The Damage of Resentment and Learning to Let Go
12 Oct 2016
Sometimes as we journey life, things happen, life happens and we carry burdens that are unshared, then we end up being left to carry more and more. Sometimes as we reflect on those aspects of our lives, we see that there were people in our lives that should have been there for us, that should have helped us or that should have shared our burden, but for whatever reason, they did not.
The thoughts and memories of these events turn to resentment and in turn, to inner anger sadness, frustration and bitterness.
When we run that tape in our mind of how we were not supported, we are running a script in our mind to remain in that place, the more we focus on the point, the more in comes into our consciousness and into our lives.
Resentment leads to anger and is one of the most destructive emotions we can hold onto but one of the easiest emotions to express. We feel that it keeps us from becoming vulnerable to the hurt that others can cause us. Anger can have destructive short and long term effects on us physically, psychologically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually and most of us will live and die holding on to the anger and resentment we feel, allowing it to build up to the point where it’s no longer in our control.
It is fortunate that there are ways to get out of resentment’s crippling grip. There are alternative, life-affirming, and healthy responses that can help us achieve freedom from obsessing about past injustices. These are choices and we always have a choice.
Sometimes, the fear of the unknown, prevents us from taking the steps we need to heal, sometimes, we feel that we don’t have a choice, that life has dealt us a bad hand and that’s it, change is difficult and hard, its more comfortable to be sad and anger, than change and do something new. I implore you to look at life with new eyes, in a way in which, we always have a choice and today we have the choice to change our behaviour and live happier than before.
Here are some Tips on Letting Go of Resentment
Be mindful that by holding onto resentment, you are replaying old dramas in the theater of the Mind
We can only change the present, the now, so acknowledge that you cannot change the past. The past is the past, leave it behind and learn from it.
You know you are a loving, kind human being and you acknowledge that you cannot control those who have rejected you. Again, it’s in the past.
Be aware that your resentment only gives you illusions of strength. Instead, highlight and validate your real strength and power. The truth of who you truly are.
Pay attention to the triggers that provoke resentment. Apply the acronym HALT, widely used in 12-step programs: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
Become mindful and pay attention to your part in allowing the abuse to occur, forgive yourself for that, and make a decision to not let it occur again.
Be grateful for all the lessons that you have learned as a result of the drama that went before, forgive whenever you can, and learn the art of Mindfulness when you cannot, it’s not about winning or losing, for anyone involved, it’s about allowing Love flow for all concerned.