Resentment neutralises joy, like a poisonous potion that dissolves all the happiness it finds in its path. Resentment is insidious, creeping and expansive. The more resentful we are, the more things we find to be resentful about. We can become resentful of the incessant demands on our time, energy and attention made by inconsiderate others or life in general. It is very easy for a low grade of resentment to be running in the background of our life pretty much permanently.
Resentment is more than just sadness or anger at something not going our way. At its core it stems from a subtle feeling of injustice. That things should not have gone the way they did, and that they are not fair to us on some level. It’s that feeling of injustice that is really hard to let go of. Resentment can fester over a really long period, right from childhood, and it then provides a distorted lens through which we observe our day to day interactions.
We can start to let go of resentment by realising it is a choice to feel resentful, and that we can choose to let it go because it neither feels good nor serves us. Resentfulness is also usually rooted in the feeling that “that’s just how things are” or “I can’t change it”. That illusion of powerlessness feeds resentment. We can start to move past resentment and into the light once we reconnect with our own power.
One of the fastest ways to move past resentment in our life is to change our language to empowering language. If we consider the statement “Everything after breathing is a choice” this can open up a really useful perspective shift. There is nothing we “have to do” or “must put up with” – everything after breathing is a choice. It may be a really difficult choice but it is a choice nonetheless. “I choose to tolerate John speaking to me in that manner even though I find it disrespectful” or, “I choose to remove myself from interacting with John” or “I choose to have a tough conversation with John about how he speaks to me and let him know what is and is not acceptable” are all more empowered than “I have to put up with John speaking to me that way. It’s just how he is. It’s what he’s always done. I’ve got no choice”. When we take back our power with our language – substituting the word “choose to” or “choose not to” for the ubiquitous “have to/must/got to/no choice but” then resentment magically starts to melt away as powerful solutions start to present themselves, as we stand back in our own truth and power.
What we allow is what we endorse. If we are resentful about situations in our life, we can take a long hard look about how we are inadvertently endorsing them, by simmering in resentment rather than speaking up or changing the status quo. It might be hard, it might be very hard indeed. We may not know exactly what we need to do, but we always know how we want to feel. Happier. Lighter. Connected. Content. Free. Once we know that, we can take the first step of consciously chosen empowered language to move us past resentment and towards that which we seek.