Stress-Proof Life: Squash the Resentment Bug

by Daniel J Schwarzhoff

Artwork by Kristen Schwarzhoff / See

Think you're gonna sail through this day all sunshine and rainbows? Think again.

Stress. It's everywhere—sneaking up in traffic jams, buzzing in your inbox, hiding in the spilled coffee you just stepped in, news, politics, text message arguments. You can't escape it, like gravity for your emotions—a ubiquitous, invisible force, the presence of which cannot be denied or escape.

Even when things seem fine, an insidious force lurks—an undercurrent of resentment. You feel its pull in disappointment, getting upset over big things or little things, real or pretend, all of it is like a slow poison.

It seeps into the core of your being and warps your perspective. It can turn that idyllic relationship with someone into a battlefield of imagined slights. It makes you do and say things that you would never do or say had you been free of anger and unrecognized resentment.

It's All Around Us.

You find it through news reports, in relationships, and even how your neighbor parks his car. And it has a purpose—to penetrate and infect you, to turn you into a bitter puppet serving the Source of all resentment, the origin of all hate.

But here's the thing: You don't have to be Its host. You have a choice. You have access to the solution—the firewall that protects again the malware of resentment.

This is what our existence is all about.

The quality of your life, the relationships you build, and the contribution you make during your time here hinge on whether or not you recognize the power and wickedness of resentment and whether or not anger gets inside you to rule and ruin your world—our world.

Can You Rise Above It?

There is an counterpoison to the venom of resentment, the not-so-secret secret-weapon in your emotional arsenal. All of us have the potential to accept this solution. Some of us even exercise it, carrying it into all our affairs. Will you be one?

The way to access that potential is by dropping hate, getting free of anger and losing fear.

Now, some might say, "Hey, I'm not hateful! I don't get angry much, and fear isn't a big deal." But then they might also admit, "Okay, I'm human, I get mad sometimes, but I move on."

But here's the catch. And it's a doozy! Even those occasional bursts of anger will hold you back. The goal isn't to stuff emotions, trying to manage anger or rechanneling hostile feelings. The solution comes instead through resilience and developing immunity.

Think of it this way. Anger is like a weed. You may think an occasional weed won't hurt. But if you let it grow unchecked, it takes over and chokes out the good stuff.

Ultimately, we are meant to reach perfection. But that takes getting free of anger now, in this lifetime. Not managing it, but having it cast out of us. That's supposed to happen. And life can be bumpy and wonderful getting to it.

How To Get Free

Getting free of anger is astonishingly simple. First, notice any temptation to become angry as it crops up. Realize that just seeing it doesn't automatically mean it has overtaken you.

Ignore the inner judge that whispers, "There you go again, you're angry! You're bad." It lies. It wants you to concede to the resentfulness instigating the emotion. Vigilance contains your shield of protection.

But what if resentment does manage to slip inside, and anger arises? Know that it isn't your anger. It isn't you judging, playing God. It's something inside you. Simply acknowledge its presence, and don't engage.

And if you feel the emotional charge gurgling up inside, remember, you can't push it away through the standard distractions, like physical exercise, sharing your feelings, or any other means either. Those feel-good activities are coverups.

Even though you may feel relief, a dark emotional energy still lingers within, wreaking havoc on the body and brain, short-circuiting your ability to live happily whole and at peace.

Instead, simply become an observer. Watch anger like a curious scientist studying a fascinating phenomenon. And as you simply watch, abandoning contemplation, you'll find that anger begins to dissipate until it is gone. It isn't suppressed, but is completely annihilated.

Non-Contemplative Meditation fosters this connection with your Creator, as you realize that you are not defined by the Ego entity within nor limited by Its sick illusion of becoming God.

Instead, you cultivate conscious awarenes. And with that you come to realize you are not God, that only He is, resulting a cessation of struggle and astonishing resilience to stress. And anger just will not arise within you.

We aren't supposed to live with any anger in us at all. And if you practice as I just described, you will master resentment and be free of it.