Send your resentments up in smoke for Easter 2013

aaGot-Resentments

[UPDATE: It's done. Pictures are up.]

Last year for Easter over two hundred people sent me resentments that they were carrying and desired to be rid of. I prayed over each and every one of those resentments, and then brought them to a church, where, on the dawn of Easter morning, they were burned to ashes in a bonfire. (See The Burning of the Resentments.)

This Easter we’re again doing The Burning of the Resentments. If you’ve been burdened with a resentment that you would like consumed in the flames of an Easter Vigil fire, send me that resentment. I’ll pray over it, and then, this Saturday night (March 30), I’ll bring it to Trinity Episcopal Church in Escondido, CA, where your resentment will be committed to the fire of an 8 p.m. Easter Vigil service.

Send your resentment to me at john@johnshore.com, through this site’s Contact Me page, or leave it (anonymously or otherwise) in the comments section below.

This is a really healing thing. As I have a great many reasons to know, it works. So if you’ve been burdened by a resentment that you would like to go up in flames during a ceremony that is all about the greatest possible rebirth and renewal, let’s do it. Let’s turn that resentment to ashes and smoke rising up to heaven.

burning2012

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • n.

    i had a really great childhood, but as soon as i started to try to be a separate person, my mum kind of sabotaged that for years. it was because she needed me and she didn’t know how to treat people as equals because she never learned that. but i’m still resentful at her for trying to ruin my marriage and not let me have an adult life… even though i was non-contact with her for 2 yrs before she died last summer. i’m angry that, by making it clear in her letters that she hadn’t changed her way of dealing with me, she made it so i didn’t dare reconcile with her as she was dying, even while asking me to. i’m sure she’s in heaven and god has explained everything to her by now… but mixed in with the relief, i am still mad.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I hear you, n. Tough stuff. Will add this to fire, most certainly. Thank you.

  • Courtney

    I resent my father and his wife for not loving and accepting me as I am.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I will burn up this resentment, Courtney.

  • Kathy in KC

    My uncle did a series of dishonest things in 2007 and when I reported them to my mother (my uncle and I were co-powers of attorney for her) she got her own attorney and permanently severed me from the family. I am sad for my mother as she had some dementia but my uncle knew exactly what he was doing, my mother lost her eligibility for Medicaid for several years and went blind as a result of not getting surgery she needed. I am no longer in contact with her. (Many other awful things happened too.) So I am resentful toward him and would like to pray that I can forgive him and that God will forgive him too. Thank you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Very good, Kathy. Will add to flames.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

    My resentment is aimed towards the church I grew up in and spent just over half my life in. It was classified as a cult, exclusive, controlling and damaging. I’ve suffered loss from unecessary death, depression, rejection, abuse, and deeply strained relationships as a result of that.

    I know I should let it all go, and after how far I’ve come physically, spiritually and emotionally. I should have by now, but sometimes I just can’t

    • Kathy in KC

      One of the most carelessly used words is “should.” A wonderful therapist taught me that. You acknowledge how far you have come and that is wonderful. No one can tell you what needs to happen next. Your journey to healing is strictly yours and no one else’s expectations play a role in that journey. You may choose to seek therapy, you may choose to seek release through art or yoga or diet or nothing or new discovery of spiritual knowledge — it’s your journey back to wholeness. Just yours. No “should” about it.

      • Lissy

        Amen! My mom likes to say “Should is sh*t!”

        • Jill

          Oh, I like your mom’s saying!

          • Lissy

            She had to go through a LOT of counseling to learn to say it to herself!!

          • PS

            Me too! *Files saying away in recesses of brain for future reference*

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

        Good advice Kathy. I started writing after I left and its been most therapuetic. And it is a journey, sometimes you must stop along the way, or retrace your steps sometimes.

        Thanks for the words of encouragement

        • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

          I was part of a similar group for almost 20 years.

          Yes, there are no shoulds about how your journey will look.

          consider how long your mind and soul were affected by the group . . . and through your formative years . . .

          perhaps, it will take more than a few months, or even years, to be free of much that has become ingrained! :-)

          For me, it’s felt like I had these constructs that had solidified within me. These beliefs weren’t really affected by logic or obvious truth. crazy.

          Over time, as I poured truth and freedom over these constructs again and again, they began to wear down and wash away.

