Freedom from resentment
Do you suffer from the pain of re-feeling old hurts?
If you suffer from resentments you know how terrible it can feel. That old anger flaring up and taking over your thoughts and emotions leaving you disappointed and hurt all over again.
This old pain often comes back when we least want it and makes it hard to concentrate on what we want to. It follows us like our own shadow and we can´t seem to get rid of it.
When these attacks come, they feel so real. Even though they are only video recordings from the past, they have the power to destroy us.
But we don´t have to continue to feel them, there is a way out, we can become free from their grip.
What is a resentment?
The word resentment comes from the "16th century French word ressentir meaning (feel pain) and the old French word resentir meaning (feel again)".
Resentment is often a feeling of anger and bitterness. It is linked to one or more incidents from the past, where we felt that we where mistreated in some way; that some wrong was made that was not set right.
It is felt over and over again and often builds up and becomes stronger and stronger as time goes by.
Many people have deep resentments against their parents for things that happened in their childhood. These wrongs are then re-felt over and over again causing all kinds of emotional, mental and physical disturbance for the person re-living them. When this harm is not dealt with it can effect many of their relationships in a negative way.
Even though the wrong might have happened many years ago; when we re-feel it, it is like re-living the whole situation all over again. It feels totally real to us, like it happened yesterday; this is the nature of resentments.
The wound has not healed completely and hurts every time we think about it.
We don´t know what´s going on inside.
First of all I believe that most people are not fully conscious about what is actually happening inside them.
For me it use to be like a swamp of mixed bad feelings in my system; some resentments, some fears, some regrets, some guilt and some shame. All of these coming and going whenever triggered by some memory. I was jumping from state to state re-feeling these old pains; this put allot of strain and stress on me and ruined my life.
”Fear, doubt, anxiety, anger and resentment shock the bodies nervous system and are the cause of disease and disaster.” - Florence Scovel Shinn
It was not until I started to seriously work at them and look at them all separately that I could make sense of it all. This did not happen over night but eventually all my resentments and most of my big fears left me after some time.
What we don't realize is…
”We are responsible for the healing of our own wounds.”
We got hurt once or over a period of time. When that is over and no longer happening, we take over ourselves and create a resentment and keep on punishing ourselves and the other person in our mind endlessly.
We are keeping them prisoners in our mind and we play the angry guard demanding revenge.
… admit your fault, admit your fault, we shout! Even if they do, it´s all in our head anyway and it never satisfies us.
This is beyond crazy, but true for many of us.
When we re-live a hurt from the past it is like Nelson mandela said; “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
But really! Who is dying… we are! If we don´t deal with it.
So ultimately we are responsible for the healing of our wounds and not the other person. They might be dead or out of the country or they are never going to admit to the wrong; if we want to live happy lives we don´t have time to wait.
Whatever they did or we believe they did, it´s over now. I am not saying that what they did was right in any way, but if we want to heal we need to forgive and let go.
The great realization
Before we can forgive someone we need to realize that; people that wronged us were spiritually sick and that they might suffer from all kinds of character defects.
Even if we don’t like the effect that these character defects had on us; we, like them are at certain times selfish and self-centered human beings. We can all be sleep walking through life not realizing that our selfish interests have taken over and others get hurt.
If we look at ourselves for a minute we can easily see that there has been times in our past that we felt stressed, afraid, angry and out of balance. This made us self-centered and less conscious about other peoples feelings and interests, so we said or did something that resulted in someone else getting hurt.
We are not perfect so why should others be.
We are also suffering from our character defects and sometimes we can’t control how we react or act.
No one wakes up in the morning thinking; “how great it’s going to be today when I get to hurt other people!” No, most of us want to live harmonious and happy lives showing kindness and love and not see other people get hurt.
But sometimes stress takes over and we react from fear, anger, old hurt, greed, jealousy, envy, etc. When we do, we risk hurting others without wanting to.
These are all selfish and self centered reactions based on fear and not love.
