and the healing power of humiliation
Resentment is an odd thing.
The more comfortable we become, the less pain we experience.
The less pain we experience, the more alarmed and uncomfortable we perceive our pain.
What’s worse, we live in an era where human suffering and pain has become medicalized and problematic.
People feel entitled to what each other have.
In a competitive place of scarcity like the NHL, there can only be one winning team and thirty two organizations who resent the winners.
These days however, people feel entitled to a pain free life.
We’re all running around with little resentment lights in our pockets.
Sure! Our mobile devices that allow us to be so connected also allow us to present our lives through carefully curated images and filters that make things look even better than reality.
We get attention for being hurt, for being in pain. Therapy school was a lot like this. It was the Victim Olympics. Whoever hurt the most and cried the most controlled the room.
These days, can sure feel like the we’re in a race to the bottom in our quest for the moral high ground and the right to feel resentment.
And at the same time, we have the added bonus of looking at how everyone else is living and wondering why our lives, presented as fake, can’t measure up to the wonder of how the others are living.
Our mobile devices and the al-go-rhythms they serve work to amplify our sense of ‘I don’t have that’. It’s basic marketing. Create a sense of a need, a sense of urgency and a sense of ‘not enough’ in a consumer then watch them spend their way away from their pain.
Resentment is basically pain without resolution.
No amount of ‘justice’ or retribution can eliminate resentment.
Instead, we love to transfer our viciousness onto other people. The deeply resentful love a bully. One only needs to turn on the news today to see evidence of this. The footage from the January 6 riots in Merica look like a bunch of people just like Bushkorn who traded their Leaf jerseys for MAGA hats.
Trump is a hero for them. He says all of the bitter, ugly resentful things they would like to say. He’s mean to people and he gets away with it. He’s vicious and gives people permission to be vicious too.
Resentment arrises when we believe that we should not be experiencing the pain that we’re in. Resentment grows when we believe that someone else caused our pain, or we shouldn’t be experiencing pain or that all of our poor fortune is someone else’s fault.
Resentment is an odd form of projection. It’s a kind of ‘I feel bad so you must be bad’ sentiment. It’s like other people become the walking talking manifestations of our unresolved grief.
Grief can be resolved by crying.
Crying can be achieved by laughing so hard it hurts.
Let’s give it a try.
In the comments, share a couple of things that burn your arse. Share a small, petty resentment - save the big ones for your shrink - and I’ll try to find a way to mock your pettiness. We escape resentment though humility. More on that soon.
Or, for a gold star, share something you resent, then make fun of yourself for resenting it.
I can lead you horses to water, but if you drown, it’s your own damn fault.