Every week I get excited to write for HerCampus. I enjoy being able to express myself through writing and receiving positive feedback from people who read my work; it’s nice knowing that people relate to what I write about and that people even care to read about what I write.
This brings me to today’s topic. It was supposed to be about social anxiety (I’ll write about it eventually); however, I was moved by a conversation I had last week to the point where I felt compelled to switch topics. So, today’s topic is about releasing resentment.
I was sitting in my bedroom on Tuesday morning when I received a phone call from Mrs. Groves, my big’s (Sofia) mom. As you all may know through social media and by word-of-mouth, Sofia has been in the hospital for over two months now and has been a fighter. While you read this, keep her in your prayers, too.
As I talked with Mrs. Groves, she mentioned how she read my article about having an absent mother. It was an emotional conversation, but this certain phrase she said to me will stick with me forever. She said, “Savannah, people do what they can with the tools that they have. Don’t hold resentment in your heart.” Mrs. Groves continued to (as Sofia would say), “Gas me up,” and explained how I am who I am because of what has happened in my life and no matter what, I am loved.
It blew my mind, and still blows my mind, that Mrs. Groves took the time to have this conversation with me despite the obstacles her family is facing. I decided I couldn’t just sit with this conversation, rather, I had to do two things: 1) Put her words into practice in my own life and 2) Spread the wealth of knowledge with my readers.
So, here is the latter. I want to break down the phrase Mrs. Groves said to me.
“People do what they can with the tools that they have,” is the first line. Now, it is no mystery that I have said I hated people before. For their actions towards me, towards others, etc. This phrase reminds me that not everyone thinks or acts like me, and that is okay. Not everyone will love like I do, not everyone will be there for me like I am for others, and not everyone will consider my feelings like I try to. In the case of my mother, not everyone is capable of being a parent. That is okay. Breaking down the phrase made me realize I have to release the, “Why did he/she do this?” I have to release the “Don’t they care how X makes me feel?” and instead, I have to remember: not everyone has the same tools as me.
I am a flawed human being. Many people have tools far beyond me and have abilities I do not have. Mrs. Groves’ statement reminded me to celebrate my tools that I have, acknowledge the tools others have, and accept the tools I and others may not have. It is hard to push aside the actions people commit, especially when they hurt you. Yet, it is better for my growth and for my vitality to acknowledge and understand the tools others have and lack, rather than question it and resent it.
This brings me to the second part of Mrs. Groves’ statement: “Don’t hold resentment in your heart.” She is so right. When I think about my mother, who has hurt me greatly, or people who have been continuously mean to me in the past, my initial emotion is resentment. After sitting on Mrs. Groves’ words, that is not good enough. No, that is not good–period. Having resentment does nothing but hurt me. It hurts me all over again like the initial experience or person did. Who wins then? Not me. It does not make me a better person. It does not make me feel good. And if something wasn’t making me a better person or making me feel good… why do it?
Exactly. There isn’t a logical answer. So instead there will be action.
I want to actively work each day to empty any resentment from past experiences and move to think of them as experiences that made me better. With my mother, rather than having resentment, I am working on being at peace with the fact she does not have the tools I would have needed. Thanks to her, I know as a friend, as a sister, as a daughter, and one day as a mother, I have the tools to be a kind, dedicated, and loving person. I would not change my experiences for they made me who I am. It is a tough mindset because it is easier to resent. However, in order to grow, there will be tough times to push past, but those are the times that make you better.
I’m at a loss of words that Mrs. Groves took time out of her day to have this conversation with me. I am blessed to have a best friend and sister in her daughter, Sofia, and role models in the entire Groves family.
Had I not had tough experiences, who knows where life would have led me? Maybe I would have never met life-changing people like Sofia and Mrs. Groves, who make not only me, but the world a better place. As I write this, I am in appreciation for all that life has given me, the good and the bad, and I look forward to exploring more of this rollercoaster.