Monday, March 30, 2015

The Cost of Carrying Resentments

I have been studying a variety of modalities in my quest to rebuild my life after being in Colombia.

It has taken me several years to discover some new things, even at this age.

And a few are old ideas revisited.

About a decade ago I went to a Radical Forgiveness Ceremony in Phoenix, taught by Colin Tipping.

There I learned the importance of forgiving all those people that I had viewed as "doing me wrong," or that I wanted to blame for some negative aspect of my life. It was a huge shift for me and I made a leap forward in my personal growth.

But clearly it wasn't enough. Today in another class I was advised that failing to completely release those 'old feelings,' that a re-telling the stories of those events only perpetuates the negative energy and it sticks to you/me. There is another aspect to forgiveness and that is 'forgetness.'

So I have an assignment this month; to list all those people I forgave for something and for once and for all to release the event or memory into the cosmos so I am clear of it forever.

After my mother died, it took me four years to address and bring out a negative thing with someone that was preventing me from fully grieving her death. What a relief when it was released!

Recently I had the occasion at a family event to see a man I was married to for almost eight years. We  created two wonderful children who are now two fabulous adults.  We were able to laugh and joke and be the two individuals we needed to be for the circumstances, with a few shared memories to pass on. I hope he felt as I did, that we were a valued part of the tapestry of the woven history with nothing disagreeable to mar the joyous event.

But there are other folks in my past with whom I need to finish things and forget...maybe not forget them, but certainly forget whatever might be negative between us.

If every resentment could actually be weighed, I wonder if it would be like that albatross from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, where the psychological burden of (in this story) killing a bird of good luck becomes a curse to the sailor telling the story.
Image result for albatross
Image result for albatross
You have probably heard the expression "like an albatross around his/her neck," meaning the problem is so weighty it is a heavy burden or penance (either actually or imagined). The albatross is actually quite a large bird; it has a wing span of 11 feet! So a dead one would weigh a lot and stink, too.

So it is with resentments.

I''m working on them, and in days to come perhaps I will have some more stories to share. But probably nothing quite so dramatic as the Rime was... read it recently?

Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks

Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.


  1. and [....] sometimes I think forgiveness or its lack is not having the right information....

  2. I don't think forgiveness is an event. We have to do it again and again.

  3. I agree with both Kati and Birdie... except that the repetitive portion is something that goes on within us. I don't expect to re-forgive a person again and again. If they keep doing something that requires forgiveness, I don't think I want them in my universe.