Tag Archives: resentment

Releasing Resentments and Opening Up to Love

A while back I found myself in a not-so-happy place for a few days.

My work at my counseling job was extra stressful, I had multiple things at home that needed to be done that weren’t, and my boyfriend and I weren’t quite understanding each other with certain things.

For the most part, this wasn’t really bothering me that much until a few situations at work happened and I found myself in argument with my boyfriend.  It was then that I found myself all pent up with anger and resentment towards my boyfriend and certain people for several days.  I just couldn’t find a way to shake it.

It was kind of a weird experience for me, as this was the first time in a long time that I found myself stuck in a state of resentment. I had been discussing conflicts in my personal and professional life as they arose in therapy for a few months.  Though I would feel hurt, I was always somehow able to let it go.

But this time, resentment was totally there and nothing was shaking it.  I was mad — and there was a part of me that was determined to not let it go without hearing a very sincere apology from a few people.

After about a day or so, I realized that, realistically, I was never going to get a full apology.  And, despite this realization, my resentment was still there.  If anything it made me even more angry.

As a result, I turned to meditation.  It had been treating me well for my overall well-being, and though I wasn’t sure how it was really going to help me with this whole resentment thing, I figured I’d try it out.

That late morning, I looked on my phone and dug out a guided meditation that was focused on forgiveness.  The meditation involved envisioning the person that you want to forgive and then stating the intention in your mind multiple times that you are willing to forgive them and release them from your resentments.  The meditation then concluded with envisioning yourself and the person being engulfed by this white light of love.

So I sat down, put in my earbuds, and started the guided meditation.  I went through the visualizations and started reciting the intentions to forgive in my mind multiple times.

As I was doing the guided meditation I found myself still completely engulfed in feelings of resentment.

Thoughts of “Agh that jerk was so mean” and “How can I ever forgive them?” ran through my mind.  This all then followed up with a thought of “How can this meditation possibly be working if I’m still feeling this resentful and angry while doing the meditation?  I really don’t see how this is going to work.”

When the meditation ended I didn’t even think about it again — my meditation experience, the people that angered me, and the things I was resentful for.  I just dropped it all right there and got back to doing what I had been doing before I meditated.

Later that afternoon I found myself with several pleasant surprises.  My counseling clients were surprisingly upbeat, happy and enjoying life — which, for some, was the total opposite of how they normally were in our sessions.  My co-workers were all pleasant and not even remotely stressed, through my perception.

And, finally, when I saw my boyfriend we hugged each other and talked as if no conflicts had ever happened between us in the past few days.  We were both open, compassionate, and loving toward each other.

It was then that I stopped for a moment and checked in with myself.  I felt no resentment at all — Nadda!  Zilch!

I was happy, content, peaceful, and open to receiving and experiencing love.

Somehow — without any logical explanation whatsoever — the meditation worked!

Whenever the words “forgiveness” or “letting go” comes up, we often think of it as being such a difficult and challenging thing.  “I don’t know how to do that” or “That’s hard to do” are often thoughts that come in our minds.

But the truth is, forgiveness doesn’t have to be complicated — nor does releasing our anger and resentments have to be complicated.

What it ultimately boils down to is our willingness release it and heal.

We are able to forgive and open ourselves to love when we make the intention to forgive, let it go, and heal.

It is through our intention — not our thought processes — that healing can occur.

IntentionHealing

Click to Tweet: It is through our intention — not our thought processes — that healing can occur. via @jenilyn8705

The reason many of us can find ourselves struggling to forgive is because we get all caught up in our mind chatter or ego.  We keep the recording of all the bad things someone did to us playing in our minds on repeat.  All the things they said, all the things they did, and how they didn’t make us happy because of X.

This mind chatter keeps us in a place of suffering and it makes us think that forgiveness has to be long and difficult process — but doesn’t have to be.  All we have to do is to have the intention and willingness to truly forgive.  Once we make the intention and are open and willing, the rest will take care of itself.

So if you are struggling to forgive someone and let go, simply make the intention despite all that mind chatter.  Then trust that through that intention you will be freed of your resentments and opened up to love.

In the comments below, share with me one person that you are feeling resentful towards.  Then make the intention to let it go! 🙂

Transform Your Resentments into Forgiveness

Forgiveness – it’s one of those things where we know that we should, but it’s so much easier said than done. Most of us have probably heard the fake Buddha quote, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. We know it’s not good for us. We know we need to let it go. But gosh, why is forgiveness so darn hard to do?

With certain people, despite my efforts, the road to forgiveness has been a long and difficult one. In other cases, it seems that the simple act of time was enough for me to “let it go”, but even in those situations – I can’t help but wonder: Do we really TRULY let go in time or has the resentment just become so repressed that we are no longer aware of it? Has the wound really truly healed when we just let time take its toll on the situation?

I feel like there’s a lot of gray area to that answer, as there can be a lot of different things going on.

However, in the midst of my attempts to achieve genuine forgiveness over and over again, an assignment was eventually brought to me that transformed my mindset of not only those who I still felt resentful towards but to all human beings in general.

As some of you may know from reading my About Me section, I am currently going to graduate school in counseling psychology. A few months ago I was taking a class where we mostly talked about personality disorders: What their classifications are, how they develop in childhood, what attention may be needed therapeutically, and so on. This in itself I felt was an eye-opener because not only could I see several of the traits to varying degrees in many people I’ve known in my life, but I also saw myself in each and every disorder mentioned.

For both my Midterm and my Final Paper for the course, I had to create a fictional character with the personality disorder and write about what is going on in this person’s life, why they came to therapy, how their current relationships are, what their experience was growing up, my therapeutic experience with them so far, and what my future therapeutic plans are for them.

For the paper I kind of effortlessly began to create my character based on some people in my life I had difficulties with since they seemed to express several of the traits. As I began writing this person’s story, I found that frustration, anger, and resentment surfacing once again. How on earth could this person be so self-absorbed? How on earth could this person do such terrible things to someone else? As I continued writing, I began to write about what this person’s childhood was probably like. I wrote about the person’s parents and the type of living situation they were in as well.

It was at that moment that I feel the full reality of what truly is came full-circle. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. There truly isn’t one person or event to place blame. Does it give everyone an excuse? Certainly not, but they have done the best they could. In writing about the person’s background it clearly expressed how they have experienced such struggle and pain in their lives.  I couldn’t help but release any of the resentment I had and to feel true forgiveness.

If anything, this activity brought me back to the reality of how such trends of fear and pain have existed in our society for so long. And it allowed me to see the importance for each of us to really look deep into ourselves to break the trends and habits that so often get passed down from generation to generation. To reach out and see each and every single person for the struggling and wounded person that they truly are – and THAT is the mindset shift that opens the door to true forgiveness.

Forgiveness

That’s Tweetable!  Click here to Tweet: “Every single person in this world is wounded and struggling in their own unique way. See that and you see #forgiveness. @jenilyn8705”!

So think of that person you are struggling to forgive. Imagine their background (don’t worry if it’s right or wrong – just take a guess at what you feel was happening). See where they are coming from full-circle. And, most of all – release your expectations for them to be and do something greater than what they currently are. Accept what is, because holding on to the expectation for them to change is only going to hold you back from pure genuine forgiveness. It may not be an excuse for their actions, but they have done the best they could.

 

Take a Step Toward Forgiveness Today!

Think of a person you are trying to forgive. Write down a story of what they may have experienced in their childhood or past (Hint: Usually how they themselves act is a reflection of how someone in their life treated them – it’s not very different!). And be sure you WRITE the story, because by writing it makes it so much more real.