Resentment is a destructive and unproductive emotion; it is toxic to healing and achievement; a self-torture. Forgiveness is the answer. Without it, life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

Resentment is a common human emotion. We can be resentful of our circumstances or condition in life, acquaintances, friends, even loved ones; people who we felt have wronged us, people who have accomplished more than us, even people who try to help us.

Resentment usually goes with other destructive emotions like envy, hatred, and anger.  In fact, resentment is a byproduct of these emotions if we hang onto them for too long. Resentment maybe the worst of these sentiments. We may experience a flash of envy, hatred, or anger and allow ourselves to forgive and let go. But when we hold onto these destructive feelings, thatís when resentment takes hold.  Resentment can last a lifetime if we allow it to.

However, we could use resentment to fuel us to alter our circumstances or condition and transform our life for the better. A big part of that comes from focusing on our own lives and improving ourselves. Many people use resentment to fill the void left by their own shortcomings.  

I resented being poor; being invited to parties not as guest but as helper to run errands and to help in the kitchen. I resented not being able to continue my studies after my elementary education because of poverty; that while my friends and classmates continued to high school I had to earn a living at a very young age....

But then, it came to a point when I decided to take control of my life, changed course and stopped worrying about my circumstances, other people and my perceived grievances; and instead focused on finding ways to make my own life better, letting go of resentment and finding ways to improve myself.

It is about self-awareness. Some of us are so used to carrying around our anger and petty jealousies that we often donít even recognize resentment in ourselves.  We donít notice the burden that weíre carrying around every day.  Until we learn to recognize that burden, our resentment will always be holding us back, causing anxiety insides us, keeping us from finding freedom and happiness.

We should take the time to identify its source once we recognize our resentment.  Does it arise out of petty jealousy or envy?  Did someone offend us, belittle us, neglect us, steal from us, hurt us?  There are times in life when we are genuinely wronged for no apparent reason, and there are times when we perceive injustices where both sides are at fault.

Whatever the source of our resentment, let us understand that there is no place in our life for it.  This can be difficult to do, but we will find that it becomes much easier when we start focusing on our own personal growth. Instead of entertaining resentful feeling, we should ask ourselves what we can do today to improve our life for the better.

Life is a series of choices. I have learned that sometimes God gives us some challenges to face, to prepare us for a better life. I should know because I changed course the hard way in my journey we call life, by creating a path of my own along the way ...and then, left a trail... Today, I am very grateful.

By Tim Pedrosa