On Resentment

On Resentment

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There's a place called resentment where we sometimes go. Where it's cold and somewhat frightening. And the lights are off there. But the ways in which we find ourselves in its wake are not so straightforward. It's an expectation that wasn't met. It's an obligation that wasn't fulfilled. It's a hope that was met with pain and heartache. And now, it's hard to see straight.

It's the worst when it's someone close to you. You want to make them pay. You want them to see how much they hurt you. You want them to feel just a little bit of that pain. You want to forgive, to be happy, but there's a part of you that's so angry. Because it still hurts. Hurts to even look at them. Hurts to see them happy--even when you want them to be happy. Hurts to wonder if you'll ever be able to get over it. But you must.

You must find a way. Through tears, if you have to. Through words scribbled on pages stained with the snot of an ugly cry. Through gritted teeth and clenched fists and deep breaths that might sound more like sobs sometimes. Holding yourself up, lest you crumble under the weight of self-pity. Through it all. You must, because in the end, that resentment is toxic. To that person. To your relationship. And, most importantly, to yourself.

You must first make the move from self-pity to self-compassion. Then, you make space for yourself to sit with that emotion, without judgement. As you sit with it, you come to understand it. As you understand it, you make peace with it. And you do this again and again and again, every time it comes up, as many times as it comes up. Until it dissipates. Until it doesn't train wreck your soul. Until you're free of it.

Be there in that space with yourself, without distractions. Sit with yourself. And stay with whatever comes up in you. Anger? Sit with it. Sadness? Sit with it. Pain? Sit with it. Anxiety? Sit with it. Discard your judgment and just sit with it for what it is. Feel that? It's called radical acceptance. And notice that, sitting here, in the middle of it, facing it, feeling it--you're okay. You're safe. You can do this. 

And next time? Boundaries. Always boundaries. Forgiveness? Sure. But boundaries? Imperative. 

Grace and peace, beloveds.

 

On Suffering and Empathy

On Suffering and Empathy