Once I was going through a series of disagreements with a former roommate. It had gotten to the point where I'd woken up from sleep with a churning sensation in my stomach and tightness in my chest. This person had done me wrong and I was steadfastly holding onto the grudge. I didn’t consciously realize the degree to which it had been affecting me, but it was clearly showing up in my body.
My thoughts were racing, but I knew beneath the surface of those thoughts lie deeper layers. I regain my sense of power and composure by taking ownership of whatever I can within those layers. If I waited for the roommate to right what I perceived as her wrongs then I would continue to give away my composure and peace of mind to that life sucking energy of resentment.
So back to this heartburn-like resentment. I got quiet, calm and collected and I proceeded to dig beneath the obvious she did this and this is why she shouldn’t have. I find that I can often trace resentments back to a flash of an expectation I had of how someone should’ve acted or how a situation should've gone down.
Sidebar: “Should” has got to be one of the most trouble-provoking words I know. The word invokes so much regret, e.g. “I should have done this with my life instead of that.” Should can cause us to belittle our intuition, e.g. “I want to stay at home and rest because I’m so tired, but I should go out to that party.” In line with the topic of this post, should in the form of expectation is a swift harbinger of resentment.
So this concludes part 1 of this series on resentment. In part 2 I will introduce a 5-step process to help you release resentments and regain your peace of mind.