It is good to be all in one place, many people rarely are.
Today’s topic is resentment. Most people will deny that resentment plays much of a role in their emotional lives, but people’s emotional histories are full of resentment. If your history has emotional weight at all, this is resentment.
The original meaning of the word was to feel strongly. Whenever we become stuck in any form of emotional habit that is resentment, and we do have emotional habits don’t we?
Let’s look specifically at the modern understanding of resentment. Clinging to a sense of having been wronged. Who doesn’t feel wronged these days? Who can look back on their life and say they were never cheated in any way? I don’t believe I have ever met a person in my life who feels they were never wronged, and they remember these wrongs their entire life.
Forgive and forget is not advice I subscribe to because it’s in denial of some very basic aspects of human nature. We never forget pain. We never forget fear. No wrong is soon forgotten, or really ever. Why is this? Is it a malicious decision always?
We cling to it. The clinging often generates strong emotions which leave a lasting impression.
If I feel insecure in a particular area, I’m more likely to hold onto it.
It’s actually an old survival mechanism. It goes by a few different names, perhaps one of the most illustrative being flashbulb memory. We hold onto wrongs because they generate distress. The brain can’t tell the difference between physical pain and emotional so anything that is associated with those triggers gets remembered indefinitely. But besides reminding us that fire is dangerous to touch, what use is it?
At times, it seems like holding on to a perceived wrong causes our brain structure to change. The strong feelings leave such an impression that they make me wonder if it could be physically measured somehow. They have been, though not totally deciphered. They are subject to a very broad elaboration making some of the tangents unrecognizable.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.