          It takes time.

          and, it takes time to be able to realize that those who harmed you were harmed, themselves . . .

          and to be able to forgive.

          It’s been over ten years since I left, and I still have a couple people I’ve not fully forgiven.

          yes. it’s your journey. no one else’s.

          You can’t force the letting go. it is an internal transformation and healing. Trust that all is as it “should” be. right now.

          You are exactly where you belong.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I certainly understand, sd. And I’ll be sure to add this to the flames this Easter.

  • H.

    I’m resentful towards a boyfriend I broke up with a year ago. I still go over in my mind all of the ways I think he wronged me when we were together.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll add this so the flames, H. Thank you.

  • anonymously me

    My resentments are all so immature but they are there none the less. Resentment towards the new pastor of my church for moving in a direction I’m not happy with, towards my husband for not being who I think he should be or contributing to our marriage and wellbeing in the way I think he should, myself (all the things I should do differently but don’t), friends who don’t do what I feel they should, God because He doesn’t seem to change things in my life, and has allowed me to come to the point where I part of me doesn’t believe a lot of things anymore, my work for not taking better care of me financially despite all my pouring into it, my family for not teaching me better to take care of myself…the list goes on and on. Pray I let go of them!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I will, anon. Thank you. This’ll go up in flames.

  • Monica

    I resent the power my MIL has over my husband. She’s dishonest and cruel and a racist (particularly against my race, of course,) and it seems like the damage she does will just flow on over us forever. I would like to let go of this and trust in a better outcome;

    Thank you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Done, Monica. I’ll hunt down your MIL and kill her. Wait. Sorry. Wrong. What I WILL do is add this resentment to the fire.

      • Monica

        John, you rock. And thank you again.

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    I would love to speed up the process of letting go of the way my alcoholic/narcissistic parents treated me, and also the resentment for the way the entire family did nothing about it. My aunt, the one relative I’m close to, says, “I didn’t know it was that bad.” Why didn’t she care to find out if it was that bad? Even she knew that I was a “problem child” in the way that I could never get good grades, had few friends, was depressed and could never get along with my parents. But maybe that’s just me hoping others would use the Jedi mind tricks I fool myself into thinking I have.

    I just want all this crap gone so I can get on to the business of being ME.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Done, Gina. I’ll make sure this goes up in flames. Thank you.

  • Lissy

    I am resentful of people who complain that programs of government assistance is being abused, claiming they know many people who abuse them, but do nothing to confront their friends or tell anyone their friends are abusing the system. They continue to complain, continue to blame, but they do nothing to help.

    I also resent that people assume that those on such programs are “lazy” and “living it up”. I am disabled and am angry that society as a whole forget that there are those who NEED help such as the disabled, the elderly, the veterans. Blanket statements are hurtful.

    I guess I am resentful that people do not have time for empathy or even want to try to walk in another person’s shoes before they “assume” things.

    • Jill

      Wow. That is extremely powerful and well said!

    • PS

      I’m truly sorry for the judging and lack of empathy you are experiencing. I’m disabled as well; I am able to work but have special accommodations through my employer.

      Many people were understanding when they found that out through the grapevine, but some people turned cold toward me, or outright vicious, including a teammate who literally spent years harassing me and trying to get me fired. They’re no longer a presence in my life but I am still detoxing from the experience.

      I’ve also got many friends who struggle with disabilities or who have fallen on hard times. Some are getting assistance, some not, some can work, some can’t, and in all cases they’ve had people be jerks to them because they’re simply different in some way. It makes me question how far we’ve come in modern society to still have so many trolls living among humans.

      Suffice to say I know how it feels. It’s terrible.

      I, too, plan to ask John to burn some resentments, and that nasty coworker will be one of them. Nobody like that deserves to live rent-free in my head.

      • Lissy

        Thank you! I am glad that you are able to work and that your employer is willing to accommodate you! My illness does not allow me to work (yet- I’m thinking positively) because much of the problem is cognitive. Most of my friends are very supportive, but I’ve seen many people who are not supported. I think the lack of empathy in the world is astounding!

        • PS

          I hear you. One of my disabilities is PTSD. I was finally able to get good help the past few years via cognitive behavior therapy and EMDR, but I sure was a mess for a long time, even hurt some decent folks along the way. You’re not alone… and I promise it can and does get better.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll add yours to the fire, Lissy. Thank you.

