Letting Go Of Resentment: Eating Disorders Recovery

the feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Carrie Fisher

The resentment felt when someone causes us pain, big or small, is especially difficult to deal with when the person who caused that pain is someone we trust and love. Unfortunately, harboring feelings of resentment is harmful to our health, both emotionally and physically. It can affect our relationships with others, cause us stress, raise our blood pressure, increase symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even chronic pain. It keeps us from being able to heal, to move on, be as happy as we can be, and live a fuller and more enjoyable life. For the sake of our own well-being it is imperative that we learn to let go of our resentments by recognizing them and dealing with them. 

Forgiving is one way of doing this. Forgiving someone who has hurt us is not something the majority of us are eager to do. We think that in forgiving we minimize the action(s) that caused us pain and excuse the person of their responsibility in inflicting that pain. We feel that we are also expected to forget it entirely, compromise our self-respect, and act as if it never happened. Some may fear they are expected to continue to have a relationship with the person if they forgive them. This is not true. Forgiveness is something that you choose to do for yourself.  

Is forgiveness always necessary? Opinions vary when it comes to the subject of forgiveness in it's relation to letting go of resentment. Both sides of the argument make sense, in my opinion, and so it's difficult to say either way. Some that believe it's not necessary state that when the hurt is caused by extreme events (sexual abuse, rape, incest, physical abuse, etc.) that the anger and rage have their place in protecting and allowing a person to distance themselves from the offender and that letting go of the resentment is possible without forgiveness. 

Either way, letting go of resentment is a conscious decision to empower yourself. It moves you out of the position of victim. It allows you to move on and enables you to experience a better and more fulfilling life. It is a process. It takes time, effort, and patience.

Resentments or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you.
Norman Vincent Peale

Some things we can do to work towards letting go of resentment:

   Journaling is a powerful tool and it can be an extremely useful one in the process of letting go of resentment. Take pen to paper and let it all out. All of it. Don't hold back. Don't be afraid to express your rage, sadness, or anything that you are feeling. This can be a painful process but is very cleansing. 

  What has holding onto this resentment done to your life? How does it affect your relationships, decision making, feelings of security, happiness? What changes has it brought to your life? What have you missed out on because of it? What affect has it had on those you love? How has it affected how you see the world and those you come in contact with each day? How does it make you feel?

   Envision what letting go of your resentment would do for your life. See yourself living without those feelings. See yourself free of the thoughts, anger, fear, sadness, and free of the burden of carrying it with you each day. See yourself as you are meant to be. 
   Visualize your resentment (and pain) as if it were an object clasped in your hand. Open your hand and let it go, watch it as it is caught by the breeze and carried away from you, getting smaller as it is floats off into the distance. Watch it as it becomes a barely visible speck on the horizon. Keep watching until you can no longer see it. Now, imagine the space it occupied inside of you filling with a bright, comforting light. Feel it's warmth and it's joy spread through you.

 Put love first. Entertain thoughts that give life. And when a thought or resentment, or hurt, or fear comes your way, have another thought that is more powerful-- a thought that is love. 
Mary Manin Morrissey

These are just some suggestions for helping you let go of resentment. Experiment. See what works best for you. Practice. Keep practicing until it works. 

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. 

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©Weighing The Facts

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