How to Let Go of ResentmentFeb 22, 2021
Something that we have all faced at one point or another is the feeling of someone disappointing us. We live in a world where we have a belief that everyone should think and feel the way we do. Now I know if you are reading this and you have a lot of anger towards somebody else, then chances are you may not like this next part, but please hear me out.
You are going to feel the resentment regardless of what someone has done to you is on you. No one is making you feel the anger, frustration, and the uncomfortable feelings that you feel. Those feelings you are choosing to feel. Now, I have been where you are and I have had to deal with the same anger and feelings of resentment as you, so I attest that none of what I am saying is easy to do, but it is what is required in order to fully move on and let go.
When we experience someone disappointing us, leaving us, or abandoning us, our ego is bruised and our wounded self feels hurt. What most of us did not learn how to do when we go through these experiences is move away from the emotional thinking into logical thinking. Rational thinking will keep you from becoming stuck in a negative circle. The reason for this is so you will be able to see the situation for what it is, and help yourself through the anger you are feeling.
Now if something tragic just happened to you, for example maybe you just found out your partner betrayed you, you are going to have to go through the stages of grief. What most people want to do is avoid those feelings because they are not always pleasant and go straight to telling themselves they don’t care. Perhaps worse they go straight to anger and never experience the rest of it that you have to, which is sadness. You cannot let go of something until you feel the real underlying feels that involve being human.
Something powerful that I learned while I was going through my journey was that my happiness was my responsibility. I also began to understand that everyone has wounds and traumas which allows them to behave the way they do. Their behavior and character are manifestations of the wounds they are still carrying around inside of them.
When I learned that I stopped allowing my ego to get set off where I lived in resentment and anger for way too long. I began to understand logically why people do what they do. Now of course this did not help my heart entirely, but it did help me to move out of that emotional space and into a more logical space to help myself start the process of putting my heart back together.
Seeing other people’s wounds come out in these unhealthy ways allowed me to not take things so personally. When someone did or said something that was unkind to me, I of course felt hurt because I am human, but it did not stay with me for too long. I quickly went to the other side of the coin to figure out why this person did what they did.
That ability to rationalize with my thoughts contributed to me not taking what they did as a reflection of me. I also began to ask myself an important question “what role did I play in this happening?”
Maybe I came from low self-esteem and codependency. Maybe I came from a place of lack and allowed people in my world that had business being there. While nothing I did warranted the other person’s behavior, it was important for me to self-reflect. I knew facing some of these hard truths would allow me to do better next time. Taking responsibility for a part that I played in this relationship gave me the tools to begin to grow myself for the next relationship or experience.
When I began to fully take responsibility for my life, that meant that my happiness was on me and I could no longer point the finger at anyone else. It was my job to take care of my feelings regardless of what someone did to me. It was my job to help my heart heal so this experience did not break me and create fears and insecurities that did not need to be there.
What I am saying is “Do NOT allow someone else’s “stuff” to influence your level of self-love, self-worth and self-esteem.
Do not take what people do to you personally.
At the end of the day, when something happens to us, we have to experience all the feelings of grief, sadness, frustration, and anger. It is part of the process. Once we get to that place of releasing all that emotion, you are now at a crossroad.
This is where you ask yourself “Do I want to stay where I am, or do I want to start moving on?”
The challenge becomes when you choose going down the healthy road but knowing that throughout the day for a while you are going to be faced with that crossroad again and again. Every time you are faced with the same triggers, insecurities, or flashbacks know you were at the crossroad of choosing do you want to stay down this road or do you want to begin walking in a different direction?
Most people do not realize resentment comes after anger. When you do not process your anger, that feeling turns into resentment. You experience resentment when you have chosen anger repeatedly. In order to handle your anger, you must come to terms with one very important factor, anger is just sadness. The sadness we feel is because someone disappointed us. We thought this person was someone different then what they turned out to be and that pain is sheer disappointment and sadness.
For me taking full responsibility for my happiness meant allowing myself to feel everything without judgement. It meant not allowing myself to stay in a place for too long that was not going to serve me. I had to learn the balance between giving me space to feel but not letting myself become so anger that it turned into resentment or bitterness. Just like any best friend would do for me, it became my job to learn how to take care of myself emotionally and mentally.
I allow myself to feel everything I need to feel but I do not stay in a place for too long that I know is not serving me. I graciously and gently take my hand and begin leading myself down a different road to get myself where I want to be. This process ebbs and flows and it is a practice that you must do, it is not something you will master overnight.
The minute you know that you have gone down the wrong direction is when the person begins to ruminate in your mind all day every day. You see them in your dreams, you think about them in the shower, you replay the event over and over again, there is no control to stop your mind from going. This is when it is time to get off the hamster wheel. You are now addicted to overthinking and you will begin reinforcing this negative habit the more you keep choosing to go there.
Once you learn the process of letting go, especially with the harder things, the easy ones are a piece of cake. You are consciously every day taking care of yourself both mentally and emotionally whether you know it or not. You can decide to do a good job, or you can decide to let yourself go down roads that are not good for you.
You are no longer allowing yourself to go too deep into something and not be able to logically see the other side. You are no longer allowing yourself to wallow in self-pity and having this situation change your self-esteem self-worth and self-confidence.
Practice having more control over your mind and do not allow yourself to create unhealthy habits. Lastly, understand that this entire thing is a process and that it will take time, and consistency of you loving yourself enough to gently lead yourself down a healthier road.