Letting go of resentment

Although I wanted to know what I was dealing with, I had no choice but to keep the lid on my feelings. That went on for many years.

Letting go of anger doesn’t take away the initial wrongdoing of the perpetrator and why we initially feel anger towards that person. Whatever anyone does, they will be responsible and accountable, but for us it does go some way to change the way we perceive what they’ve done.

Through anger we hold on to resentment and through our resentment of the situation, we will always continue to perpetuate our feelings on a subconscious level. Because living with resentment puts ill feeling between them and the person they resent, they will become the transgressor; the bad ones.

I think if we can rise above what we truly feel, to understand the bigger picture we can let go of resentment towards others. The reason why it’s so hard to let go is that without the other person accepting blame or a compromise, we carry their guilt and blame ourselves for not being able to change the outcome.

As a child, although I never harboured resentment in the true sense, because I was oblivious to my issues, I now feel I can see my father, not from the perspective of a child with needs that were ignored and never met, but as the adult capable of understanding that people aren’t always what we expect or need them to be.

Thinking like this, I believe allows us to let go of resentment and all that resentment brings.


7 Jun, 2013

12 thoughts on “Letting go of resentment

  1. I don’t think I hold any resentment against anyone I can think of off hand. I’m sure there wer times I did, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that life is to short for things like resentment.

    I could resent my parents for the way they treated me while I was growing up, but I sort of understand their feelings now that I’m a parent of two children with special needs. I think they just wanted to protect me since my life was already at risk and they didn’t know any better.

    When you have a special needs child you just want to protect them. I agree with you. If we live with resentment we become the perpetrator and we will also become bitter and that’s not good. We should let it go, try to make amends and forgive the person.

    We would all be better if we forgave more often.

    1. We have to be clear about how we feel, particularly when it comes to our upbringing. As long as our subconscious thoughts and our conscious thoughts feel the same about our experiences and see those experiences as positive we won’t hold on to resentment.

      We have to be completely clear that we feel okay. If any of our issues have never been addressed with the person we take issue with (and we all have them) the odds are we’re not really over the problem!

      It’s important to be sure.

  2. I still keep a lid on my feelings regarding my father. If I didn’t, some days I would explode. A necessary way of living with an 85 year old widowed person in order to not cause World War 3.

    1. I totally understand your dilemma Randy. From what you’ve said in some of your earlier responses, your father is not so easy to live with.

      I think sometimes that is the only option open to us. I hope that whilst you’re keeping your thoughts to yourself, you’re not internalising anything, but allowing yourself to let go of things.

  3. Good post today. I completely understand what Randy is saying and as difficult as that is to do, sometimes it’s the right thing to do and I also agree that internalising those feelings is wrong too.

    I was chatting with an extended family member recently, who is in her mid 90s and she told me her philosophy on life was that ‘things come and things go…’ and I think that is such a great way to think.

    1. Yes of course although at the time it will seems as though our circumstances won’t change but of course they do!

      Nothing ever stays the same, that is so true.

  4. I harbored resentment with a family member over a long period of time, but I eventually came to the same realization you so eloquently describe in this post. Yet it is still important to thoroughly analyze the experience until closure is possible. It’s a process.

    Confronting your feelings directly is an initial part of that process. Your journey through this process is recorded in your writings and we all share this process with you.

    You have uncovered a few points in this post that has helped me with a personal matter regarding resentment.

    1. I am so pleased you have Tim. I am also pleased my writing has helped you as my writing continues to help me understand the process I call ‘life.’

  5. Resentments are the number one offender as it says in the AA book! Holding on to them is like drinking the poison and expecting the other people to die!

    I have spent the majority of my life doing just that and it kills me to know how much time I have wasted. I think it’s also the reason I have been battling myself for so long as to what to do with my father. It’s just very aggravating to say the least that we’re going to be stuck having to take care of his final arrangements since he never bothered.

    The biggest resentments I have had to deal with has been against myself for all the stupid decisions I made to make other people happy. Deep down inside I have hated my life since I was 3 years old and wished I hadn’t come back from nearly dying of pneumonia. I was a very intelligent and empathic child who felt feelings from others in a very intense manner which most people can’t comprehend and don’t believe in.

    My only escape eventually became alcohol and drugs after which I tried to pretend I didn’t care. My resentments became like haunted spirits that tortured me day and night with no reprieve. My seething hatred of so many people nearly destroyed me, but only succeeded in driving me to the point of insanity and beyond. Many days I have wondered what it is that has kept me going and I can only say that I fear going to hell and for my Daughter’s sake.

    I could go on for a very long time about how I feel about my resentments but I know I have to work on letting them go before I waste the rest of my life being wrapped up in them. It becomes like a cancer that will rot out your soul from the inside out and I have seen so many destroyed by hanging on to them.

    I don’t understand why it is that I’m still here but I’m hoping I find out a reason before I end up going to where I’m supposed to. I’ll keep praying!

    1. I completely understand all of what you’ve written here Randy and you’re right it’s time to let go so that you’re okay with YOU. I wasted a lot of years aiming to please and do what others wanted me to do, but looking back I couldn’t have changed anything and from your responses to, to some of my blogs you couldn’t either.

      We tend to learn from an early age the family mechanics and how things work and work our lives accordingly. The alcohol and drugs were a consequence of what you were dealing with and going through. If your life had been different you will not have done either, it was definitely a cry for help.

      I think sometimes we have to find a level of acceptance on our lives and move on from our past. Took look back and analyse our mistakes only hurts us more. We tend to act out as a consequence given our circumstances. If your parents had have been supportive towards you and your siblings your life would have turned out so differently.

      I think it’s our parents who have to accept the responsibility. The mistakes of the parents tend to weigh heavily on the children. I believe it’s time for you to move on. You have such amazing qualities Randy. You’re a good guy, time to let go of your demons and find out what makes you, YOU.

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