Resentment builds up when we are not real with the people in our lives. What we leave unsaid causes resentment, often little things that pile on top of each other, until the tiniest event can cause an explosive reaction. Try incorporating the following habits into your life to free yourself from resentment.
Say What You Feel, in the Moment
Speaking our truth is one of the hardest things for us to do, and telling people — especially the people we love and admire — when we are annoyed with them is often extremely difficult. The reason it is so hard is that we are afraid of rejection, of losing their approval and ultimately their love. Yet when we don’t say what we are feeling, we store inside ourselves the momentary irritation or conflict that their actions generated, adding it to the collection of similar annoyances we have repressed over the course of the relationship. These emotions become an energetic barrier that impedes the love we feel from flowing freely. Every time we see the person, we are subconsciously reminded of those moments that bothered us, and so, instead of being fully present in embracing the person as they are, afresh in each moment, we are distracted, focusing on what is wrong. The spontaneity of the relationship is then gone.
If we pretend to be nice and friendly, our interactions become a performance — an act, where true love is hard to find. On the other hand, when we decide to face the fear of rejection and say what we are really feeling, something incredible happens. Our transparency sets us free, allowing us to release the judgments and emotions we have built up over time, and let go of resentment. We can then return to the appreciation and innocence that the relationship once had.
So many couples grow apart over time because of this pattern: out of fear of losing each other, they hide what they really feel. The result? Two people who are physically close but distanced inside.
Develop a Loving Relationship with Yourself
For most of our lives, in order to be accepted and loved we compromise, abandoning ourselves to do what other people want — what our parents want, what our spouses want, what society wants. Now we can make a new choice, a higher choice to start loving ourselves unconditionally and accepting ourselves exactly as we are.
The need to receive approval from our loved ones, the need to control and manipulate their opinion of us, comes from our need for acceptance and love. It is only when we have lost the ability to accept ourselves that we start worrying about what other people think, and so start hiding and contorting ourselves in order to become what we consider “good enough.” In order to change this, we must go inward and look honestly at ourselves.
Start listening to yourself. Worry less about how the outside tells you to be and start listening to the voice of your own heart. This will make it easier for you to speak your truth and let go of the need for external approval.
Feel Your Emotions
In order to release the built-up charge of resentment, allow yourself to feel. Let yourself get angry; permit yourself to feel sad. When you do, you will find that the resentment and bitterness from events of the past begin to lift, and you are able to recuperate the magic and innocent wonder of childhood.
Excerpted from the book Love Has Wings: Free Yourself from Limiting Beliefs and Fall in Love with Life , Copyright 2012 by Isha Judd. Printed with permission from New World Library.
Isha Judd is the author of Love Has Wings and Why Walk When You Can Fly. She travels the globe teaching a simple, yet powerful system that shows how to find the state of mind she calls “love-consciousness,” where every moment of life — even the most challenging and frustrating — can be filled with love, joy, peace, and self-acceptance. Visit her online at http://www.ishajudd.com.
Here too is a great interview with Isha Judd. Enjoy:
For other spiritual tools and perspectives on how to let go of resentment, have a look at this great article on Letting go and forgiveness
Here are a few Resentment Quotes you may enjoy:
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”
― Carrie Fisher
“Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Life is too short to hold a grudge, also too long. ~Robert Brault
If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot. ~Korean Proverb