5 Ways to Reduce Resentment in Sobriety
Sometimes life is about dancing through the pain...
"I’m overwhelmed. I cannot let go of my resentments. How did you?"
My answer: I didn't. Not fully, at least. The idea that you can just let it all go and be as free as a bird is whack like crack. Right now I am quite sad and full of resentment to be honest, hence the lack of blogging. My philosophy is to never stop dancing through my pain. I let go of my bitterness and found my betterness by being mindful. But, resentment is just one of those pesky feelings I am mindful I have. Although it has lessened, it may never fully disappear. That is how my dance goes.
My short snippet of a long sordid story is that I have resentment from not having children. I wanted them in my late twenties. I did not have them because I invested in the wrong man for almost a decade. I have a lot of sadness in my heart for wasting my fertile years with said man. But, ultimately, I was the one who shut down and existed about 5 years too long. Of course, there is a lot more to the story, but it takes two to tango in a relationship. In the case of my not reproducing it takes two to "not tango." Our relationship ended. My resentment did not. I forgave and am at peace with "what will be will be." But, as a woman who wants children, I can never be "not sad" about this void.*
In my current relationship, children are very much wanted, yet....no children. (Not from lack of trying if you know what I mean. Cha-cha-cha.) Today as my luteinizing hormone does not surge, I acknowledge my resentment is back looking for a spin around the dance floor. It is a crazy lyrical dance. Barefoot and flailing I express my hurt. But, I keep dancing.
5 things that help me waltz through my resentment and pain
1. Recognize the resentment.
This is the number one thing that has helped me live with myself. I can recognize that what I feel is resentment and can acknowledge it for what it is...sadness, grief, loss of hope, anger, hate....a feeling.
2. Send love to the person I resent.
This is incredibly hard, but it helps so much. Whatever focus you take when a feeling is strong grows. Would you rather have love or hate growing inside of you? I believe love is the answer. I beleee-heeee-heeeve. Love will find a way. Sometimes you resent yourself and your own decisions. You have to boomerang love back into yourself. I am currently boomeranging love.
3. Check my motives.
Don't tell people what they are doing. Don't call others narcissistic or selfish. Check your motives if you do. I tell my partner all of the time that he "does not want children like I do." He always responds with "I do." Just because he does not express himself like me, does not mean I can tell him what he feels. What is my motive by telling him this? To shift the pain from inside me to him. Not ok. I struggle to stop doing this though.
4. Make a gratitude list.
This is the thing that helps me more than anything. I acknowledge that the pain is there, then I list the joy. The truth is, everyone feels pain. But, not everyone is present and conscious enough to feel and recognize joy while feeling pain.
5. Don't shut down.
Shutting down is sneaky. Don't let it sneak up on you on your dance floor. Always. Show. Up. For. Life.
I'm no prima ballerina when it comes to living a resentment free life. I am more like the girl twerking in the corner. We may never know the reason things happen, they just do. When my present struggle is my past struggle I feel like I'm two stepping. Two steps forward, one step back. But, remember: It is ok to feel sad. It is ok to feel angry. It is ok to feel everything. Never stop making a commitment to grow through the pain, apologize when needed, and have patience with your feelings.