When the mind is stuck on replay

The mind often replays old arguments, bringing the same feelings of anger and resentment back. Instead, we should try to recall the feelings from before these disagreements.

There was, I believed, no original thought left to have about my various confrontations, but still they turned over and over in my mind, certain phrases bubbling back up, certain moments replaying in a loop. I formulated snappy and witty rebuttals, unanswerable comebacks; I scripted and rehearsed future encounters. And this ceaseless, futile mental activity disgusted me even as I felt myself unable to stop indulging in it.

Will Wiles. The Way Inn. 2014. Fourth estate. London.

When the mind is stuck on replay

photo credit: Luca Nebuloni via photopin cc

Naturally when something reminds you of pain from your past, painful thoughts and feelings are likely to show up. You can’t stop that from happening. That’s the way your brain is hardwired. But if you clutch those thoughts and feelings and refuse to let go, you turn them into a mass of seething resentment. This does not allow healing; instead it opens your wounds and pours in salt. The word “resentment” comes from the French resentir, which means “to feel again.”

When you hold on to resentment, you will relive the pain, again and again and again. In Buddhism, there’s a saying: resentment is like holding a red hot coal in order to throw it at someone else. When you hold on to hurts from the past, you cultivate feelings of anger, resentment, and revenge. These feelings hurt you, not the person who wronged you. It’s like cutting yourself with a knife and hoping that the other person bleeds.

Russ Harris. Act With Love.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s