Holding on to resentment means that I give someone else power over me. It does not mean the act did not happen; it does not mean that the action was not hurtful or harmful, but holding on to the resentment after the action only keeps me stuck.
Missed the first podcast on resentments find it here? Are There Any Justified Resentments?
By holding onto the resentment I have to wait until they realize what they did to free me from my self-imposed prison. The one thing a resentment does well; it provides me with an opportunity to re-injure myself over and over with my own thoughts and feelings.
Removing resentment and blame from your life means never assigning responsibility to anyone for what you’re experiencing. It means that you’re willing to say, “I may not understand why I feel this way, why I have this illness, why I’ve been victimized, or why I had this accident, but I’m willing to say without any guilt or resentment that I own it. I live with, and I am responsible for having it in my life.” Why do this? If you take responsibility for having it, then at least you have a chance to also take responsibility for removing it or learning from it. Wayne Dyer, Find Forgiveness and Peace, Hay House May 2016
This is such a big topic for Jerry and I that we spent 3 podcast episodes talking about it. First, we spent time clarifying what it was and how it happens.
Are There Justifiable Resentments? Episode, #3
Benefits to Working Through Your Resentments, Episode, #4
Benefits to Working Through your Resentments
In the second podcast episode on resentments, we dive into how resentments can become part of how you define yourself. There are great benefits from working through a resentment toward a person, situation, or institution.
- Getting unstuck from a feeling or situation
- Freeing yourself to move forward
- Stopping re-injuring of yourself with a past hurt
- Forgiving of yourself and others
- Growing in compassion for others because you are not stuck in your own issues
Oddly enough, there are also reasons to keep your resentments and make them part of your identity. The holding on to resentments often helps us avoid things that scare us or creates a reason why we won’t/can’t move forward in our lives.
Starter Tools for Releasing Resentments
Identify the Resentment
Identify who or what is causing you the problem. Ask yourself what is the real problem. Write it down to get it out of your head.
Define the Resentment
What story am I telling myself about this issue? Maybe ask a close friend to share with you not how to fix the issue, but what they hear you saying out loud about the subject. Define for yourself what you feel is happening.
Measure the Impact of the Resentment
Has this resentment become part of my identity? What am I unable to accomplish because I believe this person, institution, or situation caused me harm?
Wonder About the Resentment
Who would I be and what would I do, if I did not feel this way about this person, situation or institution?
Take these first steps to process your resentments and then tune into the third podcast about releasing resentments.
Need a place to process this a little more? We started a private Facebook group to give all of us a place to share our hurts, habits, and hang-ups in a safe space. Hop over an pick up on the resentment thread and podcasts in the group. We look forward to hearing all the ways you have worked through resentment issues.
Hey! Join the conversation over in the Sober on Purpose Facebook Group.