I consider myself a spiritual woman. I consider myself an emotional woman. Over the years I have experienced endless angst as I struggled with encouragements like – “just let life be a deep let go” or “90% attitude 10% reality”.
I felt angry or at best ‘yeh right’! All well and good on the days when this was achieved with grace and ease but what about the other ‘many more’ days? And who said that to be spiritual one should be nice all the time? I don’t know but it is certainly a directive that I have attempted to meet. Well it didn’t work for me!
What has worked, is working for me is a compassionate acceptance of where my emotions fit in my living – how I can observe, understand and work with my emotional being to actively and congruently achieve grace in my life.
If I was to say one thing to all the people I work with and especially the women it would be “love your resentment”. It is the most fabulous indicator of what is going on for you and gives very accurate clues as to what you might need to request, offer or decline in your life.
What do I mean by the mood of resentment? I mean that agitated, irritable, snarly sort of hidden energy that gets in the way of feeling comfortable, usually causing me to lose mindfulness in the rest of my living. For the purpose of this article emotions are those moment by moment emotional experiences we all have and that are constantly changing. Moods, by contrast, are the prevalent emotional state we may find our selves caught up in and living.
Resentment is a mood where I assess that the world is unfair to me, I declare I don’t like the way my life has unfolded and I declare my intention to get even. Problem is we rarely ‘get even’ with the right person or situation. As my son said to me one day when about 10 years old, after I had thrown a verbal maternal tantrum at him, “you know Mum it’s not my fault you’re so angry”! So true!
Resentment is when we find ourselves thumping pots on the element because we are ‘resentful’ about being the cook, or in the work place being the only one ‘who cares around here’.
I have a number of options at the point I recognise what is happening for me. I can move to a mood of acceptance where I assess that some possibilities have been closed for me right now, e.g. I am the only cook for now, and I can declare my gratitude to life regardless of that and think of ways to have being the cook work for me, e.g. more simple meals, take-way meals sometimes etc. Or in the workplace, rather than beating others up for their lack of ‘care’ I can acknowledge myself for the opportunity to do ‘care’ my way and therefore be in integrity with myself at least.
Alternatively by recognising I am in full flight resentment I can move to a mood of ambition or resolution. This is where I assess that there are possibilities in life, I declare that I have chosen to realise some of them and I declare that I will take action right now. So sticking with the domestic environment, rather than snarling at my son and husband for their lack of contribution I have sat down and talked with them. Out of this discussion and my requests we now have different systems in place where we share the domestic chores. And yes, I do have to accept some variance of standards etc. However the net result is a wife and mother who is more easy and more fun to be with. I am more at ease within myself and much more available for gratitude in my daily life.
One of my promises to myself is to, where possible; only agree to do things that I can do ’gracefully’, i.e. without resentment. This for me is the ‘fit’ with my spiritual being and my emotional being.
So – love my resentment yes I do! Do I stay in resentment any longer than I can manage – no I don’t! With this comes a confidence where I can assess that there are possibilities for me in life, that I can act on them most of the time and that if I find myself unable to act I can learn – I don’t have to be stuck in resentment.