Let us consider the importance of resentment in our lives, and the damage it does. Resentment is a great rationalizer, it presents us with selected versions of our own past, so that we do not recognize our own mistakes and avoid the necessity to make painful choices.

It is a wonderful opportunity to rinse out our hearts with resentments that we have nurtured for sometime and start the year with fresh and abundant love and compassion. What a wonderful world we have if there are no resentments among us: between parents and children, among siblings, among friends, acquaintance, etc.

Resentment is primarily rooted to our human weakness of self-centeredness which maybe the  result of greed, envy, selfish expectation, search for power, self importance, and many others.

It is time to consider forgiveness and compassion. Without them, life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. My mother taught me years and years ago, that life is just too short to carry around a great bucket-load of anger, resentment, bitterness, hatred and all that sort of stuff.

Anger will never disappear so long as we cherish thoughts of resentment in our mind. Anger will subside just as soon as such thoughts of bitterness are forgotten.

Parents are perhaps the most common object of resentment, the people who are most frequently blamed for all our failings and failures alike. We should understand that parents have only good intentions for the welfare of their children but they also have some limitations.

Yet many of us ignore their noble intentions and their limitations due to a range of selfish reasons. We show antipathy, antagonism, hostility, ill feeling or resentment towards them when we could not longer use nor dig out something from them. What a selfish way to show gratitude. The Lord does not forget our love, kindness, respect and understanding to our parents. He does not ignore our indifference to them either.

Rivalry, jealousy, greed and envy are another common sources of resentment between/among siblings, relatives and friends. Resentment creates a wall of animosity between individuals. It destroys the bridge of loving relationship that connects people.

When we keep on harboring ill feelings; when we continue nurturing the bitterness that we have accumulated and hoarded in our minds like the twin brothers in following narrative, we allow bitterness to govern our lives and we throw away years of loving relation with someone we love.
A story tells of a merchant in a small town who had, identical twin sons. The boys worked for their father in the department store he owned and, when he died, they took over the store.

Everything went well until the day a twenty-dollar bill disappeared. One of the brothers had left the bill on the cash register and walked outside with a customer. When he returned, the money was gone.

He asked his brother, "Did you see that twenty-dollar bill on the cash register?" His brother replied that he had not but the young man kept probing and questioning. He would not let it alone. "Twenty-dollar bills just don't get up and walk away! Surely you must have seen it!" There was subtle accusation in his voice. Tempers began to rise. Resentment set in. Before long, a deep and bitter gap divided the young men. They refused to speak.

They finally decided they could no longer work together and a dividing wall was built down the center of the store. For twenty years hostility and bitterness grew, spreading to their families and to the community.

Then one day a man in an automobile licensed in another state stopped in front of the store. He walked in and asked the clerk, "How long have you been here?" The clerk replied that he'd been there all his life. The customer said, "I must share something with you. Twenty years ago I was 'riding the rails' and came into this town in a boxcar.

I hadn't eaten for three days. I came into this store from the back door and saw a twenty-dollar bill on the cash register. I put it in my pocket and walked out. All these years I haven't been able to forget that. I know it wasn't much money, but I had to come back and ask for forgiveness."

The stranger was amazed to see tears well up in the eyes of this middle-aged man. "Would you please go next door and tell that same story to the man in the store,"  he said. Then the man was even more amazed to see two middle aged men, who looked very much alike, embracing each other and weeping together in the front of the store.

After twenty years, the brokenness was mended. The wall of resentment that divided them came down.

Lesson to learn from the story: It is so often little things, like resentments that finally divide people. And the solution, of course, is to let them go. There is really nothing particularly profound about it. But for harmonious, fulfilling and lasting relationship, letting them go is a must.

When we refuse to carry around bitterness, we may be surprised at how much energy we have left for building bonds with those we love.

By Tim Pedrosa

Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.-Joan Lunden