Turning Resentment Into Gratitude

Turning resentment into gratitude

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal a technique that will help you to transform resentment into thankfulness and appreciation.

First a quick update:

“How to enjoy The Holidays”
Read my article where I reveal simple steps to help you enjoy the Holidays.

Cheating – Why men, women, politicians and pastors cheat”
Read the press release on my blog with my insights into the different reasons men and women cheat and whether or not Facebook is to blame for cheating

Now, let’s talk about appreciation and gratitude, and how you can shift from resentment to thankfulness.

The dictionary defines being grateful as “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful, pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing.”

The dictionary defines appreciation as: “gratitude; thankful recognition; the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.”

Around this time of the year, Thanksgiving and The Holidays, we are encouraged to list the things for which we can be thankful.

In former newsletters, “Giving thanks” and “Appreciation” I have revealed some of the things that can block you from being able to express gratitude to the people in your life and block you from being thankful for things in your life. I identified entitlement as a block to giving thanks  and I identified fear as a block to being appreciative – the fear of giving too much power to that person in your life; afraid that if you were to express appreciation you might become vulnerable or that person might dominate or take you for granted (some people try to control others by criticizing and condemning).

However, there is another major block to appreciation and gratitude – resentment.

Resentment is “Indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance.” In other words, resentment is that bad, hostile or evil feeling towards someone whom you believe wronged you.

Resentment often comes from expectations; we expected someone to do something or not do something; to be something or to give us something.

You can read more about overcoming resentment in my newsletter from June 2010:

Resentment is the opposite of appreciation.

George is 29. He grew up in a very poor family and surroundings. His parents divorced when he was just six and he was left to look after his mother. When his father walked out, his relatives told George, who was just age six “You are now the man of the house.” Accordingly, George grew up feeling responsible for his mother’s health, happiness and wellbeing. Instead of George’s mother nurturing him, George often felt he was nurturing her. George’s mother also never dated another man after she and her husband divorced; she remained single. And yes, in many ways, George took on the role of the de facto husband – being the male friend, confidante and a tower of strength for his mother. George’s mother reminded him often of the sacrifices she made for him. George remained bitter and resentful. He resented that he had to be the man of the house and that he was never truly allowed to be a child.  (Listen to my conversation and interview with Dr. Vicki Panaccione Child Psychologist and founder of The Better Parenting Institute to learn more about the dangers of when a single mother gives to her young child the role of the man of the house)

George resented his mother for the sacrifices she made for him because he felt guilty and ashamed. Guilt is when we feel we have done something bad and shame is when we feel there is something wrong with us. George wasn’t aware that at a subconscious level he didn’t feel deserving of all that his mother had done for him, and he felt ashamed because subconsciously he believed he was innately the cause of the perceived suffering and sacrifices she had made for him – remaining single, never dating another man, not taking care of herself and “not having her own life.”

How could George possibly appreciate or be grateful for his mother when he was overcome with resentment?

While working with George, I was able to help him come to the realization that his mother made the choice to be single and devote and commit so much of her life to him; but why? The choices that George’s mother made were motivated by her love for him and her belief that George was special, valuable and deserving of all that she did for him. For George, the emotional freedom occurred when he shifted from feeling guilty for what his mother did for him to feeling worthy of what she did for him. When George realized she did it to express her love to him and not to punish him or control him or manipulate or make him feel guilty, then George shifted from resentment to appreciation for his mother. And yes, George did also forgive his mother for expecting him to play the role of “the man of the house” – the emotional father/man.

A similar thing occurred with Melanie who harbored resentment towards her mother and father for sending her away to camp for six weeks at a time every year for almost twelve years. Melanie was resentful because she felt abandoned, rejected and unloved by her parents. Subconsciously, she believed that her parents sent her away to a live-in-camp to get rid of her because they didn’t want her. Melanie also suffered from anxiety as an adult – often afraid that she would be rejected or abandoned in a relationship.

Melanie’s breakthrough occurred when I helped her at a subconscious level to realize all of the reasons why her parents “sent her away.” Yes, her parents may have wanted some time alone from all of the children so that they could devote some of their energies and time to each other and to their relationship, but they also had other motivations. Melanie’s parents wanted her to have the best experiences possible – to have adventures at a camp, to learn new skills and hobbies, to meet new friends and to have fun in summertime with friends. Melanie also had an “a-ha moment” when she realized that her parents worked extremely hard to be able to pay for such a costly experience every year for twelve years to cover a camp in another state. Thus, Melanie’s parents must have believed that she and her siblings were truly worthy and deserving of the sacrifices they made to offer the experience of summer camp every year for twelve years! Further, by helping Melanie to become aware of the positive experiences that she had – the skills she learned, the positive fun memories, and the new friends she made, Melanie was able to transform her perspective of the experience and was able to shift from resentment towards her parents for sending her away to gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices they made to express their love by giving her the wonderful experience and gift of summer camp.

Finally, the release of Melanie’s anxiety also occurred when she subconsciously realized that her initial fear and anxiety of the first time she went to camp was now over and finished (the subconscious mind replays the event and has no concept that it is finished) and; in spite of the initial anxiety, Melanie had grown to love and enjoy the annual summer camps.

When we can stop and shift our perception of many of the things that occurred in our life – things that were done or not done – we can break away from our unrealistic expectations of perfection of parents and others around us – and shift to gratitude for the good things they did – also subconsciously awakening to the fact that we are worthy, we are good enough, we are deserving of the very best. (Listen to the interview I gave to Jim Peake of MySuccessGateway.com about the Law of Deservedness)

Blessing to you and thank you for supporting me in my mission to reach and help others – and yes, that’s you!

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
www.patrickwanis.com

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