Here’s a thought and some good advice.
I was collecting cigarette butts on the beach one day when I approached a smoker putting out her cigarette. This was a woman that did not like me, but I decided to be cordial in spite of that. I smiled and held out my bag of trash and told her I would take her cigarette butts so she didn’t have to bother with them. She looked at me, then at the bag of trash, and stuck her smelly cigarette butts into her coat pocket and said “No thanks.” And she walked off.
You would think it’s enough to make me feel silly for even trying to be nice. I know this behavior of hers, this unwillingness to do something even as benign as putting her smelly ciggy butts in my trash bag, has nothing to do with me. It is her own insecurity and fear that stifles her.
When you have done all you can to be cordial to someone that refuses to let go of their anger, then you have done all you can do. It’s not worth your time or your patience and it’s not even about you. Their refusal to accept your grace is about them and how they feel about themselves. Accept them for who they are and move on.
Besides, you won’t be that person walking around all day smelling like a dirty used cigarette butt while you continue to carry a grudge that smells just as bad. As for the one left holding the empty bag…be grateful you were spared the stench. When you begin to accept an act of kindness or you grab hold of the olive branch, your world will start smelling a whole lot better.
Think about that.