During a recent telephone conversation, I noted a strong and bitter sensation that was brewing and steadily rising in my heart. Snippets of a condescending tone, laced with disdain, surprisingly began to pop up and out of my mouth. As the conversation went on I simultaneously began reviewing my toxic response and identified the culprit. The familiar, brewing sensation in my heart had a name and her name was “Resentment”. It began to dawn on me that “Miss. Resentment” had paid an unexpected visit and wanted to make a home in my heart. She was already curving out a little comfy sitting area. She had just gotten out her portable chair, fluffy blanket, phone, laptop and was about to ask for the Wi-Fi password.
As I observed her trying to settle in, I pondered on how she got through the door of my heart, “undetected”. But from her authoritative and bold posture and sense of entitlement to the territory she now claimed, I had to acknowledge this wasn’t her first visit. I then recalled she had previously popped her head in the window a few times and even sat in the lawn a few times, during previous phone conversations. Over time, I had started to allow her to just “rest a little” on the periphery of my heart, betraying the warnings from my spirit who was trying to clear her off the property. She had began to surprisingly become quite alluring and provided a false comfort to my woes, “pacifying” my soul. The truth was, I was resentful at the lack of the individual on the other end of the phone who was “not stepping up”, “having their words and actions not match” and a bit “over it all”. The other truth I knew was ; Resentment and Control go hand in hand. so what was my heart partaking in then?
Resentment finely laces our words turning them into fiery little darts aimed at the heart. Whether the resentment grew from disappointment and frustration, unmet or broken expectations, being mistreated or misrepresented…it doesn’t really matter. As always, we are only responsible for our actions.
As the conversation went on and I forcibly re-corrected my hearts trajectory to align with my spirit, the truth we all know re-surfaced; that we should love people where they are at and not try and control them into being who we want them to be, even if “WE feel” this will be their “BETTER version”. We are not God. People have free will. And they too hear God and are free to choose their path, whether we agree with their choices or not.
So I quickly began to “let go” and I began to regain my peace. My tone soon adjusted to the purity and love that was beginning to flow from my spirit, washing over my soul and rising up. Soon, my heart kicked out that old sharp toothed, loud mouthed hag called resentment.
This encounter brought me back to my goal for 2021: To continue to learn my mother tongue; the language of Love. My objectives being to: Love well – Love better – Love quicker – Love deeper – Love harder – Love stronger.
More often than not, most of the relational discord we face is to do with the state of our own heart and the level of growth and maturity we have exposed and challenged it to. Maturity doesn’t happen by accident. A prosperous soul doesn’t just develop. There is conscious effort to be made.
As we immerse ourselves in 2021 may we challenge our hearts to be fully alive and active in the area of building healthy relationships. Starting with the relationships with ourselves. May we revert back to factory settings by relearning the art of love. May our hearts be fully convinced of our identity as ones created from Love – to Love. How can we practically begin to live this out?
1. By Maintaining authenticity and vulnerability with self and others: Choosing to be bold, clear and open when we feel hurt, disappointed or betrayed. Love doesn’t wear a mask or hide in the dark.
2. Actively growing in self-awareness: Being clear and transparent with your self about your true heart motives and intentions. (Have I made and placed expectations on others that they are not even aware of, and even if they are, are they obligated to meet them?) Love is active but not controlling. It offers freedom and blossoms in the soil of truth.
3. Actively choose to live in peace: Staying out of peace with self and others betrays our true identity and function and impacts our quality of life. Peace is our default posture and nature. Going against this makes us sick. War to remain in peace and soon it will be your default setting. Seek to know the Peace giver and He will fill you to overflowing.
Control, fear and manipulation disguise themselves in many ways. Sometimes they present themselves as wisdom, care and even – “love”. Creating a culture of peace internally, by remaining true to our nature will lead to a lifestyle of peace with others. We then find we can live in forgiveness with others and self. We learn to “Let go and let God”. (“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11).
So as the year begins, we can say: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (psalm 51:10-11) for “You have searched me, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (psalm 139 excerpts)”.
Here’s to a love filled and resentment free 2021. And if we fall, and loose sight of love, we will simply get back up and love again, for after all, “love is patient, love is kind and keeps no records of wrongs”. So lets love hard this year for love always wins!