Resentment feels like a heavy, but powerful, fragment of the soul. It sits in the belly of our being, waiting for the time when we are at our worst, ready to come back like bile- an acidic rage, painful and sharp. Difficult and troubling moments haunt us, creeping in from the doorways of our past, right when we’re not expecting it- not a jump-scare, but rather a dark figure somewhere in our peripheral vision, just out of reach.
Resentment can feel like a form of power; we are misled by our feelings, believing that to hold onto the feelings of resentment is to hold onto power. To find the use or flaw of resentment, we must first find where it sits within the spectrum of our emotions. It’s not quite a form of sadness, or anger, not quite regret, or disgust. It might feel like all of them. It can feel isolating, but captivating. Once we feel it, resentment can be difficult to shake. Especially if our reaction is to another person, or to a specific event, resentment starts to look a lot like the inability to forgive, the reluctance to move forward, and the decision to hold onto something bordering on hatred.
For some of us, perhaps resentment feels like a prize, even. Something to keep sacred, to prove us right when we’re disappointed or hurt. It’s a way for us to keep something to control the fear and sadness- to clutch onto for the inevitable moments in the future when we are disappointed. We know that it will happen, and we feel that resentment will come in useful, somehow. It feels like keeping control, when really it’s the very thing which takes control away from us.
How, then, do we let go? We begin by accepting what resentment truly is: a weight around our neck, pulling us back into the very worst of the past, not ever letting us truly move forward. We recognise the aspects of hurt and fear within our resentment, we acknowledge them. We recognise the reasons that we might want to hold onto them, and then we must take lessons, rather than resentment, from our past experiences. We can move into the future, unburdened by resentment, watching for when it tries to resurface. When we do that, we can let go, we can feel fresh and new, and we can be free from it.
How have you overcome resentment? How have you let go?
Featured image: Daniel James via Unsplash.