An old friend of mine traveled to the USA many years ago after having so many disappointments in Nigeria. He was a very good athlete but the country failed him on several occasions so he became frustrated and decided to travel of the country after his family sold properties. When he traveled abroad, he was doing very well for himself, working multiple jobs and participating in sporting events where he earned medals and won prize money. He also got married to an American. We recently connected after so many years and he told me that the anger inside him about the disappointments he was faced with in Nigeria gave him strength and resolve to be successful in life. He realized he couldn’t go back to Nigeria for any reason so he resolved he would do all it took to be successful abroad. He also said something else; While the anger in him fueled his resolve and hard work, he also realized that because he was so angry with the country, he became angry with everyone associated with Nigeria. He was trying to erase everything Nigeria about him, every memory of Nigeria including his primary and secondary school mates, relatives and everyone he knew. While trying to erase Nigeria from his memory, he became more and more angry with himself. He was losing his identity as well. He always withdrew from friendships because he couldn’t share his story with people, he couldn’t connect, people thought he was weird and secretive. His wife suggested therapy but he brushed it off because it was not typically how a Nigerian solved his problems. He didn’t even recognize it was a problem. He had a lovely American wife and kids who were supposed to be the world to him, but he still wasn’t happy. After various persuasions from his wife and her parents whom he trusted, he decided to try therapy. It was at therapy that he realized he was carrying a heavy burden within him. The anger of the disappointments from home which also was the source of his strength, was also destroying him. He realized that he didn’t need the negative energy anymore. In all those years he had never allowed his wife or kids step foot in Nigeria. He never reached out to old friends or even attended Nigerian events abroad because he thought they would judge him for marrying an American instead of Nigerian woman. Long story short, he has learnt a lot about life and himself from working on his therapy sessions. He has forgiven himself and his past and he’s willing to talk more about it now. He has started reconnecting with old friends and he feels better with himself now. Some of us need this simple lesson about grudges, anger and forgiveness! It can help you with strength to succeed, but it can also destroy you if you continue to hold on to it longer than necessary.