The reason we seek a way out of resentment is because the resentment or resentments are hurting us, and we see it effecting our lives in the way resentment does.
First and foremost being angry at someone is human. Staying angry at someone is unhealthy for me. If I have a lot of these 'staying angry at' or resentments it is going to effect the people around me. I become easy to judge, impatient, self-pitying. How I love to tell others how others have wronged me.
To be angry at someone is human, and has, does, and will happen. If you embarrass me in front of other people, it is NOT your fault I get annoyed when I see you. It is not your fault when 5 years later I burn up a little when I remember the experience.
Our resentments are our faults; not the person(s) we are resentful towards. You can rationalize it any way you want. Tell yourself a story that makes it the other person's fault you are still angry at them 5 years later. The problem is, none of what you do, removes the resentment for good and all. You would think a man or woman burdened by resentment would be more concerned with removing the resentment than holding onto it because it justifies the dishonesty about how it's somebody else's fault they have a resentment. People with a lot of resentments can get a perverse sense of pleasure at the thought of many people annoying them. It gives them a comfortable feeling of superiority.
We are the cause of our resentments. You may not think that that is the good news;but it is.
The praying for another person, we are angry at, for 2 weeks, applies only to someone we are resentful toward, and we have found we still harbor ill will toward them even after we have discovered, and believe it is our thinking that has caused us to carry the anger long after the experience that caused it. Remember this whole resentment business is completely internal, and going on within ourselves. It has absolutely nothing to do with the name we place on our anger.
Like I just said this praying business is for the resentments we ourselves can not see our way out of.
I have stated here a couple times that the resentments are our own faults. I want to explain why. Hopefully buy doing that I will ease your possible growing resentment toward me and make clear what I mean, and the real truth behind how the resentments become..
You will have to have something to write with and a piece of paper.
First write down 25 people you are angry at.Write the whole list leaving 4 or 5 lines between each name before going on to the next instruction. Resentment in this context is defined as ANY ill will. So you could be burning mad or a little peeved at someone you love or like, or even mad at someone on TV; it doesn't matter what you THINK in rationalizing why you SHOULDN'T be angry. Is there ill will or not? Big or small it doesn't matter. This first step is about FEELINGS-- NOT thought. This is easy to do if you get what a resentment is, and start writing. It is only in DOING that one understands and experiences. Also the resentment can be not even about something that was done. Take resenting how someone looks; or what we think someone thinks about us, or even because they are too fat or too skinny. DO not be ashamed of these things; ILL will toward anyone for ANYTHING happens to the most spiritual among us. The only difference is knowing the way out. . Like Nike, just do it. Also, disappointment IS resentment. Upset is resentment. A little angry IS resentment.
Next, write down what they did or whatever it is you are angry for. keep it simple, and to the point. This is not about pouring your feelings out on paper. This is an exercise in getting to the truth.
Next, there are three basic human instincts. Instincts for sex. Instincts for financial security. Instincts for social or emotional security( has to do with your ambitions and feelings toward family, friends, and social standing). You cannot get a resentment without 1 or 2 or all 3 of these instincts being 'threatened' or effected.
If some guy is hitting on my sweetheart, that could effect my sex instinct. It could also effect my social instinct. Suppose it has happened in a club, and, others that know me, witness it ?? Sure it would, I would be ashamed and embarrassed, and MORE angry.
Suppose I am let go from a job because of 'downsizing'; losing a job would effect my financial security, wouldn't it?
It may even effect all three instincts if you think about it. But it is for you to decide what instincts are involved.
What if my dad yelled at me in front of my friend? My social instinct is effected. These are examples to show what the three instincts look like;but I have given no instruction, YET....
The next thing you do is write down which instinct or instincts were affected, so it will now look like this:
Joe his attention toward my sweetheart sex instinct, social security(emotional)
Sandy She snubbed me social instinct, sex instinct
Max he is always one upping me. social instinct
he's always talking with the boss. financial security social instinct and sex instinct
Mom she abandon me. she didn't protect me. Social instinct(emotional)
Ryan Didn't approve of Julia Sex instinct/ social instinct
People that buy instant tickets financial instinct
Jeff he stole from me social instinct/ financial instinct
government they have more power than me Financial/ sex/ social instincts
mrs. clara She's a gossip Social instinct.
