If you do not have an answer to this, it means you are holding on to resentment and it is time to let go. However, this is easier said than done. Thus, in this blog post, I will focus on 5 steps that would allow you to be able to let go of resentment and ensure a happier and more positive future for yourself.
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What is resentment?
Resentment is mainly negative emotions and feelings which have been haunting you for years. The time that the resentment was housed in your mind, it caused significant harm to your ability to deal with others and the world in general.
Reading about resentment may seem like it is an over-dramatic thing. However, resentment is a deep-seated issue which if not addressed can lead to serious problems in your future. You cannot expect resentment to go away by snapping your fingers. The process of letting go of resentment is long and possibly painful. But there is a light at the end of this long dark tunnel. The light will be accessible to you if you put in a little bit of work from your side.
People are complex and dealing with them is hard. A lot of times we find ourselves oscillating between two emotions, fear, and anger when it comes to dealing with others. Almost all the time we are looking for a way to put a Band-Aid on the blind rage and get rid of the anxious thoughts. However, these quick and easy formulas do not work in long term. The problem continues to grow and fester and tends to become worse and more difficult to handle.
There is no way to get rid of your problem if you do not work on it at the root level. But this is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes it is impossible to solve the problem at the root level, especially when the problem arises from a loved one or a close person whom we cannot just pick up and remove from our lives.
What if I told you that there is a lasting and permanent way to reduce your anger and feel more in control of your own emotions?
This happens when you let go of resentment.
Fear, anger, and resentment are all a part of one big boulder which weighs on our minds. We get trapped in this self-perpetuating cycle of being worried over the future, angry at our present situation, and filled with uncontrollable resentment towards our past. We want to go back and change an endless number of things. But going back to the past and changing things is not an option. All we can do is move forward and try to lead a better and healthier life. Thus, the antidote to this self-perpetuating cycle is having faith in yourself, love for all the things that matter to you, and finally a complete acceptance of the past. Acceptance is the only way to successfully let go of resentments. You need to accept that there are things in your life that were out of your control and you could not do anything about it. What is the point of sitting and pouring over that which cannot be changed? Instead, look forward to your future and build on your present.
Here is what you should not do when you feel resentful
- Fight through the feelings
- Pretend you don’t have feelings about the past
- Try to forget the feelings
- Pack the feelings up in boxes and store them away
- Ignore the feelings
Instead, here is what you should do to let go of resentment
- Feel the feelings
- Face the feelings
- Deal with the feelings
- Take your experience from the feeling and help your mind heal and move forward.
Before you understand the steps to help you let go of resentment, you need to understand that
- The process to let go of resentment takes time
- You may feel worse before you start to feel better
- To let go of resentment, you will have to be willing and participate with an open mind
Here are five steps to let go of resentment
Acknowledge that you have resentments
The first step to solving any problem is accepting that there is a problem. To let go of resentment, you need to first accept that you have resentment and you are resentful of the past. There is a chance that you may feel consumed by your ever-haunting past. Do not deny, rationalize or minimize it. Just admit that you have resentments.
Identify your power
One thing we all tend to forget is that we have an unimaginable level of power inside us that can be tapped in and used if we want to. To let go of resentment, first ask yourself, “did you have any role in the resentment that you are feeling towards your past?” Next, ask yourself, “do you now have the power to protect your mind and soul and allow yourself to heal?“
Whether you had a role or not in the resentment no way suggests that you were a part of the problem. If your spouse cheated on you, you are not responsible for his or her behavior.
The point I am trying to make is that you need to check your role in the resentment. “Did you voice out your hurt when the incident happened?”, “Did you find closure?” A lot of times we feel resentment because we never address the issues which happened in the past. We do not bother to clear the air up or to tell the person who hurt us that their actions harmed our mental health.
Sometimes, you have the power to speak up but you do not, because you are afraid of bringing negativity in the relationship. Other times, you may not have the option to speak up. It may also happen that you never cleared the air and are still not sure whose mistake it was. You may have told yourself a story that might not be entirely true.
Take action if it is possible
As I mentioned above, it is not always possible to get up and speak for yourself. If you were in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship in the past, you could not speak up then. However, today you are free and have the power to decide what you want to do.
Should you ask for closure now? If the option is available to you, then yes. You can either send a letter to the other person or you can meet up face-to-face and discuss the issues. There is no right or wrong answer to this. The only thing to do here is to ask yourself, how can I get rid of this resentment? Your mind will provide you the answer. You just have to follow through.
Let go of the things which you do not have power over
A lot of times we are resentful about the things which happened in the past over which we have no control. Suppose your spouse cheated on you five years back. At that time you had no idea of what was going on behind your back. Eventually, you and your spouse got a divorce. However, do not let your traumatic past prevent you from entering into a relationship today. You cannot change your spouse’s past behavior. But you can have full control over the next relationship. You can lay down clear requests and engage in more trust-building activities with your current partner.
Recognizing that we are powerless is one of the hardest things to do and takes a lot of time. However, the alternative to this is much worse. Resentment not only hurts you, but it also hurts everyone who is around you. Resentful, bitter, and angry people most of the time are challenging but in extreme cases, they can become toxic and lead to the ending of their current relationships.
|Let go of resentment
Work on your gratitude recognition
One of the most powerful medicines for resentment is gratitude. Make a gratitude journal or make a section in your self-care journal which focuses on gratitude. In the gratitude section of your journal, write down what you are thankful for on an everyday basis. It is imperative that you at least write five things you are grateful for on that particular day. Continue this task for at least five weeks.
You cannot feel gratitude and resentment at one time. The moment gratitude enters your life, resentment will have to leave.
Nothing is too small, silly, or mundane to be a part of your gratitude journal. Your gratitude journal is your safe place and anything which brings even a little bit of satisfaction or happiness to you has a place in that journal. You can write about how the sun feels your skin, be thankful for good weather, feel grateful for having good people in your life, be thankful for the work that you do, be thankful for the life that you have built despite your past issues, etc.
Once you start to practice gratitude daily, it will turn into regular affirmations that you tell yourself as well as a joyful habit that will keep resentment away from you.
Focus on yourself, focus on the present and prepare for your future. The past is in the past. To let go of your resentment, practice gratitude and try to get closure if possible. If Closure is not possible, let the issue go.
What are your thoughts on how to let go of resentment? What do you do when you feel resentful? Have you tried any of the above methods to manage resentful feelings? Please mention your experiences in the comment section below and share them with the rest of the world. If you have any queries about this blog post or any other post, feel free to contact me on any of my social media channels or leave your queries in the comment section below. I will be happy to help.
See you in my next blog post