One of my mentors always talked about something called the 3Rs, which included: Resentment, resistance, & revenge. The three have potential to be very destructive, and one can lead into the next. Today I just want to talk about the 1st one: Resentment. Resentment comes in many forms... Maybe we resent someone because of something he/she said or did. Maybe we resent something that happened to us that we felt we had no control over. Maybe we resent how our life looks. Maybe we resent the choices we have made in our life. Maybe we resent giving to someone or doing for someone, when it isn’t reciprocated in the way we had hoped or expected.
I think at the end of the day, resentment is normal and somewhat natural. Everyone feels it sometime at some point for some reason. The key is to not let the feelings consume us or effect our actions moving forward in a negative way. We don’t want to resist our natural feelings, but we want to be self aware and recognize when we might be feeling a certain resentment, assess why, and have a practice of letting it go, before it gets ahold of us.
Of course, many times, it depends on why the resentment occurred or creeped in to begin with. Was it because of something in my control or not? If it was, then what will I do about it? What is next? IF it is something to do with my expectation I placed on someone else, then perhaps I need to learn to not create expectations to begin with - as that is a sure way for disappointment. Was it something I fell short on or didn’t accomplish or complete? Then what steps can I take to make a change and get it accomplished? Is it the way my life looks? Then what way do I want it to look and how can I get there? Was it something someone else did or said? Then let it go.
Admittingly, I have fought the battle in the past several months over and over again with this emotion. For me it has been ongoing practice of being extremely self aware when this emotion is present, yet, non-judgmental of it. IF in judgement of resentment, then this is when resistance occurs. Therefore, it is important to just be aware, not resist. Fighting the feelings isn’t necessary, as it doesn’t work. What I have learned through time and experience is simply acknowledging it and letting it go... I feel it - I recognize that it is natural & normal - but not necessary - I ask myself where it came from and why? And then, I let it go. Often this ability to “let go” occurs through prayer. I am not strong enough alone to always let go of my crazy thoughts or feelings. Only through God am I able to grow emotionally, mentally, & spiritually. Phillippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengthens.