Question: Why is it so hard to let go of resentment of things past?
Answer: It isn't the thing, the person, the condition that holds us captive and puts us in conflict. It is our attachment to the sense of self that pondering these thoughts produces in us. There's the pain, and there's the way out. Holding on hurts. When we pick up a hot skillet, we let go immediately because the very cells in our body realize the inherent danger in this heat to their life. Letting go is natural and an act of physical intelligence in this instance. The same holds true with negative states. Our awareness of resentment permits us to "touch" the actual energy of that state, and our spiritual intelligence drops what is destructive to the soul.
In order to let go of any painful past condition - so there is never again a moment where regret, sorrow, or resentment is pulling us down - we must allow every movement, each unexpected event encountered, every thought and feeling - no matter its character - to have its own life . If we will attempt to view life from this new and higher understanding - that everything under the sun -- from thoughts to thunder -- has its own birth, life and death, then one day we will come to the relief-filled realization that the reason any part of our painful past persists is because there is something in us that won't let it die out naturally. Any lingering sadness or resentment is an unnatural life-form kept breathing by the false self's reluctance to let it go.
(Chatroom Classroom, transcript, 2001)
Question: So often I find myself consumed with resentment and self-righteousness about something or someone, yet at the same time feel miserable because I really don't want to keep thinking these thoughts. What is the way out?
Answer: You do not have to accept any inner-condition that compromises your happiness. It is never right to feel wrong no matter how right you may think you are to be feeling that way. Feeling one way and thinking another is what it means to live in conflict. Self-conflict is really the only suffering there is; therefore, self-unity is the only real solution that can snap the spell of self-suffering.
The next time you catch yourself starting to feel resentful about anything, immediately stop everything you are doing for a moment and, as simply and as honestly as you can, ask yourself: Is this what I really want? Try to see the whole self-picture as it is unfolding. You will discover that your thoughts are convinced that you must proceed in their direction of anger or revenge but you are the one who is feeling bad. These self-betraying thoughts are like a friend who invites you out to a pleasant evening at the fights and then you find yourself in the ring as the main event! You do not have to accept any condition that compromises your happiness. You can and must inwardly say to any resentful feelings, "You are not what I want!" The clearer this whole picture becomes to you - that suffering is stupid and must never be justified - the stronger your right self-assertion for self-unity will become. A whole life is a happy one. Choose to have a happy life by choosing what you really want.