In the fifth grade there was a girl, let’s call her Katelyn Stout, who got attention from all the boys I had crushes on.
I resented the hell out of Katelyn Stout’s existence. I used to try using Jedi mind tricks to will her to flunk out of our grade, or for her family to move states.
Years later, one of those boys told me that he always tried to talk to me, and asked me why I never gave him the time of day back then. The truth was, I hadn’t even noticed.
I spent so much time resenting Katelyn Stout for soaking up all of my much deserved (according to me) attention that I didn’t notice the cute boy who was actually giving me attention.
I stayed blindingly upset for years, thinking somehow that resenting Katelyn and wishing for terrible things to happen to her would increase my chances of finding elementary school love.
We get upset because something happened that we didn’t want, and then we stay upset because we think being upset prevents that thing from happening again.
Our subconscious thinks that continuing to resent the person who hurt us will protect us from being hurt again.
Our subconscious thinks that withholding forgiveness from someone who betrayed us will protect us from being betrayed again.
But dwelling, staying upset, holding grudges, withholding forgiveness, and being resentful are all really terrible defense mechanisms.
It’s kind of like putting on armor with inward spikes.
Perhaps it’s protecting you from some eventual hurt, but it’s causing you pain all the while.
So tell me—what kind of dweller are you?
A dweller who pretends not to dwell, and tells other people not to?
Maybe you’re a subtle dweller who only dabbles occasionally in the dark of dwelling.
Or maybe you’re someone who hangs onto resentments and frustrations (both little and big) for dear life.
Regardless, if you’re dwelling on anything or resenting anything at all, please stop. I promise you, it’s majorly cramping your style.
But I also get that it’s hard. We feel like if we let something go, then we are subjecting ourselves to it happening again.
We think our resentments protect us. Avenge us.
They don’t. They only hurt us.
They only keep us closed off from connecting, trusting, loving, forgiving, accepting.
So if you want to increase the rate at which you are able to let things go, take three minutes to learn about how to let go of resentments.
Author: Brandilyn Tebo
Editor: Emily Bartran
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Leah Sugerman