Earlier today, I was browsing Facebook and came across a friend’s link to Beyoncé performing her song Resentment. Now, I recently got the CD and I’ve listened to most of the songs, but I haven’t really listened to all the lyrics yet. So I listened to the song all the way through, and it really struck a nerve with me. Not just because I could feel Beyoncé’s performance as she got deeper into the song, but because I could relate. Being lied to is not an easy thing to overcome, and being betrayed by someone you love makes it even harder to do.
After watching the video, I went about my business and didn’t think much more about it. For some reason though, the word resentment was stuck in my head. I was thinking of how I understood what the song was saying about how hard it is to forget and move on from something, but I never thought that the reason was that I was holding on to resentment. Hmmm. I’m thinking that I had forgiven and, even though I haven’t been able to forget, forgiving was all I needed to do – for myself. I had done the hard part and forgiven those who hurt me, so why haven’t I been able to fully move past the hurt?! Could it be that I’ve been carrying resentment around with me?… I just never thought about my feelings in that way. After listening to the song though, I realized that’s what’s been going on.
For those who don’t know, according to Merriam-Webster Resentment is a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury. Sound familiar anyone? It did to me. See forgiving is a good first step, but forgetting is hard. It’s even harder though when you’re full of “displeasure or ill will at something [or someone] that/who is wrong, insulting, or hurtful”. Make sense?
So now I’m wondering does it mean you haven’t really forgiven someone if you feel resentment… Part of me is thinking “no” because you can forgive someone and still dislike what they’ve done to you. I think what’s unhealthy and damaging is when we carry those negative feelings around with us instead of letting them go. And letting go can be challenging – I know. It is possible though – I believe.
When I realized my truth about dealing with resentment I began to see how it has affected some of my other relationships. You see, many times we feel wronged by family, friends, co-workers, church members, etc. [all the above for me] and whether we address those people or not we tend to hold on to the hurt and pain – or “displeasure and ill will” – we feel towards them. As a result we shut down, avoid them, lash out, etc. In the end, we’re left with relationships more damaged than when the damage was done. I know – this is my truth. What about yours?
As I said earlier, letting go isn’t an easy task, but I do believe it’s so worth it in the end. The first step is realizing and admitting what’s going on. Sometimes when we think we’re on the right path to happiness, we wonder why we keep hitting roadblocks. Many people say roadblocks are lessons to make us stronger/wiser along the way – I agree. I say, the other few are stumbling blocks falling out of the load we’re carrying with us – so let go of your load.
“Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead, get even with those who have helped us.” ― Steve Maraboli