Are you holding onto anger?
Or maybe even resentment?
Below are a few of my own examples…
#1 – My ‘Mean Girl’
Once in middle school, I became so nasty and so angry at my best friend because she got excited about beating our team at bowling in the gym. Even though I was the ‘mean girl’ and truly hurt her, she began apologizing to me for winning. I would always cringe at the thought of my attitude towards her that day, and until recently, found it difficult to forgive myself for that cruel moment in time. Thinking even now– “What an awful person I am!”
#2 – My Best Effort
I had a 7th grade teacher who everyone loved. The popular kids flocked to him. However for me, something always felt a bit off about him.
One day he spoke about our social studies fair and how administrators and teachers were proud of the work we did. Then, he began to make fun of the “Pyramids” project and said something along the lines of: “This student just used plywood and writing paper to make her project. She wrote in pen and just glued it to the board.”
IT WAS MY PROJECT!
I don’t remember the reaction of the kids in the class that day, but I laughed it off not wanting everyone to know he was talking about me. I was extremely embarrassed and hurt, knowing I did the best I could on my project with what I had.
My parents didn’t have money to buy markers, construction paper or a cardboard tri-fold used for projects. But, my Dad took the time to saw and paint 3 pieces of plywood and fix them together with hinges for me. Materials we already had sitting out in our car shed. My mom made the glue on the stove using flour and water.
After that day, I sat in the last row in class mostly with my head down. And until this year, it still had been a sense of pain for me.
#3 – Resenting Work
Have you ever resented work so much that you care less about doing a stellar job and intentionally sabotage your progress and mobility in the workplace?
Maybe you resent your coworkers for not doing enough. Or maybe you have coworkers that take all of the credit for work that you’ve done or even call you out on your smallest slights in efforts to make themselves feel more superior? And you resent (or even hate) them for that.
Or, maybe you resented a boss for not respecting your “no” and putting up appropriate boundaries for your work-life balance?
If any of these stories ring true for you or you have other heavy stuff that you’re holding on to, what plans do you have to remove this clutter?
As you’re already aware, anger and resentment can keep us stuck. Even not forgiving yourself for shame and embarrassment of events that have happened in your past can leave you lacking in motivation and progress. Let alone the things people have said and done to us that keep us unhappy.
All the energy we spend stewing over old (or recent) hurt, anger and resentment CAN’T be used in ways that could shift and improve our everyday lives.
Personally, being angry and resentful just has me in a pissy, disheartened, and depressed mood.
What about you?
If the you’re feeling similar about some circumstances in your life, there are ways to do something about it.
And it starts with forgiveness.
Once you do the forgiveness work, you may find that your spirit has lightened, you’re no longer as tense, and feel little to no resentment towards ANYTHING that hurt or angered you in the past. You may even find yourself smiling a bit more.
I’ve been working through a number of exercises that I’ve discovered in my own practice of forgiveness. And they have definitely made a difference for me.
One of my favorites is the Ho’oponopono mantra. It’s an ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness that has helped heal my anger and resentment in many areas of my life. And I am continuing to use this practice moving forward. In its simplest form, you are stating:
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
This would apply to any instances of hurt, anger or resentment that you’re holding onto. And those who have hurt you don’t even have to be present for this forgiveness work to begin. I have been using this mantra with anything that comes up for me; I just stop whatever I’m doing and forgive.
If the Ho’oponopono mantra is something that you would like to try, I would suggest you explore and read about it further. You’ll find many resources online that explain the origins and the benefits.
Or maybe try other methods of forgiveness. There are plenty out there.
Once you have forgiven, a lot more space may open up in your life!
- Make a list of people, things, or situations that have hurt, angered or caused resentment for you in the past.
- One by one, forgive each on your list. Use sincerity in the process, and try using the Ho’oponopono mantra with each item. Apologize and forgive the pain you have caused others or that you’re causing yourself. Then love and thank the process: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Remember, those we have hurt don’t have to be physically present or taking part in your exercise.
- If you feel inclined, feel free to share your forgiveness practice below. I would love to hear it, and others may benefit.