Don’t Let The Resentments of 2012 Block You From The Blessings In 2013
Has your computer ever been attacked by viruses and spyware? It can drive you nuts. Your computer starts going real slow and it feels like you are waiting forever for your email to download. And the longer the virus and spyware runs, the more it steals all the space and energy from your computer. Your computer will eventually shut down.
Imagine you and I are like this computer. There are mental viruses that affect you and are running in the background of your life. These viruses are sneaky to say the least. You keep trying to get ahead but because of this ‘virus’ you feel like you are stuck.
For example: you are preparing a nice dinner for your family but the whole time you are thinking, “no one appreciates me and I am being taken for granted”. There is no way you can think these thoughts and enjoy your family or your dinner. Even though the goal of preparing a nice dinner is to enjoy it, the virus of resentment takes over and steals the blessing of good food and conversation.
Today I want to help you become aware of these viruses so you can get rid of them. More than anything else, these viruses prevent you from enjoying your life (and the people in your life) and living efficiently.
What are these viruses? There are a lot of viruses. There is the virus of jealousy, disappointment, fear, perfectionism, negativity and many more. But today I am going to focus on one virus: the virus of resentment.
The Virus of Resentment
Resentment has many names and shapes. You may call it being bitter, frustrated, irritated, sad, disappointed, devastated or angry but the results are the same.
What is at the core of resentment?
Someone you love has let you down. You are hurt and angry because they didn’t treat you right. It could be your friend, partner, daughter, or another family member.
You think things like…
“It’s not fair.” “I can’t believe they did this…or didn’t do this…” “I can’t believe they treat me this way.” And then you make it personal. “They don’t care about me.” “They are using me.” I don’t matter.” “They are just going through the motions.”
This virus will continue to grow if you don’t stop it. You build your case and find evidence in the past and present. You make a “mountain out of a molehill.” And as you are doing it you feel justified.
But resentment is not helping you or changing your situation. Resentment will not improve your life.
In fact it will hurt you. It will eat up all your creative energy.
6 Steps to Stop the Virus of Resentment
1. Name it.
Take 15 minutes and write down what’s bothering you. Who has hurt your feelings? Who are you frustrated with? Many of you have no problem naming it. You have already been talking to your friends about it. (A lot)
But some of you hold it in. You don’t think of yourself as someone who is resentful. But the first step to getting past your resentment is awareness.
2. Take effective action.
Many of us feel that when we obsess and complain that we are doing something effective. The truth is, it’s not productive. Check it out for yourself. Do you feel any better if you obsess a lot? Does your situation get resolved?
Losing it with someone is not effective either. The person you lost it with will not get your message. The only message they will get is that you lost it.
- Try speaking your truth calmly and clearly to the person who has let you down. If you can’t do that in person write a letter or send an email.
- Own your part. How can you take responsibility? What is your part? Owning your part is the first step. It opens up communication and helps both of you get out of a defensive stance.
- Get clear on what you want. Too often you focus on what they did to you and not on what you want. Get clear on what you want. How do you want things to be different?
- Set a boundary. You need clarity to set a boundary. If someone has been careless with you, then protect yourself by setting a boundary. Boundaries protect your heart, emotions and energy.
Sometimes it is hard to stop obsessive thoughts. They just keep coming back. You are driving in your car and these uninvited thoughts come back to bug you.
Do something to distract yourself from these thoughts. Redirect your thoughts and imagination by listening to music or watching a movie. Play a game on your Ipad. Start a project, or do something creative. Go out with a friend.
4. Let go.
People you love will let you down which can be incredibly painful. But if you have done everything you can think of and there is still no resolution, you need to let it go and move on.
You let go by releasing them in love. You forgive them and forgive yourself. Often this is an opportunity to grow emotionally and spiritually. Take it to prayer and place all the unfinished business in God’s hands. Trust that the blessings will flow back to you.
5. Practice gratitude.
Resentment blinds you from the good qualities in the person who disappointed you. If you are resentful at how your daughter has been treating you, it is hard to see anything else. You forget about the ways she has helped you or times she has been responsible.
Try to look past the resentment and remember the blessings. What are you grateful for? What has the person done for you? How have they been there for you?
6. Move forward.
You are resentful towards someone because you feel they have ruined your life or taken away your happiness. Your resentment keeps you stuck in the past. But when you let go of resentment you find that you have the power to move forward, create your life and find happiness.
Take time this week. Don’t let 2013 slip away before you deal with some of these feelings. When you start 2013 clear you can receive the blessings that are waiting for you.