On Resentment


Our emotions can carry a lot of weight. Lately, I've been thinking more about the emotion "resentment." The Merrriam-Webster dictionary defines this as "a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury." I have personally had a few moments recently sittin' pretty with it and I have found that it leaves me feeling like crap afterwards. I may find myself dwelling on something someone said, a situation, my own negative internal monologue, and suddenly I am aware that I'm feeling resentful. 

After a recent episode of ruminating, I asked myself, "what purpose is this serving me right now?" (you all know I love that question!) Basically, why am I feeling this so sharply? What is it doing for me, or not doing for me?

Resentment appears to have a purpose: it may validate us, it may make us feel more confident or better than someone, it may make us feel strong and vindicated.

However, resentment also makes us feel insecure, jealous, frustrated, depressed, ashamed, guilty, and so on and on and on...

One part of why resentment can be activating is frustration with a lack of authenticity in someone or something; another part is an insecurity within ourselves. Eeek, gross, right?! But it's true. As much as we may feel annoyed by something external, there's something within us that we wish to improve or change. When we experience this feeling, it's also important to remember it is our opinion and an emotional reaction we are having

We must acknowledge that an emotion can serve a purpose and identify how it's serving us; we then have the option to use it or release it. We can accept it as valid, but it will not serve its purpose until we dive deeper by exploring the what and why of it. This can create meaning and offer a lesson, if we are open and nonjudgmental with ourselves.

So how can you actively turn ugly resentment into something beautifully positive? Go inward. Something in you is being activated by someone or something and that is stirring up this negativity inside of you. Set aside some time to really ponder this feeling; think about what is causing you to experience it...this will lead you to why you are experiencing it. Sit with that what and why and muckiness in a nonjudgmental way, knowing this is merely a reaction. Know that this reaction is fleeting, the emotion is temporary. Let go of what isn't serving you and your soul. Nourish the part of you that feels insecure, the part of you that reacted.

Tonight is a waning crescent moon and the Summer Solstice, so take a moment to think about what you may need to release. What are you holding onto that isn't serving you? What are old habits you wish to stop? Nourish your soul tonight to prepare yourself for the energy the new moon will soon bring.

Oh, and maybe do a couple stretches since, ya know, no big deal, it's International Yoga Day!

- S