Resolving An Issue

Resentment is a strong negative emotion
that you experience when you remember or recall an incident from the past that caused an emotional pain at the time, which has never been resolved. Upon recalling the event, the body generates an emotion that can be described as anger or a feeling of being deeply upset. This emotion is a stress response and is alleviated when resolving an issue.

Resolving an issue that harbors resentments is the subject of this article, not clinging to them and leaving the fires burning!

Some people recall an event so vividly that it is almost as though the event is reoccurring. Certainly the emotion that is generated is real, resulting in the memory of the event being re-experienced as if it were happening in the present tense. This is because the picture in the brain, whether a memory or current reality, will cause the body to have a stress response, and this is what is experienced as the emotion.

When an upsetting event has been resolved, it can be recalled to mind later without the body generating the same strong emotion. You might remember the incident well, and remember that you were upset or angry about it at the time, but your body does not feel that emotion now. This means that the matter has been resolved and you have moved on. Good. For your continued emotional health and well-being, this is how it should be – resolving resentments as your experience them. If the event is not happening now, it is not present tense. Things only happen in the present tense. Anything that is stored in the brain as a memory is a fantasy; it is not reality.

In other words, resentments are fantasies that continue to cause us pain and make us suffer. It is common for a person to dwell on resentments and continue his/her own suffering. If you are feeling the pain of an old hurt, it is you and only you who is continuing the pain, because you are continuing to think of it. Even after the “sorrys” have been said and the behavior of a loved one has changed, the memory of a past deed can keep the pain alive. But you are doing it to yourself, not the other person. You are not resolving resentments but storing them up!

If, however, an emotional pain keeps reoccurring in the present tense (for example, you repeatedly feel put down), there is a possibility that you may experience a physical reaction of traumatic proportions, that is, a whole body reaction – nausea, quivering, and a need to run away.

This is a Post Traumatic Stress Response, and is the reason you may withdraw and remain silent and not engage in the relationship. A person will do anything to avoid such a hideous and painful response. You can become “allergic” to another person, when even the thought of that person or the mention of his/her name, can produce in you an intense physical response. This can result in a bewildering aversion to a person that you at one stage felt close to.

Understandably this is not a healthy situation to find yourself in, and often medical or counselling help is required to settle such a reaction.