Epiphany about Resentment

Resentment is an emotion that puzzled me.  Was it a hiding emotion that hid other emotions?  It was linked to bitterness but some how different?  I felt it, but wasn’t sure how to heal it when I didn’t know the source or whence it came.  Like many epiphanies that I have, it came while I was talking to my sister on our morning walk on Saturday.  I finally understood to me resentment is when I give my power of choice, time, or resources to someone else and they either neglect it or abuse what I gave them.  A safe example, is when I have to go to a mandatory meeting that I could be written up if I don’t go and the new supervisor knows next to nothing about my job or even what I do.  I spent 2 hours of my time listening to him ramble and I felt like screaming, “Do your homework.  Find out what we do before coming to tell us how to do it.”  Yup, I resented him wasting my time.  I was deeply relieved when the meeting ended early and I could go do my job.  Another example happened when I was a teenager.  I plea went out to feed the starving people in Africa.  I skipped my lunches for weeks to donate what I could to that cause.  When the ships arrived in Africa, the government there refused to allow the food into the country.  It was easier to control a starving people.  I was angry and could do nothing about it.  I felt resentment at how their government wasted my sacrifice so people could be fed.  So sometimes resentment is anger with no place to go so it simmers and boils and turns into resentment.  Now when they say “Feed the hungry children in country XXXX, (where ever the advertisement is for)” I remember my experience and follow the money….how much actually gets to the people they are supposed to be helping.  I have seen as low as 10 cents out of every dollar.  The rest goes to ‘operating expenses.’ I resent the misuse of funds and the manipulation of my emotions for them to give them my hard earned dollars.  Now, I do my homework as to where I donate.  In this season of giving, everyone has a cause for you to spend your money and time on.  I suggest for peace of mind and joy of the season, do the homework to find out if they will actually do what they say they are doing.  Or better yet, look around your neighborhood, local schools, or community at large and see where is there a need that I can fulfill with the resources I set aside for sharing.  Remember that you can’t buy or donate your way to healing.  Saying yes to everyone else is saying no to myself.  I sometimes give away too much trying to convince myself I am a good person.  It doesn’t work that way.  I just end up resenting them that I suddenly magically don’t feel better.  Giving from a place of emotional abundance is way different from giving from a place of emotionally neediness expecting something in return.  When I give expecting nothing back, then I feel peace without resentment.  Working this season on giving from a place of emotional abundance.

 

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