10 Steps to Letting Go of Resentment
“Resentment is a mental process. With resentment, we repeatedly replay a feeling, and the events leading up to that feeling, that angers us…. With resentment, we re-experience and relive events in ways that affect us mentally, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually in destructive ways.
…What causes the unhappiness that underlies resentment?
a) What we feel people did to us that was unnecessarily mean, hurtful, and thoughtless.
b) What people in our lives did not do for us that we feel they should have done.
c) When we feel the people in our lives have not done enough for us.
Holding resentments is choice. A choice to refuse to forgive; and unwillingness to let bygones be bygones…. We cling to a futile need to be right, which overrides the capacity to be at peace….usually because we don’t know any other way to come to grips with the painful feelings of hurt, rejection, and abandonment.”
With that introduction to what resentment is, what the underlying cause is, and why we hold onto them, here are the 10 Steps to letting go of resentment.
“1. Approach resentment as the addictive state of mind it is.
2. Realize that you are using resentment to replicate your family drama and maintain a connection with those dramas, a necessary acknowledgment before you can let them go.
3. Examine how your resentment may come from mentally confusing people in your present life with people in your past.
4. Acknowledge that you cannot control those who have rejected you.
5. Recognize that your resentment gives you only illusions of strength. Instead, highlight and validate your real strength and power.
6. Learn to identify the signals that provoke resentment.
7. Practice cognitive behavioral techniques to stop indulging in resentment. Put a thought between your feelings of resentment and indulging in ruminating about them.
8. Acknowledge your part in allowing the abuse to occur, forgive yourself for that, and make a decision to not let it occur again.
9. Declare an amnesty – with your family and with yourself.
10. Forgive when you can, and practice willful and deliberate forgetfulness when you cannot, keeping in mind that these acts are gifts to yourself rather than capitulation to those whom you resent.”
Gratefully taken from Healing from Family Rifts, by Mark Sichel.
I that everyone will find these definitions, causes and corrective means to be eye-opening and helpful.