Thursday, September 10, 2015
3 Tips on Stopping Resentments
Prejudice and meanest is prevalent throughout our society and in all age groups. Many people are scared and distrustful toward others so they lash out verbally or physically either subtly by bullying, harassment, intimidation, and teasing or overtly by physical harm.
What if you were the brunt of some of lashing out? What is the take away? Anger, bitterness, hurt and resentment and feelings of being wronged.
If you hold onto past wrong or hurtful feelings either against yourself or others then you are probably are stuck in your past. Even though subconscious and out of your awareness. One of the most damaging feelings you hold on to that will block your growth or success is resentments. For the most part you are not even aware of the baggage that you carry because the material is not part of your consciousness.
Are you holding onto wrongs done to you by another and can’t seem to let them go? Have other people taken advantage of you? Do you feel cheated, betrayed, humiliated or hurt you in some way by another or maybe even yourself? Then of course you are.
It is a normal course for time to time as you grow up to be cheated, betrayed, humiliated, hurt or wronged and wanting some type of repayment, get even or revenge. Doing so is called a resentment.
A resentment is one of the most personally damaging feelings or thoughts you can hold onto and carry. A resentment can actually stunt your maturity, and your ability to be happy, successful or move forward with your life.
Definition of Resentment
A resentment is defined as ill will, ill feelings or thoughts that forms when you are wronged by self, someone or something that you hold onto feelings of hurt and store subconsciously as a result of life experiences that are real or imagined. These wrongs are formed as a reaction to a life event where you perceived to have wronged someone or self and/or think someone has wronged us in one way or another. The power of a resentment is the emotional charge that is held onto that the “wrong” evoked.
Held onto resentments can cause many intense, reactive emotions such as anger, depression, doubt, disappointment, fear, panic, rage and/or regret which remains alive over time in the subconscious without your personal awareness in the present. Resentments have a very strong influence and direct how you relate to yourself; how we think about others and most of all resentments manifest themselves in your behavior and emotions. These ill will, ill feelings, and/or ill thoughts affect the way you perform daily without your knowledge. Thoughts such as: “I do not deserve anything because of what I have done” or “I am nothing because what was done to me.” This type of thinking causes the formation of negative beliefs about yourself over time and eventually the negative beliefs become a subconscious barrier to your accepting good things, happiness and success.
A True Story
I would like to relate to a story of a woman I coached who was consciously blocking herself from moving forward in her life. She could not enjoy positive things in her life, was not happy and felt she was not deserving of anything good because of abuse she had experienced growing up. In order to numb out hurtful feelings that were forever surfacing she gravitated toward addicting herself to alcohol. She came to understand that she was not moving ahead with her life because she was holding onto resentments she had accumulated from episodes of abuse and being wronged by others. More enlightening was when she realized that she was also holding resentments for not being able to stop her abuser or standing up for herself with others who bullied and judged her. She perceived it as an inability to control herself or her over use of alcohol which landed her in a treatment center.
In order to help her move forward I gave her a power a customized writing assignment – What are the benefits of holding onto resentments? Here is what she wrote.
“I learned very early in my coaching and my addiction recovery from alcohol that I was hanging onto resentments and how much the resentments could lead me into a major setback with my PTSD symptoms and a relapse with my alcohol. Yet it was so easy to think I had a disease or I was damaged. What I thought was correct and comfortable was my holding onto those old resentments that I want resolution from. If I did not take a hard look into why I continued to hang onto my existing resentments, I knew I would continue to experience barriers to what I want out of life. I came up with a long list of reasons why I continued to hang onto those old resentments. I want the people that hurt me to experience the same level of hurt and I was not going to let go of holding on until then.
4 reasons for holding onto old resentments
First of all,
The second reason, I thought if I stop holding onto those resentments against someone else they would be getting away with whatever they had done to against me too easily. I felt I had to keep their feet to the fire to make them pay for the wrongs they did to me. The problem with what I was doing was that I was the only one suffering. The truth was that the person I was holding the resentments against was not affected by my holding on at all but I still was. I became angry that they supposedly got away with something that was wrong, hurtful and damaging to me.
Reason number three, I feel powerful by holding onto my resentments. Holding resentments is the only time in my life I feel powerful. It made me feel like I was still in control of the situation and I had all the power. This coincides with a feeling of a false sense of justice. With that false sense of justice I felt like I was the judge. As the judge I would have the power to make a ruling and hand out a sentence then the person would never be free from what he or she did. In reality, it was me who was never going to be free.
The third reason I held onto resentments was that I wanted the person to understand all the weight I had carried for all those years since the “wrong”. By not letting go caused me to become vindictive, bitter and angry both at myself and other people. So holding onto the weight of the hurt and negative energy of being wronged would not allow me to be free and happy with myself.
Lastly, holding onto resentments caused me to be me angry, bitter, disappointed and sad. I came to know if I truly stopped holding on to these wrongs I could forgive myself and the person it would release myself emotional and spiritually with a true sense of being free for the first time. It is not that I have forgotten what they had done but realized that I can heal myself from the inside out.”
When she processed the assignment she had a “ha-ha moment” and a total sense of release.
3 Tips on How to Let Go of Resentments
Here is a quick way to relieve yourself of old resentments.
First you must allow yourself to search your mind for all the ill will of wrongs done you or you thought were done to you in your life no matter how minor.
Second decide whether wrongs were real or imaged. Sometimes you get caught up in the emotion of the situation. When you identify the wrongs done to you the wrongs lose their power and you are able to let go of them. Then you can assess the value of why you have been holding onto the wrongs against the feeling of blaming yourself or waiting for the other person to hurt as much as you did or for the idea that you let them happen.
Third, write down the resentments that you want to release and burn the list and let the smoke rise into the air. While the smoke goes upward visualize your body becoming unburdened and free. The benefit of doing this will generate new empowerment in your core being. This resurgence of personal power will add a lot to your character and increase your confidence as well as quality and substance to your life. Positiveness happens when you invest, let go of negative and nurture you.
I am willing to bet that if you are reading this article, you already have a strong suspicion that you are carrying old resentments. If you said “yes” so much of what was stated above is true for you, so you need to begin to free yourself for all your old resentment baggage that depletes your emotional energy.
So take ownership of yourself by investing in who you are in this moment. Understand you can't be affected by something that you are not holding onto. Let go, be positive and strive to make a positive change in your life.
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