It is very common to justify the resentment we feel with some people and events, saying things like: “It’s normal. Anger and rancor are very human.”
Indeed. It is normal to feel angry at times. What is wrong is to give vent to those violent instincts. The unhealthy thing is to stick to that anger and turn it into resentment. What is harmful is when you extend that negative emotion, beyond its natural life span. Even more noxious is when you intentionally recreate the reasons that you think you have to be upset, again and again, just to feed your resentment.
You may not know it, but with resentment, the one who gets injured, is yourself. You are the one who gets poisoned. You are the one that unknowingly sows the seeds for future ailments and misfortunes. Resentment is nothing more than the cancer of the soul.
We can all feel a wide range of emotions. Our emotions are, as Abraham Hicks accurately states in their teachings, the mechanism that guides us in our alignment with God. The more positive the emotion, the closer we are to our divine source. Under this perspective, our emotions are an excellent guide and resource to know where we are standing. It is fortunate to have this mechanism. Without emotions we would not have an idea where we are heading.
The questions one must ask are:
When it comes to negative emotions: What is healthy? What is toxic?
The healthy thing is to experience negative emotions and acknowledge them. The toxic thing is to stick to them and play them in our mind, again and again.
Think about how absurd it would be if you were laughing at a joke for years; recreating it everyday in your head and laughing nonstop. Silly, right? On the other hand: Would you be able to maintain extreme joy without any kind of modulation or variation for several days? Typically these emotions have their peak and then, they gradually disappear. We are able to recognize how ridiculous it would be to laugh at the same joke for a lifetime. We are able to acknowledge that it is impossible to remain in a state of euphoria continuously. However, we fail to recognize, that it is just as absurd to stick to anger and sadness.
Why do we do it?
Anger makes us feel special and superior. We need to be the hero of our own soap opera. We need to turn the others, in the antagonists. We need that unique personal Greek tragedy that makes us feel the hero and protagonist. We look for a thousand rationalizations to validate our sickening resentment. But only those who live in the past are able to resent so much. Those who live in the past are unable to see a brand new day.
I am not saying your personal story is worthless. What I am doing is inviting you to leave it behind your past and start living again, in the present.
Let’s understand this, once and for all: We are not our past.
What happened before is just the trace of what we’re living but not the engine that takes us to the future. The engine that takes us to the future is the present. Every time you invest energy recalling unpleasant events, you condemn yourself to the repetition of similar experiences. Every time you label people, without giving them the opportunity to be what they are, you condemn yourself, over and over again.
Why do we feel that our life is a constant repetition of the same characters and events?
Because we live stuck in the past, especially when this past is negatively charged. If you feel the victim of your own soap opera, I assure you this: You will remain in that world, until the day you die. The characters may change, but the circumstances around you will remain the same.
Today, make a commitment to look at your life and yourself through the eyes of the present moment. Today, be honest with yourself and think about how many people, you still see with the eyes of the past. When we learn to see each day, with a pair of new eyes, new stories will unfold around us.