      • Lissy

        Thank YOU, John. This is very powerful!

  • cigi

    I resent my son’s attachement to my sister’s famil and embracing of their victimy, nonresponsible way of life. I taught him better. I resent that he is so entrenched in serving their wants that he cannot even see his own needs, talents and abilities, nor the damage that is done when demanding others cater to their wants at the expense of true needs. I resent being called horrible names because my brother in law taught him to talk to women the way he talks to my sister. I resent that they all borrowed money and buy booze and weed instead of paying me back when I have helped them and now am in need myself. I resent that after all of the years I filled their pantry, picked their sick kids up from school, gave them dishes, and even a place to live that they treat me badly. I ask for the strength to truly walk away, even from my son if that is what is required for my good

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow. Tough stuff. I’ll burn it up, cigi.

  • PS

    I have resentments against my birth family, my in-laws, an ex-coworker, my husband, and my oldest child. I don’t want to go into detail, I figure God knows the story behind each one already. But I am tired of feeling or being kicked around, not good enough, unloved, harassed, and neglected. There are days I’m outright exhausted carrying it all around.

    • PS

      Please also add everyone on my youngest child’s former education team at his old school to my list. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed around kids, let alone special needs ones.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        You’ve got it, PS. It’s done.

        • PS

          Thank you so much. You’ve done an amazing thing… and I think it had results given outside of my husband, I barely gave any of these people a shred of thought today.

  • http://arealrattlesnake.com Ryan Kuramitsu

    John, I resent that I’ve turned into a judgmental human being. Please let this go up in flames. I resent my flesh and my pride and the state of the whole world sometimes. I resent that there is a bigger slave trade today than there was 200 years ago, and that I have fueled it with my own greed and lust.

    Send it to the flames, bro!

  • Michael Allensworth

    Dear John,

    I resent the envy that I have for other people and their lives. I find myself at times wishing that my circumstances were different, even though I know and believe I am blessed beyond measure. I resent the judgmental, sinful, and evil desires of my flesh that so easily want to judge people who think differently than I. I resent my best friend for how he abandoned me and made me feel like I was left with no one to share details of my life with. I resent that I continually judge him for that, when I know I played an active role in the dismantling of our friendship. I resent that I can’t let it go. I resent my selfish heart for not trusting God to meet every need in my life and instead trying to store up earthly treasures for myself. It is my desire that through the Holy Spirit, I would be rid of these ungodly characteristics and further embrace my true, righteous identity through what was done for me on that Cross in Calvary.

    Therefore, I ask you to send these to the flames, for through the power of Christ, they no longer have a hold on me.

  • Matt

    I confess, I resent the rapid change of heart about marriage equality (at least among politicians and public figures), from what I’ve been reading of the Prop 8 and DOMA arguments.

    When everyone is watching, suddenly we matter. Suddenly, it’s simply “the thing to do.” And here I am, watching their about-face and realizing just how numb I was to the silencing, the harassment, the othering, the estrangement. Because I am surprised, genuinely shocked, that masses of “regular” people would really stand up for me. They may not understand my experience, but they still want me to be treated exactly like them. I realize that this is not the way it is here on your blog, John, but that’s why I spend so much time here: You are a blessed, God-given exception.

    I know that we have a long, long way to go. I am not ready to forgive. But I still want to let go of this resentment. Because it’s getting in the way of joy. Pure joy.

  • Allie

    Tell you what, John, my resentments from last year seem tiny and petty now. I think I was upset about my boss being a pain. Now I’m worried that the company will go under! And my mom being kind of mean seems pretty small when every day I worry that I will get a phone call that my dad is no longer with us. Context is everything. So, I’m sure these ones are as petty as the last ones, and I’m just going to have to accept that about myself.

    I resent that everything has to be so hard all the time. Today I’m doing something which should be easy – taking my dad out to breakfast so my mom can get some shopping done – and it’s hard because I’ve got a cold and I can’t sleep properly so I feel like crap. Which brings us to my next point, that I resent my mom’s lack of understanding of the germ theory of disease. A minor illness could kill my dad – last time he was sick he ended up in the hospital for six weeks – but she doesn’t want to hear about other people being sick and not able to come over, she insists on exposing my dad to everything, I don’t think she’s ever washed her hands in her life before cooking food, and so on. Actually I resent pretty much everything about her right now. Her life has gone on much as it did before my dad’s stroke, thanks to me caring for him several days a week so she can continue to be president of the writer’s association, president of her horse association, go out for tai chi, go out to meet her friends, and she has never once said a word of thanks, nor asked if I have plans, and I resent that.

  • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

    I feel unable to escape the poison of judgement and condemnation that seems to flow from almost everyone’s lips. I feel stuck in the place of hating the haters (a form of hypocrisy, of course).

    “conservative”, “liberal”, whatever . . . it seems everyone’s focused on condemnation of the “other”; their understanding of love somehow allowing for hatred of those with a different understanding.

    I don’t know how to be free of this. I am consumed by it and feel more and more hopeless. (and one of the people who does this is my spouse. no escaping.) I regularly feel ambushed by people dropping their fears and judgments into a simple conversation (and we needn’t even mention what’s in the media).

    I’ve fought so hard to overcome the fear and judgment I was raised with. I want to live from a place of love and kindness, knowing that we are all one family. These desires seem to be opposed at every turn.

    Though I intellectually believe everything will ultimately be okay, and that I’m truly safe, nowhere feels safe.

    I’ll have a fire, too. I guess it can’t hurt. Thanks for listening.

    • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

      in case it’s not clear – I resent people who try to pull me into their negative world view . . . I resent that I speak words of hope and love (I really think I am, for the most part!) and they get sh*t on repeatedly.

      Great. now I’m thinking about the concept that we attract what we get! does it all come back to me? okay, another resentment.

      I don’t really know what the hell’s going on, and I’m really tired of that.

      • Jill

        Lynelle, you are so not alone on this one. Wow. I felt my resentments coming up, like you, as I read your heartfelt comments. If either of us get this one sorted in this lifetime, we’ll have to compare notes.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Will burn up, Lynelle.

      • http://www.theeternaldance.blogspot.com Lynelle

        thanks, Jill and John.

        yeah, as I was writing, I kept feeling more resentful!

        the problem is I can’t control anyone else!

        the whole powerless thing.

        and, I was reading this morning about how true love loves all . . . I am loved without condition and the Source of love is never ending . . . and Love holds each of us with kindness and wisdom . . .

        and sees the end of the story when all will truly see . . . truly know.

  • Shena

    I am resentful that my Christian husband of 8 years went from attending missionary conferences to being an Atheist. I feel cheated out of the joy of spiritual union. I am thankful that my husbands shift opened our eyes and pulled us both to the left. I am a different person because of it. But really, God?? Does my best friend have to totally lose hope in You? Its been 9 months since he came out with it. How am I going to get through the next 20 years of raising our children together with mismatched beliefs? Will it ever hurt less? Is there hope for spiritual oneness in the future?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll certainly put this in the fire, Shena.

  • Nicole

    I would like freedom from resentment of broken friendships that continue to insinuate themselves into my life. I know part of that is my doing, but I find it incredibly difficult to say no to helping someone or getting together even if it’s infrequent. I guess, at the root of it, I just want to stop resenting that friend.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll send this to the flames, Nicole. Thank you (for all).

  • Susan in NY

    I resent that I am sick. I have a chronic, life threatening illness that affects me every single day, and I hate it. I have not found peace with my illness. It makes me depressed and anxious. I am angry that I cannot do what I want to due to the illness.

    Sadly, I don’t think that burning up this resentment will have any effect on my thinking, though, I suppose you never know.

    Thanks, John.

    Susan in NY

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Will burn up, Susan. Thank you.

  • Katie D.

    I resent my husband. We are currently separated because he didn’t treat me well (verbally abusive, extremely negative, etc.) and after 4 years of marriage I finally realized that I was becoming depressed because of him and that he was not going to change without help no matter what I did and he refused to get counseling. So now that I’m not trying to fix him, I am extremely angry with him for not fixing himself. In addition, now that he has moved out he is acting like he doesn’t understand what’s happeneing. He’s sending me pathetic texts about how much he misses me and how he can’t live without me, but they jsut make me resent him more because if you care so much why did you let it get to this point? Why didn’t you go to counseling any of the million times I asked you BEFORE you had to move out? Now I’m having to deal with not having a car (which sucks in San Diego!), worrying about leaving the dogs alone for too long while I’m at work because he’s not there, taking care of the whole house etc. all by myself, which I didn’t sign up for! He has agreed to go to counseling as soon as his insurance from his new job kicks in, but I am worried that it is too late and I will not be able to get past all this resentment even if he does make changes. I am loathe to get a divorce, but I just don’t know if I can really forgive him. Please pray for me.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Will send to the flames, Katie.