This is what we have so far. You COULD make a list as long as you like. The next point here is to show you how it is OUR thinking that causes us to have these resentments. One could have 100's of little stupid ill will feelings toward others. It doesn't matter how small they are; they block us from the truth and God.
To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore. Sometimes it was remorse and then we were sore at ourselves. But the more we fought and tried to have our own way, the worse matters got. As in war, the victor only seemed to win. Our moments of triumph were short-lived. It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with those whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit.
Even when writing these resentments to this point some of you will see you are the cause of it right away, and it will look ridicules, and you may feel a little shame. This is all to the good, and shows the value of writing it out. This process is a window into the mind; and hopefully an awakening of the soul.
The next step here is where we take the inventory and see how we caused these resentments. It is a place none of us have gone to, and takes a great amount of self-honesty, and the humility to put the other persons faults out of the picture to do it. It takes a real stud. REMEMBER, in most cases, it is not that we got angry; it is that we are still angry.
We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look for it from an entirely different angle. We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? Notice the ones you would call 'stupid' or ridicules.
Next we are going to answer for question for each resentment.
The first is where were we selfish? This means what did I want?
The next is where was I dishonest? That means what was the story I told myself? It does not mean telling a lie; it means the lie I told myself.
3rd, where was I self-seeking? That means, what actions did I take? Actions in this context could mean self pity, or not taking actions I should; or of course actions I did take-- including gossip; you know talking about how you were the victim, and this guys an asshole.
lastly, what is my fear? Maybe fear of not being enough; or what people will think or do think. Not getting what you want.
This is the four fingers that point back when we point at someone else. Every resentment has these 4 elements; and they are the cause of all the resentments. Only you can answer them. It may take a long time to see the real truth; but if you are an angry judgmental person this can be your steps to self awareness at least.
I've done this work along my way to God consciousness. I know 100's that have done the same work. It works IF you do it. I will give a couple examples,that may help;
Jim He snubbed me social instinct Selfish---- I want Jim to like me.
Dishonest---- He should like me. He has no reason not to like me.
Self-seeking---- I flirted with his girl friend, I told everybody he thinks he's
better than me.
Fear---- Not being enough. If Jim doesn't like me, other people will think I
am a loser. What others think.
Mike Always late to work financial instincts selfish---- I want him to be on time, all the time, so I can make more
dishonest-----If he would be on time MY life would be better.
If he listened to me, his life would be smoother.
He's making my work day suck.
Self-seeking--- I yell at him. I tell everybody that will listen about how
bad he is treating
Fear--- not having enough. what my boss thinks about me.
I can now see how my thinking sets the ball rolling and I get a resentment. It is ALL selfishness and fear that cause my resentments.
The more resentments you get down on paper, and are able to do this 4 question 'turn around',the better.
There are some resentments that will be difficult to do this 4 step turn around on. So angry at someone, that ego refuses to put the harm someone else did out of our minds to do it, We still want to be angry at them, and we feel it is a case of 'justified anger'. Here we have lost all perspective, and forgot that it is NOT that we got angry at them, it is that we still are angry at them.
I will tell you;having done this work, I now longer have resentments. I deal with it right away by answering the 4 questions, by talking to another person that has done this work to. I ask God to save me from being angry, and then I resolutely turn my attention to something useful I could do that helps someone else, To STOP loading little angers on top of each other and carrying them around, it is worth it to do the work and get honest. Eventually you begin to have love and tolerance for the rest of humanity. You begin to see it is pointless to become angry with people, who like yourself, suffer from the pains of growing up in this world. Then you begin to approach true tolerance and brotherhood for ALL of humanity. This is how you will think about all people, IF you do the work and continue to pray and help others.