Arthur sat at his desk close to tears. Once again the head teacher had singled him our and humiliated him in front of the whole school. He
hated him. Hated him for making him have to fight back tears in front of bigger boys. Hated him for making him feel stupid and useless. He hated Mr McDonald with all his heart and he always would.
A History of Hatred
Arthur is now 68 and still hates Mr McDonald. But Mr McDonald is dead. He left his head teacher's life behind him 30 years ago. And even while he still lived, could Arthur's resentment reach him and warm his conscience so that he might feel remorse? No.
Hatred Over Time Becomes Resentment
Hatred held over time tends to simmer down into resentment, though it can be recalled and rekindled into a raging fire easily, it tends to lie half-forgotten under the surface unless provoked. And so Arthur is left with his swallowed anger; there is nowhere to send it, no chance of an apology or any form of emotional compensation.
The Meaning of Resentment to Your Body
There's a saying that holding on to resentment is "like drinking poison and expecting the other person to be hurt". Often, that other person is oblivious to our feelings, they may be innocently unaware, or they may be selfishly ignoring our pain or injustice. Either way, we aren't going to get a satisfactory conclusion to the situation by holding on to our hurt.
Resentment is a powerful emotion, it sticks to us and it sticks in us. It's like a magnet of malcontent that makes us bitter and causes no one but ourselves harm.
Arthur is suffering from "emotional indigestion". He has a bad experience from over 60 years ago stuck in his system. Because he never got round to digesting it and letting it go he still likes to talk about it and share his experience any time the word school comes up in conversation.
The Meaning of Resentment to Your Family and Friends
His family, once sympathetic, are now tired of hearing the story. His friend's are weary of it too, besides they have their own stories to tell and tend to prefer to speak than to listen.
Saddest of all, Arthur was so intent on telling his story once again, that he missed hearing his grandson's concerns about his own school life. Instead of being able to be a supportive Grandfather Arthur once again reverted to being a little boy himself and seeking support for his own experience.
Letting Go of Resentment: And The Myth of Expense
People fear letting go of resentment because they perceive it to be a protective emotion. A memorial plaque to an injustice that must stay in place, out of respect to the victim of the situation. But letting go of resentment is different to forgiving, it doesn't mean "letting people off the hook".
You can preserve what was learned, you can respect yourself and you can move on. In many cases of personal injustice you cannot get the closure you need from the other party - you have to close the case for yourself.
This is where Gary Craig's Emotional Freedom Techniques shine as a quick and easy tool for letting go of resentment and freeing yourself from years of emotional indigestion.
Arthur's Experience with EFT and Letting Things Go...
One day Arthur was telling his tale of childhood humiliation when a friend told him about EFT. She suggested that while he told his story he used the EFT sequence to diffuse his feelings. Arthur was skeptical but he agreed to give it a go and so he told his story with full emotional intensity and followed his friend's prompts to use EFT as he did.
At first, Mr McDonald was recalled with anger, and then gradually with dislike and various critical observations, then Arthur recalled how no-one liked that man, how even his wife left him, how he seemed lonely and frustrated, and finally Arthur sighed and said "I should feel sorry for him really, I've been blessed with a good family and he seemed so miserable".
After a few more minutes of working with EFT Arthur felt he could leave the issue where it lived - way back in the past. He wouldn't forget - after all it happened, but he was ready to let it go, he felt it was over and he didn't need to talk about it anymore. It was a long time coming, but finally the experience was digested, processed and eliminated.
I did a little emotional processing with EFT myself earlier this morning - do you have anything you'd like to let go today?
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