Among all emotions, resentment can be one of the most harmful. To be resentful is to be angry, and frequently we remember this anger from the past in present moments, and we once again relive the emotion with the same force that we did the very first time.
Past emotional conflict
Any past emotional conflict left unresolved will undoubtedly reflect in our reactions to new experiences. This can be very difficult for a lot of people; to feel the pain once again, the indifference, anger, sadness, despair, and even hatred previously felt in a past experience. If things are left emotionally unresolved in the time of their arising, this will ultimately affect in some way or another, this present moment. Experiences and situations similar to the past will be drawn into present day, searching for ways to be resolved in the present.
When we say “you must leave the past behind”, this doesn’t mean to ignore or avoid what we consider to be the past, but rather that reflect on these attitudes and ways of thinking, that we speak to these experiences that cause us conflict and we say to them “What do you want to teach me? What should I learn from all this?” The only way to live in the past is to bring painful emotions and anger from times long gone, and to continue to react with the same attitudes. Our body’s continue to grow, but our emotional capacity will forever be immature in current situations.
Emotional maturity is attained precisely by an understanding and a new attitude towards present situations. This is able to transform anger and pain into a more enlightened interior movement. This is attained by understanding that happiness is our responsibility, that all those people we’ve lived with in the past did the best they could, and, of course, nobody owes us anything.