I feel unclean when I have resentment. My jaw clenches, my torso is tight, and I just feel mean – mean-spirited, mean-bodied. And when I say spiteful things, I can sometimes actually taste the bitterness at the back of my tongue. That's the first part – catching the symptomology of resentment, feeling spiritually tainted, being Against anything or anyone (vs. For something that's heartfelt).
The second part is admitting to myself all the ways I've paid them back. There's usually a nasty Pay Back pattern regardless of whom I resent or what they did. My fall-back revenge is usually a secret superiority (it's not very nice to let it show), which justifies me to do it My Way (if necessary, ask for forgiveness later). When I admit to myself all the dishonoring things I thought or did, I feel shame, contrition, embarrassment – depending on how treacherous my thoughts have been (hoping I'm there the day they get theirs!) or how I've behaved.
Once I've owned up, feeling penitent, I have another choice to make, do I make restitution face to face? Or do it spiritually, in a visualization? With people, I care for (which are usually the ones that get on my resentment list the easiest, because those are the ones I have the most demand that they are the way I want them to be), the face-to-face has always worked. Truly, I am surrounded by benevolence, people with the most compassionate of hearts, who forgive easily. They keep me humble and even more determined to be my best.
More to come.
Posted with permission from Life As It Is by Ann McMaster.