Holding onto a grudge makes enough sense when we consider the plentitude of life circumstances which can cause us pain. Betrayal, disappointment, abandonment, neglect, hurt- these emotional experiences are some of the worst in life we can encounter. Tragically, most of us will encounter them in our lifetime. Some of us will encounter emotional hurt more than others.
Whether we are hurt once or hurt dozens of times, it is part of our human nature to want to protect ourselves against future hurt. We learn, quickly, how to trust and how to not trust. We also learn how to be vulnerable and how to not be vulnerable. Coming to treatment as a man who has lived with active addiction, we are typically cut off from our vulnerability. At once, our experiences with addiction and our life experiences have jaded us, hardened us, numbed us to our emotions, or disconnected us from them entirely. One of the many ways we safeguard ourselves from future hurt and exploitation is by copping a resentment toward people, places, and things. Unfortunately, though we feel resentments are working in our favor, they are working against our favor because they are working against us. From Buddha’s ancient wisdom to the insight of modern celebrities, resentments have been referred to as a poison- one meant for enemies but consumed by us instead. Resentments might better be described as poison we hope will consume others which actually consume us.
As men in recovery, we learn about the numerous ways we’ve introduced toxicity into our bodies and our lives through our addictions, as well as our other damaging behaviors. Resentments are one of the ways we’ve held on to what causes us pain regardless of our knowledge that letting go will help us heal. Through the treatment and therapy process, we learn how to let go of our resentments. By letting go, we really move through. We learn that we have to feel the pain in order to let go of the pain which has inspired our resentments for so many years. Through the pain is intimidating, the relief is nearly instantaneous. Right down to a molecular level, we release stress and inflammation we’ve so willingly, so seemingly necessarily, held onto for many years. There is no one way to let go of a resentment, however, there is a way to let them go.
Find the willingness to heal and you’ll find the willingness to forgive.
Tree House Recovery offers men’s addiction treatment programs in Portland, Oregon. Call us today for information on our transformational programs helping men find freedom from addiction: (855) 969-5181