I want to ask you something. And I want you to answer honestly.
How many times this week have you mentally replayed a fight that you had with your ex?
Maybe not an actual fight – maybe you pictured what you would, or should, have said to them? A confrontation you never had? The killer blow you wish you’d delivered at the time?
And now: how much of your life do think you spend like this? Trawling through negative memories? Reliving the things that make you feel angry and bitter?
Dissecting. Analysing. Obsessing.
Does any of it make you feel happy? Does it put you at peace?
Of course not.
Resentment is destructive. Resentment is the thing that keeps us rooted in a broken, ugly past.
And life is too short to start each day with the broken pieces of yesterday.
Your breakup was miserable enough the first time, right? If you could somehow go back and spare yourself all of that pain, wouldn’t you?
Then why do you inflict it on yourself time after time? Why are you voluntarily repeating those experiences every day of your life?
It doesn’t matter how many times you conduct that fight with the imagined version of your ex. The outcome will never be different. It doesn’t matter how much time you devote to dwelling in the past, the present is still the present.
And if you don’t stop wallowing and start living, you won’t just have lost out on yesterday – you’ll lose today, too.
Do you really want to give that to your ex?
After all, as the saying goes, resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
It’s time to stop drinking the poison.
It’s time to stop letting resentment rule your life.
It’s time to let go.
Easier said than done? Of course it is. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t practical things you can do.
Here Are 6 Powerful Steps to Take Today:
- Declare an amnesty. Make the decision to stop waging a mental war with this person and with yourself. You need to recognise that enough is enough before you start to tackle your feelings.
- Admit to yourself that you’re an addict. Resentment gives you a rush. That intoxicating sense of letting your rage run wild, if only in your head. The buzz of taking the moral high ground, feeling yourself wronged – and righteous. It’s chemical. It’s a hit. That’s why you keep coming back. And you need to stop before your addiction gets out of hand.
- Accept that your resentment is futile. No matter what happens in the confines of your mind, it will not change the past. Neither will it influence other people, past or present. It can’t stop them rejecting you or force them to give you the things you crave. The only person it controls is you.
- Get to the bottom of it. Time to get it all out. In one column, list all the reasons that you resent your ex. Every tiny thing they did, or that irritates you about them. Don’t censor yourself: it doesn’t matter how small or stupid or irrational, write it down.
In the next column, write down exactly why you resent this thing. How does it make you feel? Why does it upset you? Why does it make you feel threatened? Is it possible you’re confusing the way this person makes you feel with how someone else made you feel in the past?
Finally, in the last column, be brutally honest. Is there any way in which you contributed to this problem? Ways in which you misread the slight or blew it out of proportion? Ways you could have managed the problem better? Did you tell them how this was affecting you? Did you stick up for yourself?
- Forgive where you can. Forgive yourself. For any ways you might have let your past self down. Ways you secretly believe you were weak.
Next, forgive the object of your resentment for the things you can bear. Things they might not, really, have done out of malice. Things they simply messed up on. The things that upset you because they dragged up old feelings and insecurities, rather than because they were intrinsically cruel. Things that, ultimately, no longer matter.
- Make an action plan. Resentment doesn’t make you stronger, but decisiveness does. Plan what you are going to do to stop yourself from getting hurt like this again. How will you respond assertively to nip things in the bud? This is where you will really take control. It’s where you’ll really start healing.
Getting over resentment won’t happen overnight. It’s a process. But it’s a journey you need to begin, and soon, if you want to avoid your past swallowing up your future, too.
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