Hey Tribe Hey, it's Key! Being an entrepreneur is very demanding, especially when you wear multiple hats and fill all of the roles within your business like me. When I am not strategizing on how to manage and scale my business, I am catering to my clients or creating content for social media. Honestly, the list can go on and on about the duties and obligations of an entrepreneur, but the one thing I will always make a priority is my mental health. Side note: Shout out to all of the entrepreneurs who are making power moves, and are simply doing the DAMN THANG! It takes faith, courage, and tenacity to keep going in a global pandemic, and I am beyond proud of you!
Confession: I never realized it, but I had a lot of built-up resentment for the people that hurt me in my past. Built-up anger, lingering inside of me towards the people that let me down, took advantage of me or took it upon themself to hurt my feelings in any kind of way. My parents for example weren’t perfect, but for so long I've blamed them for not providing a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for me growing up. Being young and witnessing the two people that you love the most, engage in domestic violence, is an experience that no child should have to bear. From the panic attacks that triggered during my parent's hostile arguments, to the tears I shed as I begged them to stop physically fighting, any environment that cultivates domestic violence is psychologically damaging. In fact, prolonged exposure to domestic violence is no different from what soldiers experience in military combat during war. (Mug from KeeRose Collection)
Resentment is an accumulation of anger that has gone unexpressed. It is anger turned inward that surfaces when you are disappointed, frustrated, or hurt because of what someone did to you in your past. It is apart of a toxic cycle that will leave you stuck, imprisoned, and consumed with passive-aggressiveness, hostility, envy, and blame towards that person. By recognizing the signs of resentment at its early stages, you can alleviate resentment and seek forgiveness.
The first step is awareness. I was able to pinpoint my own resentment by becoming aware of how the signs showed up in my life. Once you become aware, you can choose to take action. I knew I was somewhat resentful towards my parents when I started to communicate passive-aggressively, with lots of unnecessary hostility. There are many signs of resentment, but below are the signs that I recognized during my self-assessment:
- Recurring feelings of strong emotions, such as anger, when thinking about a specific interaction or experience.
- Inability to stop thinking about the event that triggered the strong emotions.
- Feeling stuck in an argument cycle around the topic.
- Fear or avoidance of conflict.
- Tense and passive-aggressive relationship.
- Feeling invisible, inadequate, or less-than.
The second step is dialogue, why? because when you talk about it you heal from it! Once I had a real heart-to-heart conversation with my parents about my built-up anger towards them, the healing process began. This healing conversation not only allowed for me to express all of my feelings, but I also was able to ask those hard questions that brought light to the situation. Clarity is a beautiful thing, and dialogue creates opportunities for clarity to present itself.
How to start the healing conversation:
"Hey (Name), how are you? There are some things that have been bothering me that I want to share with you, can we have a conversation?" If they reject, don't take it personally, you can then say "Can I check back with you in a week? Or when will you be ready? This is really important to me."
Disclaimer: I am not perfect, but every day I am learning and applying better methods of controlling my emotions while communicating. It takes time to master your emotions, so don't be discouraged if the first go-around is a bit rocky. The most important thing is to start where you are and understand where your emotions derive from in the first place. Self-assessments & holistic check-ins are key to self-awareness.
The third step is compassion. After the healing conversation, I developed a clear understanding of my parent's relationship which allowed me to have compassion for them. Compassion is one's ability to recognize the suffering of others and the willingness to take action to help. At the end of the day, my parents did the best with what they knew and what they were taught. They had unhealed trauma of their own and were only reflecting their pain on each other. This wasn't healthy for anyone, but I realized that compassion and empathy is the only thing that will allow space for forgiveness.
Disclaimer: If you do not have compassion for yourself or a desire to take away your own pain, how can you ever want that for someone else? You can not do to others what you do not do for yourself, so start within. Develop self-compassion by first knowing that you are deserving of grace and second chances, then you can mirror that grace onto others effortlessly.
The fourth step, and the secret sauce to it all, is forgiveness! The only way to let go of resentment is to release your pain through forgiveness. Resentment does not have to be the defining factor of your life. By showing compassion and mercy, you can choose to forgive your parents that let you down, or that toxic ex who broke your heart into a million pieces. It takes real courage to recognize that hanging on to past pain only hurts you in the end and that letting go starts with forgiveness. Once you reach a state of forgiveness, a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders and you can begin to create a happier life from a place of internal peace.
I hope this helps! Much Love,