Resentment & Ho’oponopono

melanie berry's picture


That title sounds rather poetic, or along the lines of crime thriller doesn’t it?  I couldn’t help myself.  But, this has been my experience with this sneaky, not-so-very pleasant emotion.  It’s not like anger, which is fiery and sometimes explosive, often flaring and receding over a certain amount of time.  No, it basks in the shadows of our emotional landscape.

     Resentment stems from anger.  Staying in a perpetual state of “high-heat” anger is nearly impossible – it’s exhausting.  So, if I were to follow the ebbing of anger, I can see that there are two choices.  Either the source of this anger is forgiven (whether that is our self or someone else) or it settles into a moderately comfortable, subconscious state of resentment and bitterness.  

     Most of us don’t like anger.  Or, rather, anger is unladylike.  Anger is a dangerous feeling.  Anger is not enlightened.  Yes, we could judge anger these ways.  But, anger is a sign that we have something we need to look at, forgive, heal, and overcome.  When we experience anger, there is an invitation to go within and see and feel into a part of ourselves that feels unsafe, devalued, hurt, insecure, and unloved.  For many of us, we don’t accept this invitation.  We focus on the external as the cause and the source of healing.  

     Which leads us to embodying and perfecting several coping mechanisms for avoiding going within and the banishing of the anger and the anger trigger.

We may try to banish anger and the anger trigger by attempting the following:

-       Go into avoidance - never allow it/her/him to bother me again by running away from or hiding from it/them

-       Blame the other person and refuse to or threaten to refuse to hang out with this ridiculous, selfish, annoying, horrible person ever again

-       Convince myself that it was a one-off experience and it will never return

-       Convince myself that I shouldn’t be angry and therefore attempt to suppress and invalidate my feelings

-       Play victim and have a pity-party 

-       Go into hyper-drive self-destruct mode

-       Go into the offense and destroy-others mode

But, these are exhausting too and they don’t dissolve the actual issue.  The experience/trigger is sneaky and insistent; it will return in another shape or form.  

         The experience or person which triggered our anger has come into our lives because it matches the message of self-belief we are holding within us.  If we subconsciously or otherwise believe and feel that we are unlovable, we will attract people and experiences that confirm the rightness of this message.  If we are lacking in healthy boundaries and allow individuals to tell us who we are or what we should be doing or feeling, then this is another type of experience to show us where we are giving our power away; it is an opportunity to reclaim our individual sovereignty.  These experiences occur in order to show us what is on the inside... to face it, to face ourselves, forgive, heal, and love.  
     So, what I’m really saying here is that if we don’t face the nature and the cause of the original anger trigger, we will bask in a sticky puddle of resentment indefinitely.  Notably, resentment doesn’t really have a trigger.  It simply sits there and multiplies, congeals, hardens, and adds upon itself.  It waits for more anger or the suppression of anger to feed it.  And when the bitterness has become potent enough; when there is enough resentment accrued in the emotional body, it creates an illness in the physical body.  That is our big red flag.  “Please pay attention to me; please heal me; please forgive,” it says.  

If any of this resonates with you, I invite you to practice Ho'oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian modality of reconciliation and forgiveness.
Thank you for reading and being with me here.
In love and light,