30 January, 2017

Shedding resentment

Last week, I wrote that those of us who don’t have children will sometimes feel resentment towards those who do have children, when we might have been on the receiving end of condescension or insensitive comments, or have had to tolerate those parents or expectant parents who are condescending or insensitive or smug and self-congratulatory, or when we feel judged as failures or weak.

It reminds me that some time ago, I heard that carrying resentments is not only mentally unhealthy, keeping you in that hurt space and not allowing you to move on, but also quite literally holds you down. It turns out that resentment is an actual physical burden – in a test, high jumpers couldn’t jump as high when asked to think about resentments.

When I think back to those early years of pain and hurt and at times anger and resentment, I can well imagine that I wasn’t capable of leaping as high, and that physically as well as emotionally I was carrying a heavy burden.

As time goes by, it is easier to let these things go, to refuse to let them keep me down, to understand they’re more about other people’s issues than they are about us, or to speak up and defend ourselves, or to point out that their comments are hypocritical or insensitive or unfair. I’m much better at this now than I was in the early days and years of coming to terms with living a No Kidding life, and looking back, that progress really has felt as if I’ve been shedding a load.

I know that I feel much more relaxed and freer as a result of letting my hurt and resentments go. Lighter, even.


  1. I love this fact: "high jumpers couldn’t jump as high when asked to think about resentments."
    And yes, it is easier to let go resentments as the years are passing by...

  2. Resentment is a hard thing to deal with. On the one hand, I think it acts as an alert system. If we are resenting people, then it is likely including them in our lives at that moment is not the best thing. However long term it can be toxic to hold on to resentment. Healing is freer.

  3. Once again, you've nailed it. Shedding resentment is something I've been working on. It's getting better, though I'm not there yet. Time heals though.

  4. I love that image of shedding a load, of lightening as you let go of those things. I feel like there is lingering resentment but I don't feel it all the time -- I was proud because I had two people, my colorist and my chiropractor -- announce pregnancies with big bellies and I honestly felt nothing but congratulatory thoughts. There was no "ugh, why not me" there, at all. It did feel lighter, actually.

  5. Very good advice, especially because life experience has always told me that I'm the only one who hurts when I hold onto those resentments. Still, it's hard to let go, even knowing that.

    1. Exactly! It doesn't hurt them, only us. (And yes, I wish it was as easily done as it is said ... or written!)

  6. I'm not 100% there yet, but I'm better than I used to be...!