One of the more popular sayings I can recall when I made my first big life change was never allow anyone to rent space in your head. The idea is to not harbor resentments, which I get and which I have done because after all I am human and I understand what it’s like to be angry or upset about someone or something. But more than this are the other categories that come to mind when allowing people to rent space in your head.
There are lengthy conversations that take place in the mind in preparation for conversations yet to come or. Additionally, there are lengthy conversations in the mind in preparation for conversations that will never exist. These conversations are based upon assumed reactions and personal fears and biases. They also stem from past, unresolved ideas and tensions that continue to play in our memory.
Basically, this is the porcelain body of the ego, afraid something might slip by and crack the sides, to affect the vanity, exposing imperfections, and leaving behind the fearful vulnerability of humiliation. I get that it sounds a bit dramatic but dramatic or not, it’s still true.
And I agree, not everything is so tragic or devastating; however, ego is the resentment capital of our own little world.
This is where we store the data and the mental tapes and the dialogue of the people that have upset us or imposed upon our lives in some way, shape, or form.
These are the mental files that slow down our personal server when in fact, the truth is yesterday and all of our past is absolutely unalterable. Holding resentments and holding onto past violations, reliving old arguments, and attempting to re-litigate things beyond our control is draining.
I am not sure how this came to be. I understand the need to be liked. I understand the need to feel wanted and desired.
More than anything, I understand the need to feel included and invited because I understand the opposite of feeling of being unwanted, undesirable, unincluded, and uninvited.
The truth is these things are hurtful; however, the preoccupation of others and their opinions is truly useless and counterproductive.
I bring this back to the porcelain body of ego, —always afraid to take on more cracks to the façade, afraid someone might pass through ant not see us as perfect, afraid of being less than, not being enough, not being regarded, respected, being vulnerable, and afraid that of all things, the ego is afraid of being exposed for not being “Enough.”
The fear of not being enough: not strong enough, good enough, wanted enough, attractive, shaped well, valued enough, important enough, included enough and to be exposed as lacking and simply inefficient, insufficient, and vulnerably weak. This is the tormenting fear of not being “Enough.”
I know these ideas sound a bit too much but the truth is this is ego and this is where resentment comes from. Otherwise we wouldn’t care.
This comes from our interpretation and internalization of others and our surroundings. Resentments can be influenced by the deception of our perception —and I say this because resentment is not the same as justifiable emotion. There is such a thing as understandable emotion; however, if we hold this and if we allow this to destroy our path then we are facing the inward problems of resentful thinking. This is why we need to derail this train of thought; otherwise, we suffer the consequences.
Resentment is the thing that influences our personal operation. This is the thing that makes people cut their nose off to spite their face. Resentment is the thing that distracts people from their focus.
I think back to the example we spoke about a few months ago. We talked about this in one of my empowerment classes at the jail as well as another of my classes called Breakfast with Benny.
We are not built to be at full speed all the time, which is obvious. Everyone had their breaking point.
However, imagine a deer in the woods. The deer is eating, doing its thing, when suddenly the deer is alarmed by a sound.
The deer runs away as fast as the deer can run until it finds a place of safety and then the animal appears to forget what just happened and goes back to do whatever it is that a deer would do.
This has to be the case for the deer; otherwise, the deer would never stop running or hiding. The deer would never stop to eat, in fear of something will hurt the deer or worse, kill it.
Think about a little rabbit in the woods. It hops along and finds food. When something triggers the fear; the rabbit runs away to safety and then goes back to eating and doing whatever it is that rabbits do.
However, we as the dominant species are a bit different. We harbor our fears and we keep them with us. This is where the resentful mind and where depressive thinking tends to keep running, making it hard for us to stop or rest.
Our bodies are built to endure but we cannot endure life in constant flight mode. This steals from our ability. This robs us of other opportunity. More importantly, this way of thinking takes away our personal rights to the pursuit of happiness.
How can anyone ever be happy in the constant flight of worry or resentment?
How can one enjoy the moment when their mind is working in too many directions, focused on other people and their opinions?
Resentment is the weed that suffocates happiness. This leads to the cycle of more: as in more regret, more shame, more fear, anger, and more unresolved tensions—because after all, resentments are simply an unresolved tension of a past or current occurrence, which is based upon our interpretation.
It has become clear to me that at our best, we are less concerned about the thoughts and opinions of others. In moments of weakness; however, we are susceptible to the weakness of this consideration.
For example, if I just hit the lottery and someone told me I was literally the ugliest human being that they had ever seen, would I be upset about this or would I be counting my millions?
Truth is no one wants to be ugly but I would probably be counting my millions.
Of course, I would.
The item here is the money because money is associated with worth and status; therefore, in the case with no money or the lack thereof, I would have probably taken the insult to heart, which means the focus is really on worth.
What this really means is resentment stems from self and self-worth.
Our fears of being unliked or unwanted are based upon the way we see ourselves; however, since this is so then it would also be so that once we begin to take care of ourselves and create our healthy routine —our self-esteem will improve and the fears of our porcelain ego will be less intrusive because we know that we are better than an outside opinion.
I understand depression. This is what happens when we are like the deer or the rabbit, always running, and never finding a place of safety. Our minds are not built for this kind of tension.
However, once we learn to take care of ourselves and separate us from irrational fears and irrational dangers, and once we begin to focus on rational thought, at last, we can finally rest and focus on the life we want to have.
It’s really just that simple.
But yet, at the same times, it’s really not so easy either.
(Until we learn.)