Evicting Resentment

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”  Malachy McCourt

Sometimes bad things happen to you.  People hurt your feelings, they take advantage of you, or they treat you badly. Most of the time, an apology or an honest exchange can clear the air, and you feel better. But once in awhile, that little black cloud of anger and resentment takes up occupancy in your head and heart.  Sadly, while the smoke of anger and resentment is renting that space, it leaves little room for the cohabitation of joy and creativity.

So, for your own sake, you need to evict the resentment.  But how?  I recommend a two-step process:

1) Take all the inspired action you can to clear up the problem; and of that doesn’t solve it,

2) Apply the “Is it helpful?” rule.

For inspired action, (understanding that you can’t control what others do, say or think) you can still state your peace, express yourself, ask for an apology, or whatever it takes to drive the resentment out of your inner space.  I find that this works only if there is no intention of hurting the other person, or for getting revenge… (which is like trying to take your smoke and blow it into the other person’s head).  Inspired action is really about getting your feelings heard and on the table so you can release negativity.

If inspired action still leaves you with residual resentment lurking around, then it’s time to work the “Is it helpful?” rule.

Ask yourself, in this moment, is feeling angry and resentful helpful to me? If the event has already happened, and inspired action has been taken, what is the payoff to holding onto resentment?  Does it make you happier, smarter or more fun?  If the answer is no, why not let it go? Don’t you owe it to yourself to rent your head and heart to creativity, joy and love?  Why cram it full with dark, gloomy resentment?  Who is it hurting besides you?

So do yourself a favor, if it’s not helpful, let it go.

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Date: Friday, 29. July 2011 1:52
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Relationships, Wellness

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