Resentment and self righteousness go hand in hand don’t they?
Is it possible to resent someone or something without labeling them wrong and yourself right?
And is it possible to be fully one’s self while harboring resentments? Because in doing so, one must maintain their correct position and what limits does that place on one’s potential for full self expression?
What annoys us? What puts us in a judgmental point of view? In some cases, it reflects something about ourselves that we don’t like the look of. In other cases, it may be just the opposite: gives us a glimpse into some unrealized potential of our own that we are loath to acknowledge. In other cases still, it may be something that fails to align with whatever code of morals and principals we have chosen for ourselves. Whatever the trigger, resentment and judgment is our way of warding off existential THREAT. When our identity or validity feel threatened by somebody else’s being, we judge them and create narratives that support the position that “I am right and they are wrong.”
If we fail to acknowledge our resentments and judgments for what they are, they RUN us. Our life is no longer our own. If we voice our disgust with people, our energy is spent trying to prove that they are wrong and I am right and if the judgments and resentments are ones harbored silently, they run us by keeping us quiet, or limiting our expressive bandwidth for fear of saying something WRONG, of making a fool of ourselves. The shame we would experience by voicing our feelings about other’s fully is a sign that our resentments and judgments could likely do with a bit more reflection, contemplation, and examination to see if they can’t be identified for what they are.
Perhaps this week, make note of what judgments and resentments you’ve been harboring, and consider what possibilities could be there if you were free from all of that. Consider how freely your express yourself and how creative when you are among the people you trust and love compared to when you’re surrounded by people you are silently judging or resenting – how much of YOU gets lost in the attempts to be nice and avoid confrontation and conflict. NOW – I am not advising that you start telling people how much you can’t stand them, I’m advising (what on earth am I doing offering unsolicited advice to other human beings? I guess I’ve always had a bit of a god complex) that you make an attempt at humbling yourself to the possibility that you’re no more right than they are, and that when you think to yourself, “they’re such an idiot,” or, “who do they think they are?” that maybe what’s really going on is that you’re feeling threatened in some way by what’s going on in that other person. Explore the nature of your experience here – what about that person’s being might you be so threatened by? Their audacity? Their willingness to say what’s on their mind? Their lack of a filter? Are they a little goody two shoes over achiever? Whatever’s going on with them, simply explore what that triggers in you and resist the urge to put a label on it, “arrogant,” “stupid,” “slut,” “egomaniac,” “simple.”
Imagine the possibilities that could be available without this threatened experience standing in the way; when you judge others, your own expressive and creative potentials are limited, in parallel, by those very judgments and the bandwidth narrows, and narrows. And just to clarify, I am under no delusions that I am fully liberated from my judgments and resentments; they arise quite regularly.
Liberate yourself, perhaps. Your life is at stake.
As always, no one is coming to save you. It's real out here.