Today I cleaned the house with a resentful heart. I did. I love how a clean house feels, and I don’t even mind doing the work. It calms me and makes me feel like I’ve pulled myself together. But I felt resentful because the person with whom I live (who is 19 years old – that’ s an important fact) didn’t help one bit. He got up and left home early, dressed all cute, and still hasn’t come home.
This wouldn’t be anything noteworthy if we hadn’t had a big talk just about two weeks ago about the importance of giving back to your loved ones, as well as helping to maintain the space in which you live. This was a big talk, one of those that doesn’t come around very often, and that you really don’t want to be in the habit of having. Because it’s uncomfortable to tell that much truth, and when emotion gets involved it can be so wearying. That’s how this conversation was, at least.
He said he doesn’t know when to clean the bathroom because he doesn’t notice when it’s dirty. I said, “Just do it on Saturday morning. You can count on it needing it once a week.” That was two or three weeks ago and I finally gave up and cleaned the bathroom today. I noticed that I was feeling resentment, and a feeling of hurt that I can’t count on him. I also acknowledged that the feeling is mine, and has nothing to do with him.
I have a situation at school which I resent as well. I have suddenly had to share my desk and laptop with a person who was recently released from their position at another school. She is finishing out her contract at our school for some reason, and since I use my office only two periods a day, she was placed there when I’m not. Yesterday I came in to do some work, and she was in the middle of a conversation with a student. She said she’d be done soon, but I only had a short time left, so I went to the faculty lunchroom to do what I had to do. I was resentful every minute I was in there.
So, what should one do with this feeling? It is mine alone, and has nothing to do with any other person, really. Wanting some guidance, I looked it up on Tiny Buddha , and here’s what I learned:
1.Express Yourself. It’s important to express our pain, to ourselves, at any rate. We must own our emotions, not deny them. They suggest this mantra:
“Right now I feel (INSERT EMOTION). I give myself permission to feel (INSERT EMOTION) because I have a right to express myself and my emotions.”
2. Communicate your feelings from a calm and balanced frame of mind. I like to call it a point of neutrality. You are doing this for yourself, not for the relationship or for the other person. You are doing it because you owe it to yourself to live a truthful life, free of resentment.
3. Practice forgiveness. When you embrace forgiveness, resentment ceases to exist. Wow, yeah. I think I hang on to my resentment because I need to be right. And even if I am right in my own mind, the practice of resentment only hurts me.
“We cannot control what other people do, but we can control how we react. When we practice truthful living, self-expression, and forgiveness, resentment simply has no place or power in our lives.”
Oh yes. I knew this. I guess I was just enjoying my self righteousness too much. I don’t know why I have such need to be right.. I really want to live without the puddle of resentment that I wade into so readily. It feels awful, honestly. I think I’m going to post that last quote in a prominent place, where I can see it every day. And then I’m going to go out and plant some flowers. I need to ground myself in the dirt!