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Resentment is familiar to most of us yet it is rarely discussed. It arises when we have given something of ourselves emotionally or materially and the giving feels like too much. Yet, we don’t like to admit feeling resentful. It seems selfish. I have something (time, energy, money) and someone else is in need. I want to help. I want to do the right thing. What does it say about me when I feel resentful? Even when we get angry and blow up, we don’t like to admit to this emotion.

Isn’t this the way with all of us? We want to be kind and generous. We want to ‘take the high road’. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes we are left wondering about the right or wrong of an action. And sometimes we believe we did the right thing but resent the consequences of our choice.


What Does Resentment Sound Like?

The kind of resentment I’m referring to sounds something like this,

“I love my sister but I’m tired of babysitting her kids.”

“My friend keeps borrowing money and never pays it back.”

“Why should I have to fund my step kids’ college?”

“I clean, shop, and take my mother everywhere. I’m just exhausted.”

“If I don’t pay his rent he’ll be homeless.”

I could continue for pages with the grievances I’ve heard in just the last few months. There is no need for such a list. We can each recall the grievances that weigh us down.

Resentment comes from beliefs with boundaries that crowd us out of our own lives. Beliefs like,


“She’s my mother, I have to do it.”

“She can’t afford a babysitter.”

“If I don’t do it, no one will.”

“They have to go to college.”

“I can’t let my brother be homeless.”

And the biggie: “I want to do the right thing (for them/him/her).”

Beliefs like these trap us in thinking that unless we come through, the job won’t get done and the job has to get done. It is the right thing. But the beliefs are false. It is always false to do something because you want to help (him/her/them). And it is equally false to do something because you want to do the right thing (for him/her/them).

We cannot know what is really helpful or right for another person. What appears to be helpful may cause harm. If we are truthful, we don’t know what is best for ourselves much less for the rest of the world. If we don’t make something happen, the outcome may prove better without our having intervened.

How To Turn Resentment Into A Tool You Can Use

Resentment is a bell-weather and a good friend. It signals that something is out of integrity for us. It may not be what we are doing so much as what we are not doing, not speaking, or not acknowledging for ourselves.


That is, when I take any action, it must be the right action according to my integrity. If it is in accord with that, there will be no resentment. For example, if I pay my brother’s rent yet resent doing so, then some aspect of my choice needs examination. Is it my brother’s cavalier inability to live within his means? Does it compromise caring for my own family? Am I abetting his alcoholism? Is it simply my ego worried about money?

Understanding the real source of my grievance allows me to take appropriate action or to see the situation in a new and truer light. Appropriate action may mean a conversation, a deadline, dealing with my co-dependency, letting go of my addiction to a big bank account, or just spending some of my time and money on myself as well as my brother.


Whether the matter involves a spouse, mother, brother, or friend, we must do what-we-do for ourselves, according to our integrity. If I help an aging parent to the point of my exhaustion and compromised health, then something is out of balance regardless of my beliefs about family responsibility.

On the other hand, if I take my step kids’ on vacation even though they are ungrateful and difficult but recognize my convictions and commitment to family, then the challenge and frustration will call on me to do my best. If I don’t realize my true motivation, difficult children are a short path to feeling aggrieved.


I do it for me and not for you. It seems like the height of a selfish attitude. It is instead the path to a peaceful spirit.

Many years ago I got divorced when I realized I was staying in the relationship to meet my parents’ expectations. My resentment of them for their religious beliefs about marriage would have made me a bitter woman. Instead, my divorce was not only right for me and my ex, it also let the love flow joyfully between my parents and me.

We let go of resentment when we see situations rightly, not because we forgive some violation against us. The possibility is to give and be joyful in giving or to say no and be at peace with the rightness of that. To get there we must be willing to examine ourselves. Every grievance hides a miracle of self-awareness and understanding that can lead to new behavior and greater happiness.


If you wish to meet a professional energy healing practitioner in Scottsdale, Dr. Sandra Egli, call (480) 860-0400 today or book an appointment online.


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Meditation: Sandra Egli
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The wisdom of a thousand generations guides you today. Only listen. Without a sound their voices reverberate in your cells. Settle within and choose your path.

All of us come from strength, fortitude, perseverance. No matter how difficult their lives, our ancestors made it through and passed on life for the next generation. Over and over, until it came to you. The intelligence that guided them has also come to you.

To Thine own Self be true.

If I could present you with a single blessing, it would be the gift of Mindfulness. Awareness of yourself: body, emotions, and self-talk, all the time. Our immediate experience is the ultimate exploration that only grows richer with time. What we do or don't do, and the roots of our behavior, are accessible with the simple practice of noticing immediate experience. It is this practice that makes it possible to know and be true to ourselves.


Sandra's graceful way of listening & non-judgmental demeanor allowed me to open up effortlessly. I was certain, as I left her office, that I had received precisely the healing I needed.

Female client, age 44
Phoenix, Arizona