Resentment may play an important role in fueling an addiction or as a potential trigger for relapse. It may have even been somebody’s resentments towards themselves or another that began their substance abuse as a way of numbing these negative emotions. Healing these deep-seated feelings of resentment is crucial because resentment can sneak up on you, fester and ultimately be a big roadblock to success in long-term sobriety. As difficult as it is to look at the resentment you hold and unpack it with honesty, it is worth the commitment to heal your past and free yourself from the grips of resentment.
As someone in recovery, it’s important to recognize resentment as the addictive mindset that it is. Resentment holds within it desires of changing the past and reliving old dramas that don’t allow you to move on from past experiences. Learn that resentment only fuels feelings of entitlement and gives false feelings of strength that only deceive you and potentially fuel your addiction. Instead, lean into your true strengths and wisdom and feel empowered by them.
What’s the Key to Releasing Resentment? Forgiveness.
Free of resentment, you can live a life of emotional freedom. The primary way to let go of resentment is by practicing forgiveness. Whether it’s sending forgiveness to yourself, others, or both, realize that we were all doing the best we could at the time given the emotional burdens we were carrying. It’s important to also check our expectations that we had on ourselves or others and evaluate how reasonable they were and how they may have contributed to feeling resentful. Sometimes others hurt us without reason and being hurt is justified; however, failing to forgive them will only hurt us in the end.
Also, if we learn to take responsibility for our own needs and not outsource them to others, we can shield ourselves from being wounded again in the future. Since others don’t know what our exact needs are without proper communication on our end, we can either learn to be better communicators or become more responsible for our feelings. For us to release ourselves from our feelings of resentment, we need to work to better understand the motives of ourselves or others and why we felt resentful in the situation. Then, practice forgiveness by setting daily intentions to release resentment and forgive ourselves and/or others.
The Next Step: Compassion.
Cultivating forgiveness goes hand in hand with practicing compassion. Realize that all of us are just trying to feel safe, loved, and joyful each day and we may not always be trying to bring these feelings to others since we are busy focusing on our own needs. Acknowledge the part that you played and others played in your wounding and then have compassion because we all make mistakes, and that’s completely okay. Finally, find the place within yourself to see how the experience acted as a teacher for you and feel gratitude for it helping you grow.
Releasing resentment is an important step in the recovery process to be successful in remaining sober. Learning and practicing forgiveness and compassion towards yourself and others who have hurt you in the past is paramount in moving on and living a life free of resentment. Avalon Malibu is a California-licensed, mental health treatment and addiction rehab center committed to your success in recovery. We offer comprehensive treatment plans that allow you to address the many emotional levels playing into your addiction, like resentment. If you or a loved one is ready to find lasting sobriety, call us today at (844) 857-5992.