Resentment

I pace around locked in this cage
The bars they leave me frightened
I throw myself against them enraged
My straight jacket seems to tighten
Your voice is all I hear in my head
It rings with condescension
You hope I end up lying here dead
To bring you towards ascension
I collapse with exhaustion
As my screams wither in vain
I think of how I was lost when
You slowly creeped in my brain
Did you even want to be there?
I feel the jacket loosen
Did you know I thought it unfair?
My arms unwrap with movement
Whether your answer gives me peace
Or just crowds me with more fear
Forgiveness is all I have within reach
I look up, the bars they’ve disappeared

 

Let it go.

When you begin to resent someone, every word that comes out of their mouth, every action they take is overly scrutinized and interpreted as an amplification of what you resent them for. It consumes you to such a point that you have relinquished control of your thoughts to them. You feel that if nobody else is actively acknowledging their faults, your time is best spent venting to yourself. Your own internal anger is an unavoidable consequence of the necessary, perpetual spite. All the while, they could not care less what you think.

You do not have control over the actions of who you resent. You cannot let your happiness be defined by whether the person stops what they are doing or gets what’s coming to them. You will be waiting for an outcome that you are unable to influence, or worse, waste time and energy attempting to fruitlessly change the situation.

Consider the possibility you are being presumptuous of their actions. If you can assume it is not deliberate, that it is simply an unconscious characteristic they aren’t even aware of, it will open the door for you to see the good qualities in them. If that assumption is unfounded, and what they are doing actually is deliberate and malicious, then you should pity them for needing to compromise their integrity. Furthermore, the individual you resent may actually be quite talented and intelligent, despite these characteristics. In that case, use the opportunity to learn from them, even it if must be done in a calculated way to minimize your resentment. Do not let hatred cut off a valuable learning resource.

Even with someone you haven’t met personally, you may feel jealousy or envy from afar. Maybe they have received accolades you feel are undeserved. Maybe they have accomplished something you wish you had the opportunity to. The potency of their recognition will certainly be intense for it to have traveled such a great distance to your life. In any case, you are fixated on things that are outside of your control. Every resentful second you spend brooding is a second you are taking away from achieving your own goals. Instead of longing for what they have, take steps to make it a reality for yourself.

The ultimate salvation from resentment is forgiveness. Do not, however, approach forgiveness as an unselfish act. Yes, forgiving someone, whether they deserve it or not, may have the consequence of absolving them of their guilt. But the freedom you receive from no longer holding that grudge greatly outweighs whatever advantage comes to the accused. Their name, their voice, their presence will no longer spark negative emotion. Such liberation is priceless.

 

Situational Questions

  • Are you scrutinizing the actions of the person you resent more than others? Imagine someone you like taking the same action, would it still bother you? Would you be more likely to ignore it if it came from them?
  • Do you worry that other people are not recognizing the same faults you see? What are the actual consequences of them not being aware? If there are consequences, have you spoken your mind to those it would affect, and left it for them to deal with?
  • Do you find yourself only happy when something negative happens to this person? So happy that you wait for and savor in those moments? Do you have any control over such events?

 

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