the printed thoughts of a woman on a journey towards awareness, truth, acceptance, clarity, and forgiveness...with some fun and fearlessness thrown in

Monday, December 17, 2012

too damn full of resentment

"Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration, and resentment."
~Dale Carnegie

I'm exhausted.  Exhausted and frustrated.  I have dealt head-on with some deep emotions and distinct grievances in my life.  I've forgiven the man who raped me.  I've even forgiven the man who blamed me for being raped.  I've forgiven the man who cheated on me.  I've forgiven the man who couldn't be the man that I wanted him to be.  I've forgiven myself time and time again.  Forgiveness was a difficult feat and a valuable lesson, and I've managed to truly feel it in my core, to believe in it in the fibers of my soul, to move into it fairly easily when desired.  I can do forgiveness.  I thought that it was the ultimate goal.  So, where the hell did resentment come from?

I have recently experienced feelings of resentment that were vast, consuming, and utterly maddening.  They came out of the blue and rose up like the waves at high tide, unrelenting and with increasing size and intensity.  Resentment made it difficult to see others in the way in which I had always viewed them.  Resentment changed the way I looked.  I didn't laugh.  I didn't smile.  I wore a permanent grimace and a shitty expression.  I couldn't be happy, and I couldn't hide my unhappiness.  What a joy I must have been to be around!

I don't remember the last time that I felt resentment like this.  I had forgotten how it creeps into the fibers of your being and changes your genetic make-up.  It colors all that you see, hear, touch, smell, and taste with bitterness and leaves an acidic aftertaste.  It's so encompasses you that it feels like you'll never see the other side of it.  Much like depression, it feels like a helpless and hopeless situation.  Caught in its grasp, I worried that I would never shake the feelings.  I wallowed in it for as long as I could stand it, but fought hard to find a handhold in reality and perspective from which I could pull myself out of the quicksand before it could swallow me whole.

A weekend spent licking my wounds and getting some time and distance between myself and the situation gave me a little perspective on this latest emotional sucker punch.  I can now see how resentment triggers my old, deep-seated core beliefs about being a victim--my victim mentality, as it was introduced to me.  It stirred up those repetitive sentiments from my past...the "why do they do this to me?" and the "how can they take advantage of me like this?"  I suddenly felt shame for allowing myself to give in to those feelings, for climbing right back onto the victim triangle that I worked so hard to extricate myself from years ago.  And, I felt like an idiot for not recognizing it.

So, now I'm working on restoring my views of others to their pre-resentment status, including my view of myself.  I'm practicing compassion towards myself and others in an effort to forgive myself and to forgive them, even if their wrongs only existed in my eyes.  I'm staying conscious around what I can control and what is out of my control.  And, I am examining what my expectations of others says about me and my beliefs.

All I can say is that this growth and development stuff sucks.  Why can't I just be clueless and happy? that would be a topic worth exploring.

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