Written January 2, 2017
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~Malachy McCourt
These are the basic definitions of these words;
- Hatred is a very strong dislike of a person, place or thing, and
- Resentment is holding a grudge.
Both of these feelings can affect our minds and especially our bodies in all kinds of negative ways. Depression, headache, indigestion, heart attack and strokes are just a couple of ways. Sometimes these feelings cause us to lash out in all kinds of negative ways. So, while looking at this quote, when we hold on to that anger and pain, we are in effect taking poison. As we take that poison into us, we are the ones that die, rather suffer. Not the person we have these ill feelings for.
Another way to look at it is to imagine carrying a load of rocks. Imagine yourself walking down a road carrying a bag. When any of the following happens, put a small pebble in that bag: a driver cuts you off, the cashier is going to slow and you’re in a hurry or any other little life irritants. Now, imagine that any or all of these is a large boulder. Put a boulder for any of these big life situations in that same bag: you discover your lover is cheating on you, your boss fires you for something your coworker did or any other big thing in life. I bet that bag is feeling pretty heavy right about now. Each time you hold onto a grudge, rather develop a resentment, you add another pebble, rock or boulder to your load. How long can you carry that load before you hurt yourself somehow? How long before you snap on someone inadvertently or you become a bitter old person?
“Yea but you don’t understand that what ‘so and so’ did really hurt me or made me really angry etc…” Actually, yes I do and I’ve held a grudges for years against other people. I think my longest was 20yrs. I was very angry at a former supervisor who lied to another supervisor about my work performance. This prevented me from working in the other department.
“Well I’ll show her!” I’d said. I went on vacation and never went back to work. Every time I saw this supervisor at the store or some place, my anger toward her came flooding back.
Ten years later, I went back to this company for another job but they wouldn’t hire me because I left my previous job there with no notice, no nothing. Needless to say my resentment that I thought I had resolved had come back with a vengeance. I realized I needed to resolve this and move on from it.
A dear woman that was in my life at that time helped me to get passed it. She told me to pray for the person. At that time I told her she was bat shit crazy. “What?!? Pray for that(enter “choice” words here…)?!?” I decided to give it a try. Hey, it couldn’t hurt, right? What happened next has helped me get thru even more trying times since then. I slowly but surely got passed my anger and onto growth. I was actually able to forgive this person in my heart, even tho I haven’t been able to bring myself to say, “Hello” when I’ve seen her since that day
Later, when those really trying times came up, another dear woman told me about The Resentment Prayer. Saying that prayer gives me the direction, rather the words to say besides, “Please help me to forgive…” By saying these words, these simple words, I have learned how to forgive other people who’ve hurt me. I have since been able to drop a few boulders and miscellaneous sized rocks. I definitely feel better
…so I thought until recently.
Lately I have had a couple of people who have seriously wounded me by their words and actions. Why have they done this you might ask? Unresolved issues from the past. I posted about this sometime ago. I was able to forgive some things these people have done in the past but these last couple things? Well, let’s just say that any prayer, let alone the Resentment Prayer are not working.
So what is a person supposed to do when someone hurts them so bad that it kills them (sometimes literally) on the inside? First off, you can start by looking at yourself and what your part was in the situation. If at all possible, make amends to that person. Don’t just say, “I’m sorry for…” because that may make the other person either think or actually say that “you sure are sorry…you’re a sorry S.O.B.!” You need to say something like, “I apologize for doing/saying…I was wrong. How can I make it up to you?” Next, keep saying the Resentment Prayer(see below). The more you do it the sooner you’ll begin to feel that forgiveness in your heart.
Finally, if none of that works, and you fear what you might say or do, write about it. You can do this and couple of ways. You can write what’s called a No Send Letter. Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. Write what you might say to that person but don’t give the letter to them. After you write it you can either keep it (not recommended because you’ll just relive those feelings over and over) or you can burn it in a safe way. Preferably outside.
You can also just plain journal. Write whatever comes to mind kinda like I have been doing when I do some of these posts. After some time passes, you and the person you once hated can try to sit down again and talk. If for whatever reason you two can’t speak to each other and someday down the road you look back on your journaling, you will see how much you’ve grown since you first began writing.
Thought for the day: Free of Resentment Prayer – God, free me from my resentment toward ___( fill in the blank)_____. Please bless ___( fill in the blank)_____ in whatever it is that You know they be needing this day. Please give ___( fill in the blank)_____ everything I want for myself. And may ___( fill in the blank)_____.` life be full of health, peace, prosperity and happiness as they seek to have a closer relationship with You.
***Please be sure to read more of my posts