10 Steps to Letting Go of Resentment

Old 07-02-2005, 04:54 PM
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Lightbulb 10 Steps to Letting Go of Resentment

"Resentment is a mental process. With resentment, we repeatedly replay a feeling, and the events leading up to that feeling, that angers us.... With resentment, we reexperience and relive events in ways that affect us mentally, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually in destructive ways.

...What causes the unhappiness that underlies resentment?
a) What we feel people did to us that was unnecessarily mean, hurtful, and thoughtless
b) What people in our lives did not do for us that we feel they should have done
c) When we feel the people in our lives have not done enough for us

Holding resentments is choice. A choice to refuse to forgive; and unwillingness to let bygones be bygones.... We cling to a futile need to be right, which overrides the capacity to be at peace....usually because we don't know any other way to come to grips with the painful feelings of hurt, rejection, and abandonment."

With that introduction to what resentment is, what is the underlying cause, and why we hold onto them, here are the 10 Steps to letting go of resentment.

"1. Approach resentment as the addictive state of mind it is.
2. Realize that you are using resentment to replicate your family drama and maintain a connection with those dramas, a necessary acknowledgment before you can let them go.
3. Examine how your resentment may come from mentally confusing people in your present life with people in your past.
4. Acknowledge that you cannot control those who have rejected you.
5. Recognize that your resentment give you only illusions of strength. Instead, highlight and validate your real strength and power.
6. Learn to identify the signals that provoke resentment.
7. Practice cognitive behavoiral techniques to stop indulging in resentment. Put a thought between your feelings of resentment and indulging in ruminating about them.
8. Acknowledge your part in allowing the abuse to occur, forgive yourself for that, and make a decision to not let it occur again.
9. Declare an amnesty - with your family and with yourself.
10. Forgive when you can, and practice willful and deliberate forgetfulness when you cannot, keeping in mind that these acts are gifts to yourself rather than capitulation to those whom you resent."

Gratefully taken from Healing from Family Rifts, by Mark Sichel, (our very own "Ask the Experts" Mod)

I found these defininitions, causes and corrective means to be eye opening and helpful. Resentments are problamatic for the addict and the codie, causing relapsing behavior in both.
Knowledge is the key to problem solving. If you're dealing with resentments, perhaps this will help.
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Old 07-02-2005, 04:58 PM
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Thanks Teach. I need the reminder to let go of resentments, and also to recognize my own part in some of them. Forgiveness isn't always easy, but in the end it's the only way I find peace.

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Old 07-02-2005, 05:11 PM
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Ann, this hits me right between the eyes, every time I read it:

"We cling to a futile need to be right, which overrides the capacity to be at peace...."

Today, I'd rather be at peace....I don't need the futility of expecting others to acknowledge I'm right. I was serenity.

And yes, forgiveness is key. But, as Mark points out, (and this is something I was unaware of), we can also practice "willfull and deliberate forgetfullness."
There are rare occassions, when the hurt perpetuated is so great, that one cannot forgive. (I have never experienced anything that horrible, thank G*D!) But, we CAN give ourselves this gift. We can choose to purposefully forget what it was.
We can choose peace.

Oh, yea. And it is difficult to acknowledge our own part in the problem leading to resentment. That darned Step 4!!! But, it's funny how, when I recognized MY part in the resentment I had towards my ex...well...the resentment did loose it's power. We can't *unknow* what we know; even if it's my issue causing problems.
We can grow from it though.
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:13 PM
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The resentments I have trouble letting go of are the ones where I had no part, the ones that hurt me when I wasn't even looking. Those are the ones that I take my lesson from and try to be grateful for what I learned, then let the rest of it go.

They can be sneaky though. Sometimes I'm not even aware of resenting something until I get that niggling twitch every time a person or situation is brought up and then I know that there is something there that I need to tend to, usually a well-disguised resentment. These ones catch me by surprise.

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Old 07-02-2005, 11:01 PM
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I related to this. I am saving this so I can read it later when I need it.
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Old 07-03-2005, 02:56 AM
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This one really connected with how I am feeling today Teach for this I thank you.

Love Annie
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:52 PM
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Just found this thread when I Googled "how to let go of resentment".
I realized today that I'm holding onto A LOT of resentment and I've been waiting for RAH to make amends so I can let go of the pain and feel better. It just hit me today that I can let go of the resentment myself - I don't need to wait for RAH to make amends and that he may never make amends.
Number 5 & 8 really spoke to me. I've done a lot of reading on forgiving but for some reason I've been having a tough time letting go of the pain from RAH.
Just wanted to share this thread and that the light bulb went on for me today!!
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:24 AM
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The thing about recovery is to catch the thought without reacting to it. The more clean time I have the better I get at it. Good traing for present moment living.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:54 AM
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This list leaves out the biggest step to ending resentment---ACTION!!!

Doing something about that thing you hold resentment about, transforms that festering feeling of powerlessness and hurt.

Forgetting a resentment...I am not sure that that works. Isn't that what a lot of addicts try to do with their drinking and drugging...are we not often trying to bury a resentment?

I just know that when I have spoken to people about the resentments I held against them, the bad feeling evaporated and we bonded.

When I reported a professional that I held a resentment about to the licensing board, it launched an investigation that showed my issue was just the tip of the iceberg.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:05 PM
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Today I googled resentments in recovery and found this. I am very glad I did. I also copied it all down in my notebook because that's what helps to get something in my head. I can relate to this very much. Thanks
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:42 PM
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I also joined today and needed to hear this. What I always reflect on when I go into my resentment zone is " Having resentments is like drinking poison and wanting the other person to suffer "........ I CHOOSE to let go as I do not want to poison my recovery !
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:57 PM
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welcome to SR pgreen

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Old 07-22-2013, 01:38 PM
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This really helped me today!
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:41 PM
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Great Post Thanks

Boundaries important to set boundaries.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:20 PM
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Thank you again historyteach.
This is a huge problem for me. I just made a year sober from my drugs of choice and am
realizing it's just another day living smarter. I too will copy this in my notebook.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:21 AM
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Cool Resentments are addictive?!

This is exactly the behavior I must address. Living loaded I never
even would have noticed.....
I too will write this down and reread it.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:28 PM
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Wow, this has been an eye opener for me. Going to copy and print it and really work on this. Thanks.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:32 PM
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This is awesome. I can relate to this SO much right now. I am ready to let go of resentment. Thank you so much for sharing.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:27 PM
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Thank you for sharing! I too will be copying this as a reminder.

This really helps me realize I hold alot of resentment & perpetual victimization. It leads me to anger which I hold in & I used alcohol to numb my feelings & hold down the anger I was so worried would come out.
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