A while back I found myself in a not-so-happy place for a few days. My work at my counseling job was extra stressful, I had multiple things at home that needed to be done that weren't and my boyfriend and I weren't quite understanding each other with certain things.
For the most part, this wasn't really bothering me that much until a few situations at work happened and I found myself in argument with my boyfriend. It was then that I found myself all pent up with anger and resentment towards my boyfriend and certain people for several days. I just couldn't find a way to shake it.
It was kind of a weird experience for me, as this was the first time in a long time that I found myself stuck in a state of resentment. I had been discussing conflicts in my personal and professional life as they arose in therapy for a few months. Though I would feel hurt, I was always somehow able to let it go.
But this time, resentment was totally there and nothing was shaking it. I was mad -- and there was a part of me that was determined to not let it go without hearing a very sincere apology from a few people.
After about a day or so, I realized that, realistically, I was never going to get a full apology. And, despite this realization, my resentment was still there. If anything it made me even more angry.
As a result, I turned to meditation. It had been treating me well for my overall well-being, and though I wasn't sure how it was really going to help me with this whole resentment thing, I figured I'd try it out.
That late morning, I looked on my phone and dug out a guided meditation that was focused on forgiveness. The meditation involved envisioning the person that you want to forgive and then stating the intention in your mind multiple times that you are willing to forgive them and release them from your resentments. The meditation then concluded with envisioning yourself and the person being engulfed by this white light of love.
So I sat down, put in my earbuds, and started the guided meditation. I went through the visualizations and started reciting the intentions to forgive in my mind multiple times.
As I was doing the guided meditation I found myself still completely engulfed in feelings of resentment. Thoughts of "Agh that jerk was so mean" and "How can I ever forgive them?" ran through my mind. This all then followed up with a thought of "How can this meditation possibly be working if I'm still feeling this resentful and angry while doing the meditation? I really don't see how this is going to work."
When the meditation ended I didn't even think about it again -- my meditation experience, the people that angered me, and the things I was resentful for. I just dropped it all right there and got back to doing what I had been doing before I meditated.
Later that afternoon I found myself with several pleasant surprises. My counseling clients were surprisingly upbeat, happy and enjoying life -- which, for some, was the total opposite of how they normally were in our sessions. My co-workers were all pleasant and not even remotely stressed, through my perception.
And, finally, when I saw my boyfriend we hugged each other and talked as if no conflicts had ever happened between us in the past few days. We were both open, compassionate, and loving toward each other.
It was then that I stopped for a moment and checked in with myself. I felt no resentment at all -- Nadda! Zilch!
I was happy, content, peaceful, and open to receiving and experiencing love. Somehow -- without any logical explanation whatsoever -- the meditation worked!
Whenever the words "forgiveness" or "letting go" comes up, we often think of it as being such a difficult and challenging thing. "I don't know how to do that" or "That's hard to do" are often thoughts that come in our minds.
But the truth is, forgiveness doesn't have to be complicated -- nor does releasing our anger and resentments have to be complicated. What it ultimately boils down to is our willingness release it and heal.
We are able to forgive and open ourselves to love when we make the intention to forgive, let it go, and heal.
It is through our intention -- not our thought processes -- that healing can occur.
The reason many of us can find ourselves struggling to forgive is because we get all caught up in our mind chatter or ego. We keep the recording of all the bad things someone did to us playing in our minds on repeat. All the things they said, all the things they did, and how they didn't make us happy because of X.
This mind chatter keeps us in a place of suffering and it makes us think that forgiveness has to be long and difficult process -- but doesn't have to be. All we have to do is to have the intention and willingness to truly forgive. Once we make the intention and are open and willing, the rest will take care of itself.
So if you are struggling to forgive someone and let go, simply make the intention despite all that mind chatter. Then trust that through that intention you will be freed of your resentments and opened up to love.
In the comments below, share with me one person that you are feeling resentful towards. Then make the intention to let it go!
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com. She helps women worldwide create fulfilling relationships with both themselves and others so they can live happy and joyful lives. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.