The subject of resentment is a conflicting one. You want to stop feeling resentful, yet you’re having trouble moving beyond the pain, hurt and story. Here is a secret about resentment: It has nothing to do with the other person, it has everything to do with you.
What is resentment?
An ill feeling and/or unexpressed anger that is fueled by hurt or pain creating the feelings of being wronged and blame.
Resentment is an indicator that we’ve closed our heart to another whom we feel has wronged us in some way. When we judge others based on their actions and behavior that was not good towards us – we create resentment. Resentment is choosing to blame another for the pain, unease and upset we feel. By doing this we feel as if though our feelings and actions are out of our control and at the mercy of another. However, the way we feel is not in anyone else’ hands, but in our own.
The big question to ask yourself: Yes, I may have been wronged, but is that why I will close my heart off to seeing another with love?
It’s easy to resent, but it’s much easier to forgive if you choose to do so with love. When you forgive you do it for you, not for another. What you do for another, you do for yourself.
Why do we resent?
It’s easier to point fingers at someone else for how we feel because our mind needs to identify, to make meaning of why its feeling this way because its identity is questioned or it feels threatened. When we resent we close ourselves off to practicing compassion and love. With the presence of love all is well. Its we who have gotten in the way of truly seeing someone for who they are, regardless of how our ego sees them. To the ego its relationship with everyone is in terms of ‘me’ and ‘them’ – it sees itself as separate. To stay in power it needs you to listen to the story it tells. If you believe it, you give it life. Your disbelief in the ego will allow you to reclaim your power and awaken yourself to love. That is how we move beyond resentment to forgiveness.
How the ego plays out resentment:
When we resent another, we are also resenting ourselves for actually trusting or believing another. We feel we shouldn’t have done that because “I believed and trusted them, and now I am feeling pain because they broke that belief or trust”. Then, the blame needs to be materialized so we pin it onto another. Recognizing this pattern will allow you to understand that no one is to blame or at fault. You are not doing anything wrong or did anything wrong. Its natural to trust, believe and build a connection with others – that’s an expression of your authentic self. However, it’s not natural to then beat yourself up for expressing what you know to be true. Instead practice forgiveness. Firstly, to yourself then towards another. Write yourself a forgiveness letter. Then, write a letter to the person whom you are resenting and having a hard time forgiving.
Resentment is an opportunity to forgive.
When we resent we refuse to forgive because resentment keeps the story alive. It keeps us feeling like we’re better or how dare they do that to me. When we drop our resentments then, there goes the story. You give life to every feeling you have because no feeling can be alive without your participation. In consciously choosing how you want to feel you choose what is most serving you. Is resenting another helping you or hurting you? Is it allowing you to feel love or hate? It is opening you or closing you off to another? Is it causing unease and withdraw or ease and openness? Your feelings always tell you when you’ve strayed away from your authentic expression. Resentment is an opportunity to practice forgiveness. To see another for their true essence: Love. Resentment is teaching you to let go and forgive. Forgiveness will set you free. It’ll help you find peace in the chaos.
Courage is the presence of love and choosing a loving perspective each time you feel you’ve been wronged. This is the gateway to practice compassion and forgiveness.
When we shut ourself off from loving another, we also shut ourself off from loving ourself. In doing so we feel only worse, yet we are seeking to feel better.
Releasing the resentment you hold towards another is not for them, its for you. Making peace and letting go of the feelings of being wronged is for you. You are choosing to do this so you can be at peace within you. If peace is what you want to feel, then let go off feeling wronged by another.
Choosing to resent is to keep the past alive.
But by choosing the miracle of the present moment you can choose to transform and forgive. Your resentment is a symptom of something that happened in the past where you feel you were wronged, but right now – that is no longer true. The only person still suffering is you, not the person whom you feel did you wrong. By choosing to keep the past alive through the perception of being wronged we feel emotions of pain, upset, anger and hurt in the body. Your body is telling you that your keeping that memory alive each time you feel these ‘ick emotions’. It’s asking you to release and let go of this way of thinking and feeling, to make peace and allow peace into your being.
What we can begin to do is look at those we hold resentment towards as our teachers, who are teaching us about forgiveness. Then, we can stop the blame and practice compassion, and with compassion all are forgiven, all are forgave and all is forgiveness.
Be patient. Be gentle. Be kind.