ISSUE 98   ISSN 1712-468

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Carrie Fisher
Author and Actor

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This Week´s Inspiration

Nothing Good Comes from Bitterness or Resentment

Bitterness Distasteful or distressing to the mind, marked by intensity or severity; being relentlessly determined; exhibiting intense animosity; harshly reproachful; intensely unpleasant especially in coldness or rawness; expressive of severe pain, grief, or regret


A feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury

Some of us can say our relationship is killing us - literally. 

The person who suffers most when he or she harbors bitterness and resentment is the person stuck in that mindset. In a recent study of heterosexual marriages, it was found that in relationships containing bitterness and resentment, the lifespan of the man was shortened by 4 to 8 years. 

It has also been proven that a bitter, resentful attitude negatively affects our immune system and increases our illness levels. Studies are now linking cancer, heart disease, and strokes to our mindset. Not only is our health at all levels negatively affected, the emotional roadblock hinders the positive possibilities that are available to us.

No matter what has happened to you or at whose hand, harboring resentment has absolutely no benefit for you! Letting go of resentment does not mean you condone the action. You simply decide not to allow the event or person to continue to negatively affect you. 

In fact, we should be thankful for every traumatic experience because it always contains a lesson to be learned or a hidden gift. Even when we are in a difficult situation, we must focus on what we need to change to rise above the trauma. 

Five years ago, I and several friends were scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by a con artist. I admit I had to fight off my desire to be bitter and resentful. If I had not let those feelings go, however, not only would that thief have stolen my life savings, he would have had control over my future, as well. 

What I learned from the experience is that I can be conned only if I let my greed get ahead of my wisdom. I had to take responsibility for not checking out the deal more closely and for not listening to my gut, which was doubtful right from the start. I am thankful for the magnitude of that stressful event because that’s what it took to get me to change my approach. The loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars really got my attention.

Some of you are bitter toward family, relatives, former spouses, coworkers, teachers, and friends who have let you down. How is that bitterness serving you? Unless righteous indignation is your goal, bitterness is never beneficial

Each heart knows its own bitterness. 

Proverbs 14:10

If you have bitterness and resentment left anywhere in your mind or your heart, I want to encourage you to take the steps to let it all go. Regardless of the gruesome details of your story, you can make a simple choice to move on. To fully claim what life has to offer you today and in the future, you must release your bitterness. 

And, I want you to search for what you have learned or what you have become as a result of that event. 

Your character is the sum total of all your life experiences and how you have chosen to respond to them—and to grow from them.

To support you on your journey to building a strong character, start by knowing your gifts, talents, and strengths. My Source Experience Journal (TM) will greatly assist you. As part of the process, we also recommend the following assessments, to give you the complete picture.

This Week´s Action Steps

Nothing Good Can Come from Bitterness or Resentment

  1. Do you harbor bitterness or resentment toward anyone or anything? If you do, please list them.
  2. Consider each item on your list. Determine what you must do to completely release your emotion around each item.
  3. Reflect on your entire list. From each person or event, what lesson have you learned and/or how have you improved as a person? Write your positive results beside each of the items in your first list.
  4. Review each item on your list and frame it in a mindset of thankfulness. 
  5. Release all feelings of regret, remorse, or resentment toward yourself. 
  6. Now look toward the future with a clean slate, free of the feelings of bitterness and resentment. When you get into that frame of mind, you will feel better.
  7. Who in your circle of influence can you encourage to release bitterness and move on? Make that list now.
  8. Is a bitter or resentful individual part of your inner circle? Let that person go or reduce your connections to him or her. If the person is your life partner, leaving is not your only option. Reframe your thoughts to feel thankful for the ongoing lessons you are receiving.
  9. Make sure you are living on purpose. Individuals without purpose or direction often lean toward feelings of bitterness and resentment because they seem to have less to be thankful for. Use My Source Journal Experience(TM)to start you on the right track.
  10. Know yourself. Understand your primary needs and preferences, then build a life around them. Use the Personal Style Indicator, Stress Indicator and Health Planner, Self-Worth Inventory,and Values Preference Indicator to help you with these Action Steps.
  11. Be an example of how a person can turn any situation or event to his or her benefit by letting go of all bitterness or resentment. 

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!.

Ken Keis

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