Thursday, March 04, 2010

Something about resentment

I am repeatedly amazed at the number of people who act as if something very precious were being taken away when I suggest that they would benefit by letting go of resentment. The following was written by a friend of mine and I'm adapting it for general readership with his permission:

No resentment will go away by resenting more. We have all experienced hurts, some physical hurts, some based on actions of others who disappointed us profoundly, trust in a relationship was broken, or we failed to succeed as we'd hoped in a work situation. Perhaps someone hurt our children or someone we loved; maybe we were lied to, stolen from or betrayed. Whatever the hurt, we hurt ourselves if we hang onto or maintain the memory of the negative event. Resentments can lead us to both continued suffering and to engaging destructive behavior ouselves. Therefore, justifiable anger is a luxury we simply cannot afford. The path out is to achieve forgiveness. When we can say, not that the person who harmed us was right to do so, but that we are prepared to forgive, our anger will subside. We will benefit by moving out of our negative emotional state. We will benefit by removing a reason for ongoing pain and suffering in our own lives.

-- Larry Hochhaus

I particularly like that first sentence. I've talked to people who really believe that they have to keep on resenting as if this would somehow get it out of their system. It doesn't work, folks. Please trust me on this one!


  1. Anonymous2:46 PM

    I agree, of course, but true forgiveness is not fact it requires a lot of work for most of us ordinary mortals. Any ideas on HOW TO DO this important inner work?
    annie c

  2. Yes, Annie, I do have some ideas but they do not lend themselves to brief explanations. Perhaps I can do a series on forgiveness. I'll think about doing just that!


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