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How do I let go of resentment?


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#1    markdohle

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:56 AM

How do I forgive, let go of resentment?



I was talking to a man here on retreat and he was dealing with a great deal of anger in his life.  His anger was understandable. In fact there would have been something wrong with him if he said he was not angry over the injustice that was done to him.  As we were talking, he brought up how resentment had such a hold on him and he could not let it go.  So he asked me how to do it.  

These questions always make me uneasy, since I know from experience that certain techniques simply don’t work when it comes to dealing with deep emotional pain and suffering.  They can help of course temporarily, but the actual healing needs to come from a deeper place depending on something else entirely.  

So when I tried to respond to this question, I had to go within in order to connect with my own struggles with resentment.  Most likely it is a very common situation for people and it can lead in worst case scenarios to ruin for all involved.  I don’t think this kind of inner war should be minimized in anyway.  Resentment is painful to experience, but it is also addictive and hard to let go of.  Thoughts of revenge can give one a feeling of superiority and innocence that is probably unwarranted.  Just as I struggle with resentment, so others may have resentment towards me as well……what a dance it is!

In my own life, I have found that it is the desire to forgive and to let go of resentment that is the seed that is planted by grace.  I also believe that to simply want to let go of this kind of deep inner suffering, is a positive response to graces gentle plodding in our souls.
There are those who cling to their resentments, love them actually and in that they pay a heavy price.  

The seed planted in our hearts is I believe the life of the Eternal One, which starts as a weak and slow growing relationship.  As we move on this path, perhaps praying the best way we know how. Or try to find ways to let go of what causes us pain and suffering. This life of God grows and slowly draws us to the point where our desire to forgive and let go of resentment, is healed by this larger life that grace brings to those who seek it.  

To seek revenge is an instinctive response, it is just there, its purpose is to protect us, but it is often destructive, because it is often an illusion, this need to get back at those who hurt us.  As if getting back at someone will change anything in a significant manner.  Most of the time it will only make things worse, complicating an already convoluted situation into turning even more into itself, leading to relationships that only grow in hatred.  

The life that God plants in our hearts grows according to its own laws.  We prepare the ground through self knowledge and self-responsibility, water it through prayer, and receive the harvest through patient endurance.  We sin when we seek to escape pain that can’t be expunged accept though the allowing of love and forgiveness to grow.  Pain and suffering can be healing if it leads us to the understanding of our need for grace.  If not, then the pain only gets worse and deepens as our life moves forward.  I guess this can be seen in how the world works….not very well it would seem.  An eye for an eye may have been an improvement in the far past, but now it only gets worse with each new cycle.  I guess what is going on between Israel and the Palestinians shows us this reality.  Our world around us only mirrors what is in our souls.  Our problems don’t just drop from the sky unannounced; no, they flow from our inner selves.  It does no good to point fingers. For I believe that we all are part of the problem.  Seeking to blame only compounds the dire situation in the world today.  




The dance of resentment

Grab your partner and around we go
griping tightly with grim intent,
snarling and glaring as we twirl
in an endless cycle of pain and suffering.

Blood drops from our enemy and we smile,
then groan when wounded and bleed ourselves,
our anger and pain increasing with each new round
for there seems to be no end to the dance.

Well maybe until one dies,
or both, then there is peace for a time,
but the sword and spear taken up again
by tribe, family and friends,
so the dance begins again,
or perhaps it never ended.





#2    Beany

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 01:54 PM

I've struggled with this one myself, Mark. What finally worked for me was forgiveness, and telling myself a different story about the circumstances that caused the resentment. My resentment was around childhood issues, and I had a story about it I told myself when I was a kid. As an adult, I was finally able to change the story, so that I wasn't a victim, or at least the only victim, and began to understand circumstances from an adult perspective, so that I was able to look at everyone's side of the story instead of just my own. I guess I just took away my starring role in the drama. Didn't someone say "Change your mind, change your life?" I've found that to be profoundly true.


#3    RabidMongoose

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:33 PM

View PostBeany, on 05 August 2014 - 01:54 PM, said:

I've struggled with this one myself, Mark. What finally worked for me was forgiveness, and telling myself a different story about the circumstances that caused the resentment. My resentment was around childhood issues, and I had a story about it I told myself when I was a kid. As an adult, I was finally able to change the story, so that I wasn't a victim, or at least the only victim, and began to understand circumstances from an adult perspective, so that I was able to look at everyone's side of the story instead of just my own. I guess I just took away my starring role in the drama. Didn't someone say "Change your mind, change your life?" I've found that to be profoundly true.

When I reached the age of about 23 I realised that some people are disaster zones. From that point onwards I refused to have anything to do with negative people and eliminated them out of my life. Best decision I ever made.

My advice is dont get angry at such people just let them go. They have real no friends. 99% of people disappear on them sooner or later out of resentment for the backstabbing, spreading rumours, manipulation, lies and abusive remarks. Most people run as fast as they can when they realie they're dealing with a nutter.

I think everybody has to go through that lesson although some pick it up faster than others. Anger issues disappear once a person realises that the impact on them was out of their control. Lets face it, we aren't taught as children how to spot psycho's and the games they get up too. Most people learn when they fall victim.

Edited by RabidMongoose, 05 August 2014 - 02:34 PM.