  • Janean

    I have a lot of resentment..mostly I resent God letting my husband die last September. I resent having to raise my three year old without him, and having to try and explain why Daddy is gone. I resent the fact that all of the other men in my family have become self centered and irresponsible – and don’t care about anyone else, but the one that really loved and was really worth something is dead. I resent that my brother and sister in law won’t grow up and take care of their kids, and that they’ve dumped most of it off onto my mother. I resent my father for being just as bad, and leaving me having to buy their food and spend every extra dime I have to help someone else’s kids and make sure my mother has heat in her house. I resent my SIL for pretty much destroying the family, and my mother for allowing her to have that much control over her life.

    I am so angry and resentful it eats me up inside every day. I can’t let go of it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll put all of this into the flames of the fire, Janean.

  • Joyce

    I want to be free of jealousy. I’m jealous of my friends who have already graduated college, and those who are already in their postulancy as sisters. I need to allow myself to enjoy what is right in front of me.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this up, Joyce. Thank you.

  • Melissa

    My incredibly racist in-laws. Anyone that’s not white or even American, they feel that those people aren’t human beings. The most recent rant from them is All Muslims are evil. But Blacks, Muslims, Italians, Hispanics, Asians, are supposedly not human beings. They are lesser, in the eyes of my in-laws.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll give this to the flames, Melissa.

  • C

    I resent my relationship with my mother. I wish, just once, that she would sit down and try to hear another side of the story, and quite frankly, try to understand that her expectations are not always what’s right for everyone else. It’s killed our relationship, and even though I love her dearly, I can’t stand what she backhandedly says about me and my brother because we chose to follow a different path than the one(s) she has picked out for us.

    I also resent the job market, which is currently overcome by greedy people wanting little more than skilled slaves. I’m not asking for a whole lot, but being able to live above the poverty line would be nice.

    If you could burn those, I’d be welcome to be rid of them.

    • Christopher

      “I also resent the job market, which is currently overcome by greedy people wanting little more than skilled slaves. I’m not asking for a whole lot, but being able to live above the poverty line would be nice.”

      So say we all. Well, at least *I’ll* give you an “Amen” on that one.

      Things may be looking up. I just went to a job fair recently where, for the first time in three years, some of the exhibitors were actually taking resumes and talking with candidates for a few minutes, instead of just saying, “Here’s our website. You can check job listings and apply there. Don’t call us; we’ll call you.”

      Best of luck. May the fires of new life burn brightly for you this Easter. And for all of us in this crazy, beautiful, broken world.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Done, C.

  • Ashley

    I resent my ex-boyfriend. After almost two years of being together, he decided he didn’t love me and couldn’t deal with my physical issues (all I have is arthritis in my leg that causes me to use a cane once in a while or use an elevator instead of stairs). I gave up a lot of my personal identity to make him happy. I sacrificed time with my dying grandfather because he wanted to stay at home. I neglected friendships for him. Yet he still disrespected me by talking down to my schooling and profession (I’m a graduate student getting a PhD in Chemical Engineering), saying hurtful things about my mother to me, making comments about my size, mocking Christianity (he was a staunch atheist), and other things I can’t think of off the top of my head.

    I’ve been working to reclaim my identity and fix my friendships. My grandfather passed away 2 months ago (about a month after the breakup). I was at his side for that fortunately. But as I reclaim who I am, I just can’t get over this anger inside me for letting someone else try to control my life. Looking back, I see it was almost an emotional abusive relationship, and that just aggravates me further. Part of my wants to honor his wish to stay friends, but I don’t know if I can get over my resentment enough.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      This will most certainly be committed to the EV fires, Ashley.

  • Christopher

    I consign to the flames:

    My resentment toward God

    My resentment toward my wife

    My doubts and fears holding me back from new life

    I’ve been unemployed/underemployed for three years now. We’ve lost our house, declared bankruptcy, and my wife has moved out with our daughter. Things are not going so well, and I’ve been paralyzed in a dark place. Mad at God for letting things get so bad. Mad at my wife for getting away. But I’ve been working and praying, and as Spring rolls around and Easter approaches, I feel as if breakthroughs may be on their way and this dead man might be raised up to life. So let the flames take all the darkness in me and bring new life to myself, my wife, and my family. Amen.

