Post number 21 of 33 in The Ganymede Progression.

Resentment is something which many of us find instinctive. It can be hard to let go of things which affected us personally, which hurt and which caused changes in our lives. Resentment can lead us into unhealthy modes of thought; obsession is a flavour of resentment, resenting that which we don’t have (or that which we do).

To resent something is to feel negatively about its place in our life. The challenge for Jedi is, our paths are what we have. They are what we need. They are everything in our lives. The bad stuff can certainly be good, if viewed from a different perspective. For example, is the flat tyre a major annoyance, or an opportunity to learn about fixing one’s own car? Is the divorce a crushing defeat of our expectations, or an opportunity to go out and find something better? Resentment says the former, in both cases.

Resentment has affected my path many times, but today I feel that it has largely loosened its grip on me. I need some more work in certain areas, but the reality is, what happened to me led me here, and today, I am fine. I am bruised and dented, but wiser.

It’s interesting to watch the odd flavours of resentment in others which they characterise as resentment in me. For example I get the impression my wife feels I resent her new boyfriend, because I had some concerns around him meeting our children. What she considered resentful in my actions was actually driven by a healthy concern for the welfare of my kids. It was her resentment of me, her belief I did not wish her to be happy which created the spectre of resentment in me.

In fact, I left my wife. I am happy in a new relationship and I want nothing more than for her to be happy and my kids to be safe. Is that a resentful position? Thinking further on this I allow this man to stay in a house I co-own rent free. I let him spend time I could otherwise be spending with my children, because I value his relationship with them. I do a lot to promote and facilitate his relationship with my ex.

I find this a lot in my life, and watching the lives of others: time and again, it is the person who is unable to let go who blames the other for holding on. The other is not necessarily holding on; the one who harbours resentment necessarily is. In most people this is an expression of their lack of self-awareness. They are not, after all, Jedi. I do not expect the same standard of character from someone who has not sworn to our path, and that I suppose is the burden of the Jedi: to see the best in others, even as they perceive the worst in you (the worst they can imagine, not even the worst they actually find).

Did I say “burden”? This is another resentful statement, and it does not reflect my true feelings here! That’s another problem, language is subjective, personal. The person who resents will read the statement “I hope you’re happy!” as sarcasm, whereas the (comparatively) objective observer would find only a positive affirmation of another’s emotional well-being. The “burden” in this case is being free from the resentful illusions which cloud and obscure the reality of our situations. To lose one’s resentment at the expense of having to be around resentful people can certainly be painful, but it is authentic. It allows one to see things for what they are, including the way others “use” us in their resentful attitudes. We become the figures of blame for the deficiencies in others, in other words.

There’s a piece of advice for those with anxiety, which goes something like “Don’t worry what people are thinking about you – chances are, they aren’t”. Resentment speaks to a degree of selfishness or perhaps narcissism Jedi are wise to avoid. The idea things are done “to spite you” implies a kind of egocentric view that the behaviour of others revolves around you, when in reality the behaviour of others often revolves around them, or their loved ones, or those they seek to support. As such, it’s important to work from a position of genuine humility, in understanding that our ego and the go of others are but two aspects of the overarching unity.

What is more Jedi than accepting that the Other is the same as ourselves. Does the left hand resent the right? I don’t feel that makes any sense. Even if it’s hard, even if it doesn’t come easily, it is our place to drive down to the understanding that resentment is illusion; it gets us nowhere. It leads down a blind alley.

“For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”