Why Resentment Will 'Kill' You
By Art Ramsay, PhD

 It has been my experience during the last twenty years of coaching, counseling, and holding seminars, that resentment is one of the most disempowering mindsets that exists in humanity today. The preceding statement may dwell mainly in Western society, but also in those that have become 'westernized.'

 The reason it is the most debilitating attitude is the length of time it is generally held in a person's mind. Most people have disappointments, get angry, feel sorrow, and other emotional states, but let go of them in a few minutes, hours, or days. Resentment can be held onto for years, even decades.

 Science has confirmed that stress causes many destructive actions to occur throughout our bodies, particularly anger. Since resentment is anger held for a long period of time, then we can see how it works on destroying parts of our bodies over that time. Resentment is like a waterfall that wears away rock over millennia.

 How do we create resentment? If it is anger held over time, then it must start with anger in some form. Usually, it is created through 'taking something personally.' I have written several articles referring to this way of responding to someone's remark and such, that you can find in the achieves. I mention it here, because it is the major contributor to creating resentment.

 If we look at the process in steps, we can see that

  • step 1 something someone says or does, triggers a stored memory or belief
  • step 2 the memory/belief causes anger about the stored event brought into present time
  • step 3 the anger causes a response outwardly, or inwardly, or both
  • step 4 the incident is stored on top of what is already in the subconscious, and creates resentment

 You could hold resentment about the same stored issue with many people, which should give you a clue that it is not about them, but about you. But also, you could hold resentment about different issues with several people making it appear to you, that it is they, not you. Just know that if you got angry, it is always about you. If they got angry, it is about them.

 I know most people reading this may not believe what I have stated above, because society and the media are all about victims. We are victims of circumstances, the weather, people, industries, the sun, governments, etc.; so they would have us believe. Most people do believe this is true. I know that I am not a victim of anything, and take full responsibility for creating my life.

 When you can make the preceding statement I just made and live it, you will have no problem with resentment. If I create my life and am responsible for it, how can anyone else be blamed for what happens? This is the biggest hurtle humanity has to get over, but is not supported by mainstream thinking. Therefore, few people have ever given it much thought, nor explored the possibilities of such an idea.

 Also, it is easier to let it be about someone else or something outside of us, than it is to look within ourselves. Taking time and effort to work on how we relate to the world around us is too difficult for most people. The busy industrial societies push us to learn, work, raise a family with all of its time consuming attributes, and be a active part of society in many ways. How can we have time to look at ourselves?

 Of course, what I have said in the above paragraph is exactly what the governments and industrial complex perpetuate. If they can keep us busy, or broke, or sick, they can control us. Does that sound too conspiracy-oriented? Well, maybe, but it is true, nonetheless. The point is we have to take a hard look at the life we are living and determine whether it leads us to happiness or pain.

 Resentment is about pain; I think anyone would agree. Do you want pain? No? Then get over it. Stop. There are steps you can take, if you choose to do so, to move beyond the pain of resentment.

  • Step 1 make the choice to take responsibility for your life; put away victimhood
  • Step 2 choose to determine what in your past leads to anger when you feel 'hurt' by what someone said or did
  • Step 3 choose to put the past experience away for good by acknowledging what it taught you, and move on
  • Step 4 choose to forget or forgive the event/person

 The four steps above may take some exploration to determine just how some of those choices can be carried out. Everyone has different ways of approaching such activities. Some approaches follow.

 Whatever you choose, you will have seen resources to get you started toward being free from the ball and chain you now have around your ankle, more correctly, your head. Resentment will kill you.


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