A couple was hurrying down the sidewalk in a rainstorm. The wife was carrying a bag of groceries and the husband held the umbrella. They got to an intersection and the husband saw a beautiful woman trip and fall. He dropped the umbrella and picked the stranger up and carried her to shelter and checked to make sure she was uninjured. He picked up the umbrella and continued to walk his wife home. When they got home, the wife turned to her husband and angrily said: “ why did you drop the umbrella and pick up that woman?” The husband replied: “I put that woman down a long time ago. Why are you still carrying her?”
Resentment comes from Latin words that mean: “to think repeatedly”. It is also known as negative obsessive thinking “NOT ™”. It is always beneficial for people to reference the past in order to enable them to live better lives. However, when we obsessively dwell on events in the past that we have interpreted and perceived negatively, we make our own prison. We try to work things out in our mind and try to find some solution to the perceived negative event. We analyze and fantasize, all in an attempt to change the event. Of course the event will never change, but we can change our perception of it. We play “what if” and hold conversations in our mind that will never happen. I call it “pole vaulting over mouse turds” or “mental masturbation”.
Resentment only causes stress. Stress occurs when we do not accept the truth of what happened and is happening in our life. When we only think of ourselves and how unfair our life is, we not only cause stress in our bodies but we cause dis-ease in our body as well. It is constructive to contemplate and objectively analyze the events in our life, but when we feel negative about it we cause problems. Interestingly enough, we always have been told that a problem shared is a problem halved, but when we are in resentment mode we tend to find friends to commiserate with and unless your friend is positive and objective, you only compound the problem by gossip and enabling. It only reinforces our victim consciousness.
Thought patterns are habitual, we will always respond to stimuli with the most prevalent thought pattern. I tend to believe that when we think negatively, it is a habit. Like all habits, it can be changed. However, that takes focus and discipline, two words our ego mind hates. So how do we stop the resentment and form new thinking patterns? Affirmations! Every time we think a negative thought, or a thought that feels negative, we catch ourselves and say “stop it, everything is alright!” Other affirmations include: “I choose love!”, “I am not my thoughts”, or “Thank you God”. Any of these positive affirmations will change our mind and we can let go of the burden of resentment. If you need more drastic reinforcement, put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you catch yourself resenting something. A bit harsh but it works. Put down your burdens, enjoy your life and be happy.