    Thank you for this ritual, John–and for inviting us to participate through the Internet. It’s a wonderful idea.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      These’ll go up in the EV fire, Christopher. Thank you.

  • Carol B.

    More and more I find myself resenting people who are convinced that they know who God approves of and loves and who He doesn’t. It’s a tired old song and it wears at me, and I resent that, too….it is not in my nature to hold anger, and I’m afraid of losing my center, and my focus. I would like to incinerate these negative feelings, and get back to the business of becoming who I was created to be, no matter what anyone’s opinion of me might be.

  • http://www.CanIGetThere.com Rusty Williams

    John, first of all – what a great idea and wonderful way to experience the promise of hope that Easter brings.

    As an ordained minister (as well as director of a college seminary), I resent that part of me that struggles with my pain. I have an inoperable and untreatable tumor growing in my spinal cord that is slowly paralyzing me and has left me in constant pain. I resent the burden I’ve become on my family – - – and then I resent the idiotic thinking that goes along with that. It’s a vicious cycle, and I resent that.

    I think that should do it :)

    Thank you for this opportunity and have a Happy and Blessed Easter.

  • usingmyvoicewell

    I resent the fact that my husband (now ex) closed our one and only retirement account without my knowledge – and then, when I discovered this, told me he had a rx drug addiction. Later he said he had lied to me for most of our relationship (20 years), and definitely throughout our marriage of 13 years. He made an excellent living, but was self-employed and apparently he moved money around like nobody’s business. I resent the fact that he continues to lie as easily as he breathes; I resent that he is charming, and a total narcissist. I resent his lack of conscience. I resent that I am left to single-parent and raise a twice-exceptional child on my own; I have no job, and not only has the ex stopped making alimony payments, he has not paid child support in 4 months.

    I resent the fact that he’s alive.

    I resent having worked so very hard in my life, only to come to this in my 50′s. I resent myself at times, for being stupid, or gullible, or whatever it was that made me trust him over my own intuition – although in truth, he is very, very good at lying. He fits the profile of a pathological liar.

    I resent that I wasted so much time with him, but I would not have my son if I had not met and married his father, and I love my child. I resent the fact that I once loved his father, that I wasted time with him. I resent that I feel so foolish about doing that.

    I resent that money is running out, and I am so frightened sometimes I can hardly breathe. It’s not that everything every day is dark and bleak, it’s that I don’t think I deserve to be used the way he used me. And I resent that; I resent being used and discarded.

    Thank you, John, for being willing to hear my experiences and feelings of pain and fear and bitterness, and to “turn them to ashes and smoke rising up to heaven.” Please send them far, far away.

  • http://IsItJesusYet? Jennifer Sandberg

    I resent the 20 years of my 30 (almost 31) year marriage that I wasted. I didn’t wake up until about 4 years ago to the fact that my husband didn’t really love me, that he was not respectful of me, that he had been emotionally, mentally and physically abusive. I resent that my children get what I should have had all these years, particularly my daughter. I resent that I STILL am with him – can’t seem to find the right door to leave. I resent that I have been putting on an Academy Award winning act to cover for all of these issues.

  • Lymis

    I resent that people insist on using religion as a weapon of intolerance and division rather than of love and inclusion, especially in the areas of legally discriminating against LGBT people.

    I resent that people who claim to be acting from love shame children for who they are and look the other way when horrible bullying goes on, to the degree that gay children kill themselves at a vastly disproportional rate to their actual numbers.

    I resent that people speaking for God tell other people they are wrong and damned simply for who and how they love.

    I resent that the intolerance of so many people speaking for Christianity has poisoned my perception of organized religion to the point that I cannot consider participating, even when I know how many open, loving and affirming people and groups there are in the world.

    I resent that when I see a chrome fish on a car, I assume that there is an asshole driving it.

    I resent that after a lifetime of giving wonderful, expensive, and thoughtful wedding gifts to people I often knew only casually, when my husband and I got married, we didn’t even get cards from most of our family, much less gifts, and many of them still don’t acknowledge that we are married.

