By Brian F. Martin
You are not innately a resentful person, but the LIE of RESENTMENT you learned growing up in a home with CDV can imprison you in the past, fueling some of the other 9 lies, like ANGER, SADNESS, and HOPELESSNESS. It destroys peace of mind and keeps LOVE at bay. It can kill TRUST. More than that, RESENTMENT fuels self-righteousness and selfishness, blinding us to our own imperfections.
Of course, nobody can blame a person who experienced adversities in childhood for being RESENTFUL. We weren’t given the advantages of peaceful, loving homes, and over the years, the RESENTMENT we justifiably felt then just carried over into our present.
Swallow up the possibility of happiness
Resentment builds on itself in many of us over the years until it exploded into retaliatory strikes against others. These self-destructive behaviors swallow up the possibility of happiness. Many people who experienced adversity in childhood become territorial and vengeful without really understanding why.
So what can you do to erase the constant replay of old grudges? How can you release feelings of regret and blame, replacing them with the TRUTH of COMPASSION that resides inside of you?
They are able to reach a plane that few humans can
As adults who experienced adversity in childhood, we have the unique perceptive abilities to see what’s going on with others and to feel and understand their pain and anger.
I often consider what family therapist Cloé Madanes once told me: “People who experience an injustice in childhood, one brought on by their parents, feel a spiritual pain that shapes the unconscious. Because of what they experienced, they are able to reach a plane that few humans can, a level of understanding, resilience, and compassion that resides deep inside them.”
Letting go of RESENTMENT begins with embracing your own strengths and the gifts your childhood gave you. Even though no one would ask to receive such gifts in such a way, they are gifts nonetheless. They are now a part of who you are and what you can offer to others and to the world.
Cultivate a sense of curiosity about others
When RESENTMENT surfaces, instead of making judgments and assuming the worst about people, we can use our innate gift of COMPASSION to look past our initial reaction, cultivate a sense of curiosity about them, truly get to know them, and even help them through any LIES they may be feeling themselves deep down.
In order for this to work, we have to remember to step back from the situation and be objective. The more we train ourselves to do this, the less likely we are to feel RESENTMENT, and the clearer the pathway becomes to empathy and COMPASSION. This process can then gradually lead us to dissolve RESENTMENT for good.
How can I begin today to give these gifts to others and to the world?
Consider some of the gifts you know you received from your childhood, such as street smarts or intuition, resilience or courage, and ask yourself: How can I begin today to give these gifts to others and to the world?
I encourage you to share your answer in the comments below!
A detailed overview of the RESENTFUL lie can be found in CHAPTER 3 (“Resentful to Compassionate”) of INVINCIBLE: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence, and the Truths to Set You Free.