Articles

Resentment Makes for an Uncomfortable Bedfellow

Look closely and you’ll see two of my favorite things.

Bed.
Book.

A book bed.

Who knew?

Awhile back I wrote about the science of sleep and one of the facts listed in the text is one most people already know but don’t want to make happen in their own household.

People sleep better alone.

Kids and adults alike sleep longer and more deeply when they sleep solo.

I can attest to this fact.

And really, it only makes sense. No matter how tired you are and how quickly you fall sleep once your head hits the pillow…being awakened in the middle of the night can transform the sweetest among us into a grumpy hot mess if we’ve been awakened countless times by someone’s snoring, moving, or worst of all…stealing the blankets.

Sharing a bed can make people resentful.

So can remembering an offense.
Rehearsing a wrong.
Nursing a grudge.
Dwelling on a hurtful word.
Remembering the feeling of being slighted.
Counting on someone who didn’t come through.

Let’s be honest…we’ve all been there, done that.

Every one of us has been wronged and has wronged others.

Welcome to the human race.

But what not everyone realizes is freedom from resentment is a solo endeavor.

Whenever we hold an offense, a wrong, a slight, or a hurtful word against another person, it’s our choice alone to cling to resentfulness.

Sure, it’s true that it takes two people to reconcile because real forgiveness involves an exchange between individuals.

I admit my wrongdoing.
You forgive me.
Vice versa.

But in the real world, reconciliation doesn’t always happen, which leaves us wondering what to do with our desire put the past to sleep for good.

One word.

Minister.

No, not the type that stands before a congregation of people on a Sunday morning.

Minister as in I make it my mission to put aside what I want from you (respect, appreciation, gratitude) and instead, focus on giving you what you want and need most.

Unlike the exchange that happens in a moment of forgiveness and reconciliation (which is always optimal) it only takes me (or you) to begin ministering to the people who’ve let us down.

And the resentment we clung to so tightly (like our favorite pillow and blankets), well, it just floats away…all dreamy-like. It does.

There’s freedom in telling resentment to take a hike (and it does wonders for sleeping soundly too.)

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