Resentment is the re-experiencing of past injustices (real or perceived) and old feelings of anger connected to them. Resentments form when people get angry and hold on to that anger. As Catholics, we are called to let go of any resentment we feel, but that’s easier said than done! Praying is the ultimate way out, but you can incorporate some other practices to help you as well:
- Call your resentment by name. Who or what is it about? Visualize that person or group as a beloved child of God. God loves them; do you want to be apart from them?
- As difficult as it may be, practice treating those people you have resentment toward with kindness and compassion. Notice what happens when you change how you act toward them; they will often change how they act toward you.
- Resist the urge to be a channel for the resentment of others. The resentment of others can be seductive; it can have an almost magnetic pull. Don’t buy into it; resist the urge to join in their negativity or participate in gossip.
The stronger the resentment is, the more time you spend thinking about it, the more you’ll re-experience the anger connected to it. This is a form of mental, emotional, and spiritual bondage. Ultimately, the person holding the resentment is the one who suffers most. With God’s help, you can set yourself free!
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