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Monday, July 11, 2016

Life's too short...

Only the heart can know its own resentment; likewise no stranger can experience its joy. (Proverbs 14:10 VOICE)

Resentment is that feeling we get whenever we perceive an act, remark, or circumstance caused us some form of injury or insult.  We feel wronged, causing us to internally create a set of feelings which bolster that feeling of being wronged until we get an internal battle going on in the realm of our emotions. What we come to feel can be far worse than the original injury or insult - all because of the extreme amount of emotional energy we put behind that original feeling of being wronged.  You have probably heard it said - resentment hurts the one with the internal struggle not the one who the resentment is formed against!

Carrie Fisher put it this way, "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."  She hit that one totally on the head!  Nothing is more futile in life than holding onto the pain we feel another has caused and then expecting that internal pain we are experiencing to be that which hurts the other person!  Yes, it will damage the relationship, but trust me on this one, others can walk away from our resentment - they have not internalized that same degree of pain, nor have they invested the same amount of energy into maintaining it!

I once heard someone explaining to another person the need for them to hide their hurt feelings - as though hiding the hurt would help them to get over it any easier!  Hurt feelings are "valid" to us - we are the one experiencing them.  Yet, when it comes right down to it, the other person in the mix very seldom even knows they have created all that internal struggle for you.  They didn't see their actions in the same way you did, nor did they notice any real change in you until that resentment came to a full "boil" inside you!  The poison affected you much longer and deeper than it ever did them!

I think the advice I'd give the one being told to hide their hurt feelings would be to forgive - not to hide.  Forgiveness is a bold stand - one which refuses to internalize the ill-feelings, even when the insult or injury may be very real to them.  They cannot judge the heart or actions of another solely upon how it made them feel!  They choose rather to release the other individual, even when the injury may be very real to them, because they don't want to drink the poison of holding onto that injury any longer!

The heart is meant as a place to experience all the breadth and depth of emotion - the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs.  It isn't meant to become the place where we seethe with anger, nurse festering wounds, or cultivate plans of revenge against another.  It may not be easy to let go of the ill-feelings we want to hold onto, bury deeply, and hope others won't notice too much.  It is worth our very life, though!  Just sayin!