10 April, 2018
Is there a person in your life that you hold resentment towards for being a massive pain in the bum?
Whether it’s the continual demeaning comments of a partner, the unreasonable demands of an employer who just doesn’t ‘get it’ or the eye roll of a mother in law who is not cut from the same cloth, our feelings of resentment are a civilised anger that we use to conceal the strength of our negative emotions.
Resenting someone isn’t the same as disliking them or finding them annoying; it's a feeling that is actually related to the repetition of painful patterns relating to unaddressed emotional pain.
Unfortunately being stuck in resentment can leave us drained and anxious. Becoming aware of these feelings and committing to working through them is an important step to take for our own wellbeing and happiness.
Regardless of the setting (home, work, school) or the age of the relationship (husband, mother, son, son’s teacher, friend) until we address the underlying cause from which our resentment stems, it will keep showing up in new and old relationships over and over again.
This is why, when people look for their happiness in another, it never works out how they think.
Sometimes it is so strongly ingrained in us, we will attract the same kinds of people to play out similar kinds of relationships. Some people have to be married and divorced three times to realise this. This can be tough to cycle through.
It doesn’t matter how hard we try to avoid it, until we address it once and for all we will never be free of it.
Here are four crucial steps I share with my mentoring students when in need of moving through resentment.
1. Reconnect to awareness – Our true unbounded state is one of pure awareness. Removed from all thought and objects, this natural state of being is one of love and compassion. When you notice thoughts associated with resentment arising in the mind, practice watching those thoughts as though they are a movie on a screen. Through this process we are able to soften the tight grip of resentment and return to a state of presence.
"The discovery that peace, happiness and love are ever-present within our own Being, and completely available at every moment of experience, under all conditions, is the most important discovery that anyone can make." ~ Rupert Spira
2. Talk about it and listen WITHOUT condition. Open, compassionate communication is required for relationships to flourish. I believe every couple, no matter how well they are doing, should consider visiting a couples’ therapist at least annually for a regular ‘spring clean’. If sitting down and speaking with the person is not possible yet, you could start the process for yourself by writing them a letter and then destroying it.
3. Purify your habits (Samskaras) through YOGA. Samskaras are the residual grooves of habits that we fall in over and over again. They are referred to in the Yoga Sutra as seeds that are planted deep in our subconscious. When the conditions are right, the seed germinates and grows and we experience the fruit of our karma. On the gross level, yoga feels good because we reduce stress in the nervous system, stretch the muscles and relax. On a deeper level, we become like gardeners to these subtle patterns in our minds. Through regular disciplined practice (like we achieve through asana, pranayama and meditation) we can start to weed out Samskaras that are no longer relevant.
“Water the root and enjoy the fruit” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
4. ASK YOURSELF - Do you consider Love or Being Right more important? When faced with a challenging person who is bringing up confronting emotions for you, bring yourself back to this question. Relationships – like everything in this world – are imperfect. When we reconnect to our own internal fulfillment any strong needs to be right soften and responding from love becomes effortless.
If you’re ready to release resentment once and for all and would like some guidance in developing your own personalised yoga practice, click here to schedule a FREE 20 minute mentoring session with me.