I spent some time thinking about how resentment makes me feel.
Protective armor and a security blanket were the first things that came to mind.
That feeling of knowing you are right and they were wrong for treating you like that, doing that thing, forgetting how this was.
You hold on to that resentment with a death grip to protect yourself from letting them do it again. From hurting you again. You won’t be blindsided again.
But that death grip starts to hurt. Starts to ache.
You look down and there’s blood.
You haven’t been holding a security blanket, you’ve been holding a rose.
It looked beautiful. You felt better.
It smelled nice. You knew you were right.
But, now the thorns are digging into your skin. There’s still pain.
Blood starts to trickle down your arm. You haven’t healed.
Vengeance is the rose; resentment is the thorns.
Have you ever tried to get rid of a thorn bush?
My grandfather loved roses. He planted 7 rose bushes along the side of his house when I was young. He cared for them and did all the proper care they needed (roses are incredibly picky and needy, if you didn’t know). When he passed away, my grandmother tried to keep them, but they were just too much. Between the physical upkeep, the mental toll of remembering what needed to be done in each season, and the emotional burden they caused (the pain of facing the fact that her husband of 40 years was gone), it was too much for her.
One summer, two years after he passed away, she asked me to take them out.
Do you know how hard it is to get rid of rose bushes?!?!
First, there is the cutting back of the leaves and stems. Thorns galore.
Then comes the roots.
Those roots are deep. They keep the bushes very secure in their place.
I had to dig a hole at least 3 feet deep to get all of the root out.
Seven rose bushes.
How badly did I wish I could just cut off the part about the ground?
Just like those rose bushes, to get rid of resentment you have to expose and dig out the root.
There will be pain and there might be blood, but if you don’t, it will come back.
It will be when you least expect it.
And my God will it hurt.
Here’s the really, really irritating truth, though: resentment mostly hurts you.
How much effort are you expending in remembering to be mad at them?
How heavy is that grudge you are carrying?
Every damn day you will have to choose to lay down that resentment and not pick it up again.
But, just for that day.
Focus on that day.
Don’t worry about tomorrow, next week, next year.
You have no idea how you will feel then. You have no idea what your circumstances will be then.
Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.
And some days you will slip. Sometimes you will not want to put the resentment down.
You know what? That’s okay, too. Hold that resentment. Feel it all the way. Be angry. Be sad. Be petty.
Fantasize about keying their car. Think about smashing something they love. Fully imagine how amazing it would feel to scream at them and tell them all the ways they hurt you.
The trick is, don’t let the resentment open the door for vengeance.
You are stronger than both of them. You are in control.
I hope you have a wonderful day!
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