This is the great realization: Just like everyone else, we are at times driven by selfishness and fear. When this happens our desires collide with other people´s desires and we end up hurting each other.
If we ourselves want to be forgiven we must first forgive.
Steps to freedom
We forgive to be able to move on with our lives and be happy and free.
We ask (pray) that love and kindness fill our hearts so that we don´t need to be angry. We ask that everything we ourselves want in life; happiness, love, harmony, money, etc also be given to the person which we resent.
We do this with feeling and earnestness even if we don´t really want to.
When we continue to do this, we will change and come to want it for them. We do it for at least 14 days or until it is lifted.
Admitting our wrongs
Why is it so hard to admit our own wrongs?
Maybe you are a person that easily admits your wrongs and apologize and have no problems with that… but if you are not then read on.
First of all; to be able to admit our wrongs we need to see them and want to see them. Many people don´t.
This is a great step to take and it shows willingness to grow out of old limiting ideas.
If you find logic in what I write then you realize that you are not perfect, and you have made mistakes, and you have hurt people just like they have hurt you. You might want to think they have hurt you more than you have hurt them or others…
but then you still feel that you are better then them.
In order to admit our own mistakes we need to be on the same level as other people, not better or worse, but equals.
Think about two children playing in a sand box and one child steals the other´s toy car. There are screams, yelling and crying and after some help from the parents the car is given back and they are happy again and keep on playing like it never happened.
If we can have this mindset it helps; you are just giving back the car you wanted in the sandbox so that you all can play and have fun again.
We go to the person and admit our wrongs.
We can say that we know that we have been selfish, dishonest, proud, inconsiderate or whatever it is and we apologize for that. We might have been afraid in a situation and that turned in to blaming them. Maybe we didn´t get something we really wanted and wrongly blamed them.
There are so many things that spring from our selfish self-centered desires that can cause us to harm others.
If we want to become permanently free we have to look at what we did before, during or after the situation. I found that it is always some form of lack in me that is the root cause of me holding on to a resentment
Sometimes I lack love, tolerance, patience, humility, forgiveness, acceptance, etc and this makes me hold on to an old situation blaming only the other person.
So I urge you to take full responsibility for clearing up all you old resentments and not creating new ones. It is all in your power.
How to avoid becoming resentful
- Communicate honestly about how you feel.
- Realize that both you and other people are sometimes driven by character defects.
- When upset ask (pray) for love to fill your heart so you don´t have to be angry.
- Avoid starting arguments
- Talk to someone els about it instead
- Apologize if you did anything wrong yourself
- Forgive by praying feelingly that everything you want be given to them also.
- Be observant of your inner dialog
When we can admit our own faults not expecting them to apologize to us we are set free.
Sometimes the person do apologize but it is not necessary for our transformation.
The truth is that many times after taking a look at a resentment I see clearly that; first of all they where driven by selfishness and not fully clear, second I usually had some selfish idea or self-seeking motives that put me in a position to get hurt in the first place.
My own experience with this has always proven successful in removing my resentments and keeping me from forming them again.
Start right now to transform your own state of mind, your own feelings and believes and let the healing begin.
Resentments are painful and create unnecessary suffering in your life.
Realizing that; you alone are responsible for your own happiness, is the true path to freedom from resentments. The power to forgive and let go is yours. Ask the presence within for guidance and be completely willing to forgive yourself and others.
Admit your own wrongs and let the painful past go and you will be free.
For more guidance view my blog post; "The power of the word".
I am on the Great Adventure,
”The Adventure Of Now” and it is truly fantastic.
This article was influenced by the teachings of Bill Wilson. I am writing this in my own words as much as I can and to the best of my knowledge and interpretation. This is how I see things now.
I aim to share my spiritual findings in weekly blog posts. This will also be available to listen to in my pod ”The Adventure Of Now” on Soundcloud. If you go there you will also find a guided meditation after the episode.
You can also listen to this post as a track below, which ends with a guided meditation.
Wish you a joyous day 🙂