"Resentment is personal:
Personal mental punishment."
-- Albert K. Strong
New: Audio version
[Classic post from 9-27-15]
Resentment is an interesting emotion. It is an attempt to punish someone else for something that they did or did not do that was not in alignment with what we wanted. In other words, we didn't get our way. In other words, it's my way or the resentment highway--the highway of shame, disgust, disappointment.
But, who does it punish? Resentment punishes us. Nelson Mandela said it so well when he said, "Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies." Malachy McCourt phrased it a bit differently, and I think in a way that expresses it about most of us very well: "Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." I love that line, "waiting for the other person to die." One might think that will help create patience, but because resentment feeds on resentment, it maintains its own momentum.
I saw this quote from Bell Hooks yesterday: "The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others." I know that the answer to resentment is love. In fact, love is the answer to all things because that is what we essentially are. Yet in this quote, though it made its point with me that we need to choose love, I dislike the word 'against' in there. Love is never against anything. Love is not against oppression or domination. Love is not against anything. It allows. There is a world of difference.
So, resentment is blaming others, it is disappointment with an attitude, but resentment doesn't attack. It doesn't close others off but closes us off to others. It is a self-defeating response to our own misalignment. Resentment is a tug-o-war against ourselves. The way to move away from this poisonous emotion is to first let go of the rope. Once the rope is on the ground, we have released most of the tension in our body, and now we can find relief in choosing a thought that feels just a little bit better. Then another that feels just a little bit better, and as we move in these little steps, we can eventually get back to our true selves--love.
What we all want is unconditional love. All of us. Even the meanest looking, meanest acting, meanest spirited of us wants unconditional love. That is the love of God, The Universe, All-That-Is. And yet, love is a gift we give to ourselves. Once we do this; once we experience the unconditional love of ourselves, we then attract it to ourselves. When we fail to love ourselves, even the all-powerful love of God is blocked by us. It is there and ready to flow over us as soon as we allow it in ourselves.
The answer is always, always, always, always love. Getting there from a dark place is done by letting go of the resistance within by ceasing to pull on the rope and instead, just lay it down, then turning toward relief bit by bit until we return to love from which we came.
Allowing Is The Art Of Finding Our True Selves, Which Is Love.
Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing yourself to move toward expressing more joy in your life.