    I resent that when smug, shallow, flippant, knee-jerk atheists make sweeping condemnations of even the idea of a God, I find myself not bothering to try to speak up for deep, intelligent, rational, realistic, and fully traditional forms of religion in general and Christianity in particular, because they aren’t wrong in their interpretation of the vast majority of the voices out there claiming to speak for Christianity, and I find myself in many cases having to choose whether to “defend” people whose views I abhor, who loathe and condemn me without ever having met me, and that when I say that there is a Christianity that is fully reconcilable with things like modern physics, psychology, and cosmology while still recognizing the Divine, the mystical, and the unknowable, both sides react like I’m a raving lunatic.

    And I resent that I resent these things. They are what they are, and I can’t seem to let go and simply let them be and follow my own path less chosen. I love my life, I love my love, I love my path, and I resent that I keep tripping on it because I’m bitching about how other people are following theirs – especially since I also know it gets in the way of showing them something better.

    I resent that I get hooked when I know I know better.

    I resent that I can’t let go of resentments even when I know they are minor or don’t serve me.

    I resent that I squander my energy rather than using it, when I really do know better when I let myself. I resent that I am not open to the abundance that I know is there for me.

    • Jill

      I know these words aren’t meant to be for me, and yet they help me to release a layer of my own guilt when I read them. A resentment of myself, for my own lack of patience for these things I see in the world.

      I want to cut off chrome fish cars in traffic, just for the fun of it. Sigh.

    • AC Smith

      They help me, too. I’m intolerant of intolerance and I often let it get the best of me. I, too, allow myself to get hooked, and squander my time and energy on the negativity, when I know much better.

    • DR

      This is so powerful. Thank God for you and your presence here.

    • PS

      “I resent that when I see a chrome fish on a car, I assume that there is an asshole driving it.”

      You mean there isn’t? :-D

  • CJ

    My resentment is something that creates much pain and guilt in me. I am a 54 year old woman who has raised two children to adulthood who are married, have children and are responsible contributors to their families and communities. I should be so grateful. However, the two children I raised in a household of tolerance, respect for others, spiritual freedom, caring for people regardless of their beliefs, race, etc. have both been swayed to extremely fundamentalist religions through their associations with their friends and more predominantly their spouses. How crazy is it for a mother to resent the fact that their children attend church 4 times per week and read the bible daily? How do you say those words and not feel like a heathen? But while I love them dearly, I can not abide their racism, intolerance, political ignorance, willingness to abdicate women from their rights and find it difficult to be with them for any length of time. And my sweet grandchildren are starting to spew the same “We are the only ones that know the right way” rhetoric now too. My heart is aching, I feel so guilty, I wonder daily if I am the one that is wrong. Please God, help me to see.

    And John, thank you for this. I am a frequent but silent follower of your work. I am a participant from last year, and this did help. I appreciate you!

    • Allie

      CJ, I know this isn’t really the place for advice or input, but it doesn’t seem crazy to me that you feel as you do. Church four times a week means a whole lot of time TALKING about Jesus and a very little time left over for DOING the things Jesus asked us to do.

      • PS

        Nicely said Allie, and I agree. My husband’s parents are very similar to CJ’s children and it is abhorrent to see them behave like they do, yet jump up and down about how everyone should respect them because they’re good little “Christians.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      And I you. Done, burning-wise. Thanks, CJ.

  • David S

    Hi John,

    I’d like to offer up the ill feelings I have toward my family. I want to be able to see past my own resentments and hurt, and see my family as people who have their own barriers to relationship (and the isolation those barriers cause).

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      done.

  • DR

    I’d like to offer any resentment I’m harboring towards myself for not being who I think I should be.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      done. will include. thank you, dearest friend dr.

      • DR

        Thank you for being such a loving man to all of us. xoxo Happy Easter and give my love to Cat, tell her we need a dancing session soon!

  • L

    I’m still angry at someone who betrayed me 15 years ago, and still trying to work out the feelings in my own head and projecting them onto our more recent interactions. I loved him so much. I still love him, but the past is poisoning the present. I hate myself for not being good enough to deserve loyalty, honesty, fidelity. I need to let it go or it may literally kill me.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I will burn this tonight, L.

  • JDB

    Full of resentment towards my sister who threw me under a bus and walked away. Losing my house/retirement. Anger, resentment, nausea….can’t believe we came from the same parents.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Erg. Done.

