I think a lot of people have resentments and call them something else. I mention that because I used to be one of those people. When came to feeling evil towards someone, I was a master. It never occurred to me, however, to ask myself what good it did me.
By and large, I had a really good childhood but even so, some really horrible things happened to me. It would be easy to dismiss whatever resentments I formed because of those bad things except that I carried them around for half of my life. My mother was the prime recipient of a number of those resentments. She had earned some of the anger I felt but once I had vented that anger, which I did, she was no longer responsible. You would never have known that from my actions however. Most times resentments only hurt the person carrying them but in this case it hurt two people. My mother deserved better than that and I did make amends to her for my actions before she died, well before fortunately.
There is a saying about resentments, “It’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” I drank from that poison many times always expecting the other person to feel something bad but the only one who ever felt badly was me.
It’s ironic. figured out a long time ago the foolishness of jealousy, another of my shortcoming although I overcame that one early on in my adulthood. I call it the most foolish emotion a person can have and only shows that person’s insecurities. It would have been nice to have carried over that logic to my resentments, but I did not.
Mind you, I still get resentments but now I treat them like a minor injury. I figure out what the source of the pain is and deal with it. Almost without exception the source of the pain is from something within me. What is happening is I am seeing something inside someone else that I hate within myself and that is how a resentment begins. This is not to say that the person had not wronged me or done something to allow me to feel poorly towards them, but the resentment is a level of anger that is always uncalled for. The resentment is self-flagellation at its worst. The resentment is what takes up space in my head and eats at me in its desire to get out. The resentment is what has pushed me into making too many bad decisions.
I still feel the resentment come over me but when I do an alarm goes off in my head and I tell myself it is time to take action. As I said before the first thing I do is find the source of the resentment. Then once I have identified the other person’s part in it, I forgive them in the sense that I tell myself that whatever they are doing has nothing to do with, or that they are fighting some demon within themself and it is presenting itself in this unflattering manner. Most of the time I eliminate the resentment by simply telling myself that they have a problem and I’m not it.
So here is the thing; it is okay to be angry, as angry as you need. But get over it as quickly as you can because anger is like milk left out too long. After a while it curdles and smells bad and turns into something else, something ugly.