#4    JJ50

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:56 PM

If someone who wronged me in a very bad way made a sincere apology I would probably accept it, otherwise I wouldn't forgive them.

“The wise recognise their failings and laugh at their idiosyncrasies” RJG



#5    Border Collie

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

Mindfulness meditation


#6    White Crane Feather

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:23 PM

I find that responsibility for self, mixed with a lot of prayer and meditation. Is a great way to let go of these things as I am very prone to them.

By responsibly for self I mean accepting that I have a hand in how I choose to inturpret or react to things. If something happens to me I can choose how it ultimately affects me. It can shut me down, damage me emotionally, cause resentment and stress, or it can modivate me, provide me an opertunity to express my attempt to be a better person, teach me something, or provide me the opertunity to have an experience that I will eventually use to council and guide a young person with. If one gets in the habit of choosing constructive reaction then even the deepest hurts can ultimately be a source of strength. Of course there are terrible  life ruining events that can happen, and im pretty sure I would shut down if they happened, but we are not slaves to our circumstances. I will never believe this. Is there a silver lineing in every cloud. No.... Not every one. But a lot .... Even most of them.

Edited by White Crane Feather, 05 August 2014 - 09:24 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#7    Opus Magnus

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:45 PM

I think it is impossible to let go and forgive unless that person has repented.  So you rebuke them first, and then if they repent forgive them.  Do this to your brother for his transgression 7 times in a day.  It is said to forgive your brother 7 times 77 times, so forgive 490 times.  Though they have to repent.  If they haven't repented there is no reason to forgive.

Then for people and events you pray for them, and forgive it in prayer because the Father knows your desire and answers your prayer.  Know that you have received your prayer in your heart and it is easier to let go.

People have to repent though for anything to really change.


#8    GreenmansGod

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:24 PM

I cast a spell. Depending on what it is and how bad, I have three of them.  One is to help the person to what is right.  One so I can walk  away and move on. But if you push to a certain point of not caring what it does to me, then you will be wondering why you're having such a run of bad luck.   I have only used the last one once.

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#9    XenoFish

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:38 PM

I could forgive but I would never forget. I wouldn't want anything further to do with such an individual/s.

We're all living in a world filled with moderately stupid people.

#10    Kasha

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:46 PM

I don't know if I know enough or am qualified enough to be giving advice here, but resentment can bring with it a lot of other feelings too. Sometimes not. And you're right, markdohle, some techniques DO NOT work with deep emotional pain and suffering, and this sounds like such a case. The only thing I can think of is, well, their are some types of pain that will just never heal. But because you know it so well, because it's become such a part of you, you develop the gift of seeing it in others. He can, in a way, turn his pain to an asset as strange as I know that sounds, and help those who can't see the end of that tunnel. Granted I don't know this man, or any other details, but sometimes when there's something you can't fix in yourself there is some measure of peace (and grace?) in being able to recognize a specific ability within yourself to be able to do it for others like you.


#11    Beany

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:22 AM

Forgiveness brings us peace. We don't do it fof the other person. Usually they're such jerks they don't care whether they've been forgiven. But to forgive someone takes away their powe over us, the power to bring us to anger, despair, depression. And why give tbose jerks that kind of power over us? Forgive them and move forward. It renders them powerless over us,  i give no one power over me or my feelings


#12    Jor-el

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:05 PM

You don't.... all you can do is let "living life" get in the way of that resentment until it is eventually forgotten as unimportant. of course if you don't live, you will never forget.

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#13    Bluefinger

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:58 PM

Lovingly,  this is what I would communicate to that man:

Until you see the other person as valuable and human as yourself, you cannot forgive him/her.  Resentment dehumanizes people.  Many times, the people that we resent carry a large amount of resentment toward someone else and are going around smashing up other peoples' lives in effort to avoid facing the pain.

My advice would be:  Stop running and face the pain.  Have hope that you will get past the pain and put it forever behind you.  And lastly, have compassion on those who hurt you.  Think of their redemption as something worth suffering for and your pain will not be in vain.

That is what Jesus did for us.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#14    markdohle

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 04:56 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 11 August 2014 - 03:58 PM, said:

Lovingly,  this is what I would communicate to that man:

Until you see the other person as valuable and human as yourself, you cannot forgive him/her.  Resentment dehumanizes people.  Many times, the people that we resent carry a large amount of resentment toward someone else and are going around smashing up other peoples' lives in effort to avoid facing the pain.

My advice would be:  Stop running and face the pain.  Have hope that you will get past the pain and put it forever behind you.  And lastly, have compassion on those who hurt you.  Think of their redemption as something worth suffering for and your pain will not be in vain.

That is what Jesus did for us.

Well said, thank you.

peace
mark


#15    StRoostifer

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:30 PM

Ive found what worked for me was self acceptance ( letting go of ego) , then accept others for whom they are , which allowed me to accept the differences between us and ultimately letting go. Sometimes letting go can be mental, physical and or even both.

Having invaluable tools can be very helpful as well. Such as different genre's of music to suit different moods, meditation, diet, exercise, quiet alone time, abstaining from drama ( TV, peers, etc) are all very useful in keeping the right state of mind for letting go and maintaining an inner balance or at least working towards becoming more balanced. All of these have proven to be most beneficial to me and I'm greatful for having them at my disposal. :D





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