  • Sarah

    Hi John. I resent this life; is that okay? Can I feel gratitude and resentment at the same time? Well, I do… maybe the pendulum in my heart just swings so close and tight, it seems that I feel both at the same time. A horrible childhood full of abuse, one bad man and decision after another, rape, loss, all of this experience – so very closely tied to my strength, compassion, and love for an outreach born from all of that. Yet, here I sit alone *the in-between day* and resent this life. Oh, I’ll hang in there and you know I love Jesus but if he were next to me on this couch, even with his sacrifice I’d ask “really?” yep. selfish. He’s entrusted me with much and I wonder if He ever has second-thoughts. I resent my resentment. I should be honored, living a story of redemption and all – but the other day I realized I needed to tell someone that I live without human touch. I wrote to a friend and admitted I go to the spa for a massage, not just because it’s relaxing, but just to experience safe, human, non-sexual touch. It’s like I have a wound no one can see. I resent that I have been so violated over so long that it has grown into this. I resent the fact that admitting all this makes me feel like God will take away everything tomorrow the bad along and with the good that I cling to. Thanks.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Done. Burned.

  • SLM

    My sister doesn’t care about my kids.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Added to fire tonight, for sure, SLM.

  • Shauna

    I resent my father only wanting to be a father when it made him look good and after 20 years of the lies, manipulation and tears I called him out on this. He told me I should “get more Jesus” because I was obviously just an ungrateful sinning daughter. He now denies my existence.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow. Will hunt down your dad and kill him, Shauna. Wait. Sorry. Wrong response. Will print out and burn what you’ve written. God bless you.

  • Liz

    I think I am too late for you to burn these resentments for me, but I’m hoping that by acknowledging them in public I may be able to let go of them sufficiently to burn them myself.

    I resent my step-father for abusing me as a child. I resent everyone else for not noticing.

    I resent my current health, especially the aspects of it that mean that I am incapable of giving my daughter a sibling or my husband the son he longs for, though he would never reproach me.

    I resent my fears, my foolishness and my lack of will power.

    Most of all, I resent my brother’s need to indulge in sanctimonious yet divisive behaviour that has, I fear permanently, wrecked our family.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      You are not too late. It’s in the fire, Liz. Thank you.

  • Maureen Jones

    I resent my husband’s lack of respect for me. I resent that less than two hours after he stood behind the lectern in church reading from the Passion of Our Lord he came home an unleashed his verbal venom on me saying things that were only meant to hurt me. I resent myself that I somehow seem to invite this behavior. I resent my difficulty in holding back my tears because he feeds on them.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Done. Turned to wafting ash.

  • http://facebook.com/cypresscoydog Heather Halloran

    I resent my mother being a womanchild. I resent that she has used her mental illness as an excuse for the way she abused both myself and my brother, in very different but equally scarring ways. I resent that she has looked to ~me~ to guide and comfort and make life easier for ~her~ since I was 14 years old. I resent that when I was prepared to forgive (truly and honestly and in good faith), that she faked her way through it until I later reminded her that it is not my responsibility to remember and keep all of the information for accessing her email/social networking accounts (from the other side of the country!), and that there was no excuse for a 42 year old mother of three to rely on her grown offspring to do it for her. I resent that when I reminded her that we’d agreed to leave old arguments in the past where they belong, she insisted that I’d tricked her into agreeing to that in the first place.

    I resent her for never understanding what being sorry actually means. I resent the fact that she actively prevents me from having a relationship with my baby sister (who still lives with her) because I have chosen to remove myself from the scope of her emotional abuse and manipulation. I resent the fact that any time she tries to make a big change in her life for the better (healthier living, exercise, going back to school, getting a job, moving out of the horrible town where she keeps reminding everyone that she is intensely miserable), she gives it up the moment real effort is required, insisting that she “can’t do it, because I have a ~problem~”, meaning her mental illness. I resent that she had me drugged up with schizophrenia meds when I was 16 to dope me and keep me quiet and docile and accepting of her abuse. I resent that she insists that because I live with Major Depressive Disorder, that I am destined to be like her and should therefore excuse all of her petty, bullshit, Jerry Springer-esque white trash behavior.

    I resent that I haven’t spoken to her for over two years because that was the only choice that her behavior left for me in terms of my self-preservation. I resent that her opinion of Pagans/queer people/feminists (all of which I am) continually change based on how she feels about me personally at any given time. I resent her for making me feel like an orphan for over a decade.


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