Resentment is when anger turns to bitterness about being unfairly wronged in the past by someone or something. As time goes by, resentments can grow and become resistant to forgiveness if we do not allow them to be unpacked. We can end up carrying around a backpack full of resentments that can make us tired, burnt out, and just generally disenchanted with people.
If you want to lighten your load, let go of some grievances, and restore yourability connect more freely, journalling about your resentments can help, especially if you have no interest in confrontation or that option is not available for some reason.
Pick one resentment (you can only doone at a time) to start with, and relax yourself prior to beginning.
- Who are you mad at? Name the person(s) you feel resentful towards.
- What actually happened?Exercise objectivity by describing the actual events in the simplest factual terms possible.
- How has the relationship suffered? Describe the current state of contact, how you feel around the person, how they might feel around you, etc
- What/How were your values violated? Describe the line crossed, what madeit unfair, name the value and how you define it
- What role did you play in all this? What you did or did not do that contributed to the whole scenario, look for patterns, empathy, power differentials, etc
- What might you need to forgive the past? Described what would make it fair, what would retribution look like, or how mightyou change to move on, take personal responsibility by describing what you did to contribute to the resentment, look for patterns.
This method has been found to be effective and is commonly used in treatment programs to help manage addiction and anger issues. While the method may not help with all resentments, it can really help clean out that backpack and get you back into the present! Are you ready to let go of the past?
I am free to move on from the past and it safe to be in connection with others.