I was reminded of what Nelson Mandela said about resentment:
Over the years, I have worked hard to release that resentment, but it still has a little corner of me inside, niggling away when it gets triggered. So in my group, I started to wonder what it would be like to live a life entirely free of that particular resentment, because honestly, holding onto it harms me more than the other person.
In my group, I found myself saying these words: “what would it be like if I decided to fully let go of what happened in the past, and fully accept both what happened, and this person today?” I imagined what it would feel like, and what our relationship would be like if I ceased to entertain the hurt I’d been holding and nurturing for so long. I even went as far as imagining what it would be like to forget about it completely, starting our relationship afresh.
There comes a time when it’s time to stop. Time to stop holding onto the pain of the past and the hurt that you felt. You have felt it enough. It’s hurting you, the longer you let it stay. It’s like an unwelcome guest, dragging you time and time again to a place of pain.
It is up to you now to experience peace, but you won’t if you remain married to your resentments, your pain, your hurt and your pride.
That is not to condone what happened, or the people involved. What you didn’t want happened, yes. But you have suffered enough now. Don’t add to it by plotting revenge. Don’t give it power by being its victim.
What would it be like if you let go of one resentment today? Who would you be, what would you feel like? What would your experience of life be like? Would it be easier to be in your skin if you walked with a heart of forgiveness? Would it be a relief to walk in the fresh air instead of being in the contaminated energy of resentment, repeating the pattern of pain, anger and bitterness?
One of the biggest forms of disconnection from yourself and others is resentment. Have the courage to let it go, and connect with forgiveness. It is a small price to pay for freedom.
Imagine what it would be like if you were to let go of a resentment, big or small, one you’ve been holding for many years, or for just one day. Write down your responses to the questions below:
- What would you feel like?
- How would you behave?
- What would you do?
- Would you be happy to be free of it?
Now, just in this moment, be willing to let go of it. Just in this moment. You can pick it up again later, but for now, experience what it would be like for you to fully let go of the resentment.
Do this daily for at least seven days, and use the Comments Box below to let us know how it goes. Share your experience so we can all learn to live with a freer heart.