Life isn’t always fair, so I’m certain that somebody has judged you unfairly. And while it may be appealing to say or think, “they have no right to say that about me,” what they say or think is really none of our business. People have the right to be wrong – certainly in their thoughts or opinions. Some people have, no doubt, thought or said untrue or unkind things about you.
We might feel wounded by learning that somebody said something unfair, untrue, or unkind about us. It’s common or human to want to hold resentment about such things. But I’d like to caution you (us) about this choice.
First, resentment is a choice, it is NOT a feeling so much as it is a decision. Resentment is a decision to hold onto a feeling. Resentment is an option we decide to exercise. The offense may have caused pain when it first occurred or was first revealed. Resentment is a choice to feel the pain again, and again, and again.
People say things like, “well of course I’m angry, who wouldn’t be?” as if it were a mathematical equation – a certainty – to be angry. Feeling anger or even its high-brow cousin, indignation, isn’t necessary – even when we’ve been treated in a truly unjust manner. You’re right. They’re wrong, but what’s the healthiest thing you can do about it?
Reframe & Release
Rather than resent (re-feel) the pain, learning how to re-frame the situation and ultimately to release the offender is the healthiest goal. Releasing those who are wrong, may not seem acceptable at first, but I’m not saying that offenders become innocent. I’m saying that I’ve decided not to re-feel the feeling their actions originally led me to feel. The decision to release them isn’t about them at all, it’s about me and my peace of mind. It may be a process and not a one-time event, but freedom is a worthwhile pursuit.