Letting Go Of Resentments to Appreciate Experiences of the Past & Life in the Present
This evening I was musing on the fact that so many of us hold onto resentments from the past that prevent us from appreciating amazing experiences. For some reason while in shavasana at the end of yoga I was reminded how grateful I am that I was able to let go of the resentments I felt towards my ex-husband so that I can now look back with fondness and celebration of the beautiful experiences we shared during our years together.
My first husband was a good man. Unfortunately, we were ultimately ill suited and made one another miserable. I did not appreciate his interests, hobbies, friends and family and tried to change him. He resented my efforts to create the ideal husband; and he was an engineer by temperament that found him working in sales -a job at which he excelled but required fortification to succeed outside his comfort zone.
When he succumbed to the disease of alcoholism I became a judgmental, fearful, manipulative, crazy shrew. At the time I did not understand that alcoholism was a disease that enveloped friends and family members of the alcoholic. I wanted to blame him for his disease and the ramifications of the disease including embarrassment, job loss, heartbreak, divorce, financial instability, misery, fear, and my mental and physical deterioration. By the time we divorced I was filled with resentment. I sang Alanis Morissette songs from “Jagged Little Pill” at the top of my voice while driving to work. “You Outta Know” was my theme song. I blamed him for all of the ills in my life.
Ultimately, through developing my spirituality through Al Anon and Doreen Virtue’s “Healing With The Angels”, I was able to discern that my happiness was in my own hands and that holding onto resentments was detrimental to me emotional, physical and psychological well being. Slowly, I worked through my angst, rebuilt my self-confidence, healed my psyche, forgave myself for my part in the debacle and let go of my resentment towards my former spouse.
By letting go of my resentments, I was able to embrace the good things from our relationship. We had a lot of laughter. We did vacations well. By virtue of our marriage I was able to experience living in Asia, learning to appreciate the beauty of the world, enjoying friendships with people I would have never otherwise met. I made lifelong friendships that have carried me through tough times. I’ve been able to look back and appreciate that my spouse was ill and did not intentionally cause me heartache.
And in accepting the blessings of my past, I am able to feel that much more gratitude and appreciation for my present. And I’ve been able to learn from my mistakes. I would no more attempt to change my current (and last) wonderful husband now than I would try to move Mt. Rushmore. And I don’t let resentments of the past color my world of today. It takes way too much work and energy to hold onto resentments and I relish relinquishing them in a quirky little ritual. But don’t knock it if it works!
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