can become all consuming. As fear and darkness consume the cowering landscape, our unflinching hero plunges a trembling hand into the farthest corners of the rucksack only to produce two meticulously preserved petunias. A sudden flash of hesitation ripples across the Grudge’s gaunt face as the hero raises the most revered weapon towards the ink-stained sky. Suddenly, the wind whispers and the trees sway. From the gaping ajar mouth of our protagonist streams three words that rush forth with immeasurable gusto; ‘I forgive you.’
We too may have to vanquish the foes which obstruct us from time to time. Although the Big Bad Grudge appears in many forms and possesses numerous faces, the grotesque beast has a fundamental weakness towards the notion of forgiveness. By demonstrating empathy and practicing mercy, we are enabling ourselves to abolish the damaging grasp the Grudge has maintained over us.
Go forth adventurer, victory awaits.
View the reflection questions and activities for 'Battling the Grudge’ here