Resentment is like trying to kill someone by drinking a cup of poison yourself.
Today we are going to talk about resentment. Why do we sometimes feel resentful towards other people, and why is it so hard to let go?
It is clearly the other person that did something wrong to you, right? So why are YOU the one who is supposed to let go? If the other person just started to behave like a normal person, everything would be just fine. Just thinking about what they said or did makes your blood boil and you can’t see how you are ever going to forgive them if they don’t get their shit together and apologize to you, right?
What is resentment anyway?
Resentment is a complex, multilayered emotion with a mixture of feelings of disappointment, anger and fear.
The word originates from French “ressentir“, re-, intensive prefix, and sentir “to feel”; from the Latin “sentire“. The English word has become synonymous with anger, spite and holding a grudge. This etymological explanation can really give us some valuable insights about how to deal with the issue: to resent something or someone is to relive or “re-feel” it.
This can become a viscious circle though, where someone did something wrong to you, and you feel that you have been treated unjustly. Now you feel anger towards them, but you don’t confront them. This energy builds up as blockages in your body which can lead to even more low vibrational feelings like anger and hate. This creates suffering for you, which is why it’s important that you learn how to let go.
But why should you let go if they are the ones doing you harm?
Think about it this way: Oftentimes when you think of the person you feel resentful against you’re angry with that person, even if they are not even in the room. They for sure don’t suffer when you’re thinking about what they said or did, but everytime you come to think of the way they treated you or what they said to you, you are holding them in your own awareness. This drains you of your valuable energy which is why it’s so important to try to let go of the resentment as soon as possible.
When you feel resentment though, it’s like trying to kill someone by drinking a cup of poison yourself. They’re not the ones getting hurt. You are. If you’re dealing with feelings of resentment you have to start letting go since it is harmful and toxic and will start to build up in your body. But how do you let go when that other person clearly did something wrong to you?
1. Be aware of triggers
Triggers can be a powerful way to catch what is really going on.
If you’re triggered by a specific thing a person does or says, it might be a valuable feedback that you can examine more deeply. Oftentimes when you look into what triggers you, you can discover feelings that you have had buried inside you for decades.
This way you can realize the origins of the trigger which might not even have anything to do with the person that you feel resentful against. If you can do that, it’s going to be easy to let go since you can see that the resentment has more to do with you and your reaction that the person themselves. This person might just have activated something that you went through as a child.
It’s always a powerful thing to discover childhood traumas. It can resolve a lot of issues just to be aware of what’s going on in your mind as a result of unresolved traumas.
2. Have some fun
When we’re angry we’re not thinking clearly. That is why we have to start with “raising our vibe” a bit before we can even start the practice of letting go. A good way to start is to do something that you really like. Do what feels good and do it as often as you can. This can be a way to let go of the feeling of resentment just for a little while, even if you’re not ready to forgive the other person yet. At least you will feel good. When you’ve tapped into a higher vibe, you can start to practice letting go from there.
3. Write in a journal
I’ve talked about this in the past, and since it is such a powerful and healing technique I will hammer it in one more time: start a journal today if you haven’t already. This is by far the most powerful tool that I use for both resolving issues with people and contemplation and self inquiry. Write three pages every morning. Soon enough you will start to see miracles occur. Try to avoid asking the question why so much when you write, and focus on the question how. This can take you from a place of victimhood to a place of victory in no time.
Related article: How the morning pages changed my life.
4. Practice forgiveness
Forgiving someone even though you think that they don’t deserve it is a hard thing to accomplish. But here’s the thing: You have to put all your energy into doing so anyway. Not necessarily because they deserve it, but because YOU do. When you forgive the other person, you give yourself permission to open up and see the other person in a different light.
Something happens when you repeat this practice often. Suddenly, you will start to notice that it will transform your attitude towards the person that you hold the resentment towards, and your attitude in general towards people will become more forgiving. This will allow you to release a lot of tension that you hold in your body without even knowing it.
Related article: 6 powerful ways to practice forgiveness
The Ho’oponopono method
A powerful method to learn forgiveness and let go of resentment is the Hawaiian o’oponopono method:
Bring the person or situation that you feel resentment towards into your awareness, and speak out these following 4 sentences out loud:
- I am sorry.
- Please forgive me.
- I love you.
- Thank you.
Repeat the sentences over and over again, like mantras. For each repetition, give yourself the permission to let go more and more. If you do this for at least 20 minutes and repeat for as many days it takes for you to forgive them, you will eventually start to see things change.
The thing that happens is that you start to open up towards the other person, and therefore your perception of them is going to change. This will lead to the feeling that what they say doesn’t hurt you. You will perceive of them in a whole new way, and you are going to start to understand their words and actions from a different angle.
Related article: 3 powerful methods tou help you let go.
5. Lovingly let go
Sit in meditation and find your breath. Breathe in a slow and steady pace. Be in the now moment. Try to capture the feeling that you had when you felt resentful towards that other person. Observe the feeling. Where in your body is the sensation occurring? What does it feel like? Does it have a color or shape? Try to detach from it as much as possible. See it for what it is: a sensation in your body.
Try to sit with the feeling for a while, and observe it without attaching to it. Allow it to be there without judgement. Love it for what it is. Hold its hand so to speak.
Notice what happens, how you feel. With practice you can clear out a negative emotion that you hold against someone else entirely. Once you manage to let go, even for just a few seconds, you will find the feeling melt away and it won’t come back as strong the next time.