On another of my four blogs, specifically WATER, I’ll be posting some rather critical articles about a site called Newsvine. Some readers here will doubtless accuse me of harboring resentment towards that site, and its staff, because of what happened to end my participation there. To be honest, there are still some hurt feelings on my part, but I am not holding a grudge. The fact is, since leaving that site I have sent them a number of emails recommending things they could do to make their site better, more equitable and more fair-minded. My goal, despite the unfairness of their actions towards me and others, is that I want to leave on a good note, and leave behind something positive as my legacy to that experience.
I have declared in this blog that I am a Christian, and that I get most of my inspiration for my faith from the teachings of Jesus. However, even as hard as I try to be good, I still make mistakes and errors from time to time. After all, I’m only human, I do make mistakes and I do need to self-correct as I go as we all do.
But, I don’t limit my spiritual knowledge strictly to Jesus. There are other good sources and good examples outside of Christianity, such as that which I found at a blog entitled “Wildmind buddhist meditation.” There I found an excellent article entitled:
Esther Lederer: “Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.”
The full article is available at this link: Esther Lederer: “Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation
May I quote these key excerpts …
In the long run we inevitably hurt ourselves more than others do. Someone in the past did something that we found hurtful. They did or said something, or failed to do or say something, and we experienced physical or emotional hurt. It’s bound to happen. Each instance of hurt only happened one time in our past, and yet we have the faculty of memory that allows us to recall that incident over and over, and thus hurt ourselves over and over again. That’s how in the long term we can end up hurting ourselves more than the other person did.
Of course we often don’t think of this is as hurting ourselves. We tend to take the mini-dramas that unfold in the mind as being real, and indeed we respond to them as if they were real. When we recall someone saying something cruel to us we feel hurt in much the same way we would if they were here, now, speaking those words.
It’s absurd, really, that we do this — that we keep running through painful scenarios in the filmhouse of the mind. We watch the same movies over and over again, experiencing the same pain over and over again. It’s a form of self-torture.
In fact we often embellish the hurt, imagining whole scenes that never actually happened or imagining that we know the thoughts and motives of another person, as if we were omniscient. Sometimes we even invent scenes that might take place in the future, rehearsing for conflict. These imagined arguments and conflicts may never happen — the future is always uncertain — but we manage to feel the pain of them right now. Self-torture.
Isn’t it better to just “let it go”?
Rather than dwell on the incident that has no resolution, I choose to simply be done with it. Then I can move on with my life as if it had never happened at all.
How can I get myself past the perceived pain?
First I need to acknowledge the pain and accept that it’s there. That’s often hard to do because we can feel a sense of shame around feeling pain, as if it’s a sign of failure or weakness.
Next I need to accept the pain. Pain is not something “bad” that has to be banished from our experience. Pain is unpleasant, but it’s simply another experience. So we need to allow pain to be there.
Next I need to send metta (lovingkindness) to the pain. I have to love my pain. Loving my pain doesn’t mean that I want more or it. It’s not a masochistic act to love your pain. Rather, it means relating to the part of ourselves that is in pain, not blaming ourselves and not seeing the pain as something to be gotten rid of, but simply offering the hurting part of ourselves our compassion. Sometimes this is wordless, and other times I use phrases from the Metta Bhavana (lovingkindness) meditation practice: “May you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering.”
I find that in doing this I’m addressing the underlying sense of hurt that gives rise to the recurrent resentment. When I wish my pain well in this way I find that there’s a sense of reconciliation and even of relief, because I’ve finally realized exactly what it was I was looking for. When instead of simply appealing for sympathy we actually give it to ourselves we start to become healed. We’ve begun to address the underlying cause of our inner dramas and we realize that we no longer have such a need to rent out space in our head to conflicts.
(Note: Permission to quote above blog granted by Author: Bodhipaksa, per http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/quote-of-the-month/ann-landers-resentment)
Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer is better known by the pseudonym Ann Landers, an American advice columnist who eventually became a nationwide media celebrity beginning her career by writing the ‘Ask Ann Landers’ newspaper advice column … So, even the buddhists at the Wildmind blog know to look beyond their own religious leaders for good advice.
That’s all to say that: My comments on my other blog are meant to be constructively critical in my sincere hope that my observations and ideas will help to improve their policies and practices. I still have many many friends on that site, and I would not want them to be treated as I was, so I hope to do what I can to help change that situation, if I can.
I don’t really hold grudges against anyone. I do get frustrated from time to time, as do most people, but I always hope to be able to find the silver linings in all those dark clouds we all run into through the daily process of living our lives.