Do you feel let down, or envious of other people who had a childhood that seemed to be much happier than yours? Are you angry? Do you want revenge on the person or persons that hurt you? These are all responses to the three R’s: Resentment, Resistance, and Revenge.
The three R’s is one of my favorite topics. Not only does it apply to the experience of abuse, and where you may be now, but once you start to learn and recognize it, you’ll see it show up in your life in many different places. It’s just human nature. Let’s talk about it from the standpoint of experiencing abuse.
Stage 1 – RESISTANCE
The second stage of the three R’s is RESISTANCE. Simply put, you are resisting “what-is” or “what happened”. In other words, the abuse happened. You cannot change it. You cannot snap your fingers and pretend it never happened. You can’t ignore it – because it happened! Sometimes we want to resist what “is” (or was), and there’s a phrase that represents resistance perfectly: “What you resist…persists.”
When you resist, it means you’re unwilling to accept what is, wish it was different, or never happened at all. It’s a cycle of going back to that place, that circumstance or that experience, asking why you because you don’t want to accept it happened. You wish it was different. Our brains want to tell us: “If I accept it, (what happened to me) then it’s okay”. In fact, that is not the case at all!
When you’re in RESISTANCE, it may show up as anger, crying, depression, anxiety, or shutting down. The pain persists because you are resistant to accepting “what is.” When you accept what happened, you accept that “it happened”, NOT that it was okay. When you accept what happened, you are now able to move forward and begin to heal.
When I was going through this process of healing, I would be angry, and then I would cry, and then I would be angry again, and then I would cry. I would blame someone and say to myself: I’m broken. I don’t deserve a healthy relationship. The abuse ruined my life. Life will just be what it is and will never be good. I was miserable, stuck and unable to leave the past behind. That was me resisting what is (or was) So digest that. What you resist, WILL persist. Let it go before you start traveling the road to all consuming resentment.
Stage 2 – RESENTMENT
You resent you were abused and believe it ruined your life. You have resentment for your cheating spouse. You continually blame the negative experience for why you are struggling today and why you feel so angry and let down. Maybe you feel envious of others who didn’t experience this type of pain (why me)? We often want to blame the experience or the person for the pain we hold on to today. But who is really hurting by hanging on? it’s you. The resentment is consuming your thoughts. Resentment might even be making you sick.
This is RESENTMENT. It is blaming someone for what happened in the past for your present results in life, how you feel and how you show up today. Resentment results in recurring negative feelings that do not serve you. In fact, they hold your healing back. Learning to let go of resentment and the feelings of anger, frustration, and bitterness will set you free.
Stage 3 – REVENGE
You want payback. The person who did this to me should pay! The person who didn’t support me should pay! Somebody needs to pay for my pain! Revenge doesn’t give you peace. Revenge doesn’t bring you joy. Revenge doesn’t allow you to live in the present moment. Here’s the thing about revenge: the person hurting most…is YOU.
Constantly thinking about revenge keeps you in that place; that childlike place where you were scared, hurt, and angry. The very place you are trying to escape, right? Instead of moving forward, you become consumed by the what if’s. If he goes to jail, I will be free. If I wasn’t abused my life would be better. Wishing for something other than what happened keeps you in the past, instead of moving you forward into the NOW. You deserve to live with joy, love and peace. You can have it when you learn to let go.
If your desire is to truly heal, get support to overcome the past and remember the three R’s: RESENTMENT, RESISTANCE, and REVENGE. All three of these “R” phases keep you in the past, unable to accept “what-is”, and prevent you from moving forward into your healing journey.
Recognize when you are in one of the phases and make a conscious decision to step back into the present. To learn more about accepting what is and victim mentality, click here.