September 1

When we have painful memories
from hurting experiences, we may
feel justified in holding on to the
resentment.  But resentment is
corrosive.  It doesn't affect the person
we feel anger toward, it destroys the host.

Susan L. Taylor


Today's Meditation:

It's important to remember that what we keep in our minds does affect us, and it tends to affect us very strongly.  One who holds on to jealousy suffers needlessly, as does one who holds on to resentment.  When we do keep thoughts of resentment and anger in our minds, it usually doesn't have any effect at all on the person of whom we're resentful, even though we like to fool ourselves into thinking that our negative feelings are, indeed, having an effect.

Resentment hurts me if I'm resentful.  It hurts me because it keeps me focused on negative things like anger and bad experiences, and it doesn't allow me to stay fully present in the now.  Resentment is a result of the ego having its say--it's been bruised, so therefore it's going to take charge and make sure that we keep our minds on that bruised ego.  It truly doesn't do us any good at all, but it is a very real phenomenon that holds many people hostage to negative feelings that never go away until one learns how to let go of the resentment and move on with their lives. 

As Susan says, we all have had to deal with hurtful experiences.  Usually, we're able to move on and leave them behind without keeping our minds on the negative things that others might or might not have done.  When we're not, though, we hold ourselves hostage to our own ego, which makes the demand, "Satisfy me!"

The only way to move on and move up is to honestly let go of the resentment, to acknowledge our hurt and our pain and let it take its place in our past, where it belongs.  Because as long as we keep it alive and allow it to interfere with our present, we'll continue to give others power over us by allowing their actions to affect us long after we should be over it. 

Questions to consider:

Why is it so easy to feel resentment?  What part does your ego play in telling you that it's okay to feel it?

What does Susan mean when she says that resentment "destroys the host"? 

What are some strategies for letting go of resentment completely and moving on with your life?

For further thought:

Anger, resentment and jealousy don't change
the heart of others-- they only change yours.

Shannon Alder


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