“Always love. Hate will get you every time.” – Nada Surf, Always Love
Recently, while I was catching up on my trashy reality television, Dr. Drew said something that really resonated with me. As he talked about the remaining bitterness between one teen mom and her baby daddy, he said that resentment is like a poison that one person takes with the intention of hurting someone else.
Of course, as we all know, when you come in contact with something poisonous, it doesn’t really hurt anyone else– it only hurts you. And so it is with resentment. When we waste our energy hating someone (or even disliking them!), we give them power over us. That power can manifest itself in different ways, but one thing is certain: you will walk around with a dark storm cloud over your head as long as you carry that negativity with you.
First, we must recognize that some of our resentments might be a little unfounded. Sometimes, we judge a person too quickly and find ourselves acting overly critical, often out of envy or ignorance. We may not stop to consider the person as a whole or recognize his/her strengths because we are too busy mentally admonishing him or her for every little flaw.
Other times, that resentment may be understandable, aimed toward an ex who broke your heart or a friend who betrayed your trust. However, while you aren’t expected to welcome that person back into your life, letting go of your resentment does make your situation a whole lot easier to deal with. After all, being angry with the other person is not a productive task; it doesn’t help you move on, nor does it really do much damage to anyone but yourself. And why stress yourself out even more, when there are clearly much better ways to spend your time?
So smile. Stop thinking about people who have wronged you. Stop judging people for situations beyond their control. Get rid of that storm cloud (nobody wants to be around you when it’s there!) and enjoy the sunshine. 🙂