I Resent How Resentment Made Me Feel


stormtrooper tomatoes

I said a ton of bad words in a tight time window.

Not as good as Jennifer Lawrence, but in the same area code. I’d just chucked one of my favorite discs into the abyss of ivy and pricker bushes, all because some dinkeldorf in the group ahead of me jacked up my throw.

The boy in the neon green tank top and his vaping doofus best friend were long gone to the next hole, far from earshot of the verbal assault.

Stupid !@#!% I muttered as I crunched over broken bottles and terrain that, to burrowing snakes, would look like prime real estate. You turned right around and saw my ass waiting for your slow, vaping asses to finish up, and you could have let me play through …

And THEN, your dumb ass decides to show a sliver of consideration by yelling CLEAR!, but JUST as I’m winding up to throw, and now the !@#$!@ !@#^@ing disc is lost, you stupid !#$^@! !@#$er.

If you’re wondering … this isn’t the behavior befitting a dude who wants to dedicate his early-week posts to mindfulness and purposeful living.

Basic struggles

Much as it looked as anything but, this angry search for a lost disc – an ace disc, even – demonstrated my practice. Practice often is anything but easy. I knew this when I played football and struggled with the basics; and today, when I practice yoga, and struggle still.

Thing is, we can calm ourselves.

I know righteous anger doesn’t exist. We can pretend to justify our angst as caused by a president or a big-box retailer or Anna Gunn or a pair of disc golfers on a Sunday afternoon at Kilbourne Park. In essence, it comes from our own unruly mind.

No one makes you angry, but yourself.

I found plenty of fault in two guys playing the same sport as me. He might possess supernatural powers, but it’s unlikely he bent the continuum of the sky and catapulted my prized disc into the great wasteland of plants that make us itch.

The disc flew off of whose hand? Mine.

No matter our circumstances, or what forces push on us from above or below, just in front or just in our minds, the fact remains that our hand – and the will of the universe – determine our fate. That goes for intellectually or recreational and all in between.

The new walk

Peace, it turns out, isn’t always peaceful.

Reflecting on the moment, after I’d had an Arby’s sandwich, a shower and an attitude adjustment, I’d thrown poorly all day to that point. I hadn’t let it cramp my style, though, accepting the challenge and appreciating the new walk in an unfamiliar park.

I needed practice not just throwing a chunk of plastic in a straight line, but also replacing that self-manufactured anxiety with a dose of gratitude.

I’m not pretending to have instant Zen. It took willpower to not turn around on my way to the parking lot and give those guys a piece of my mind. I can’t really spare it. And I imagined how asinine my arguments would have sounded outside my head.

Hell, they sounded quite asinine inside my head.

A grudge makes for fishy Zen. Still, I kept my eyes fixed forward, and made it to the car without showing my ass. Still, no stillness. As I crept onto the main roads in my decrepit Pontiac, impatient drivers tailgated and swerved as we struggled to pick up speed.

Just as I considered channeling the noise of the day into double bird flips – angry, with index and ring fingers pulled back and arms extended – I imposed a restriction upon myself: No middle fingers, no horn honking.

Drying and dissipating

You better check yourself, a philosopher once penned, before you wreck yourself.

Proximity to our aggravation make it often difficult to add any meaningful perspective to the matter. As I sat with my girls eating roast beef, the anger and sweat on my shirt drying and dissipating, I thought less and less about the misaligned throw.

I began to forget about the vape smoke and infraction of disc golf etiquette that I admitted might not be that universal.

I thought of the bundle of golf discs stacked in my trunk. And that maybe someone will find that lost one – and maybe use it more than I did. Know what I didn’t do, though? I didn’t come to a full and peaceful resolution with the universe right then.

And that’s okay.

Unease is a comfortable discomfort. Coming out of meditations in which I felt as if I needed more of something, something undisclosed, I’m reminded that days don’t end wrapped up like TV episodes, with resolution and a hint of foreshadowing.

Maybe that’s why this mindful Monday post took until Tuesday to write.

carnegie quote resentment

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49 Replies to “I Resent How Resentment Made Me Feel”

  1. You sound just like my hubby, Eli. Sometimes I wish he would just calm down. And I can see how my daughters can calm their dad down almost instantly. Be like a cat – Stay calm! ฅ(≚ᄌ≚)

    1. Thing is, Pat, I usually am calm. I think when you’re usually calm, there’s an expectation that you’ll be flawlessly calm, and that’s unreasonable. We still have the tempest below the surface … I’ve gotten better and wrestling it down to submission!

      I do see how my girls have made this easier.

      1. I’m the one who’s usually calm and I can relate to what you mean about the expectation to be flawlessly calm. Ahh… now you know why cats need the scratching pole. LOL! 🤣

  2. Great post, Eli. Taking responsibility for ourselves – feelings, behavior and thoughts – is one of our greatest and most important challenges to getting to inner peace and calm. When I find myself feeling as you did, I seek the mirror. What is this showing me that I apparently don’t know about myself? Seeing it and feeling it is healing it.

    1. Thanks, Carrie. Teachers like those in the forest for me are there to help me get better at patience. when we expect others to behave by our own set of rules, it’s tough to make it.

      You’re right about the introspective gains we make when we look internally to explain our behavior, rather than transfer it to someone or something we can blame.

    1. I wonder what Buddha would say about that fishy comment, Christine! You’re quite welcome. The heat can sear, but my own anger was boiling up from inside.

      If it were winter, i could have found my disc.

  3. We can only control ourselves in the heat of battle! I think we can all say we have had moments where we forget ourselves and act out of frustration that has been stewing below the surface all day and usually blow over the smallest of hurdles tossed at us that really have nothing to do with why we are upset.

    This is an excellent post Eli.

    1. It’s tough to remember how much control we have in the heat of battle, isn’t it? This day also helped me understand the value of forgiveness when it happens to someone else, toward me.

      Thank you, Tiffany!

  4. i really like this eli, and i’m glad it’s giving you a sense of peace in your life. (that and the arby’s are a winning combo). p.s. this has given me an idea for a future post having to do with my yoga skills, so thanks )

    1. Thank you, Beth. I didn’t know until Camdyn handed me the sandwich that it contained such salvation. Please send me a link to the post you talked about! I don’t want to miss it.

  5. I love how you learned a lesson on the disc golf course. It is most definitely a challenge to step back and seek calm. Good on you for doing it. And good attitude that maybe someone else will find and love your disc. I’ll try to think of that the next time I lose one somewhere 😉

    1. There’s plenty of lessons on the disc golf course, isn’t there Beth? There’s also so much cause for calm, because even when your disc goes awry, you’re in the beauty of the forest.

      My peace found on the course has little to do with my score, and more to do with how much I can let go of the world for 18 holes.

      It’s easy for me to consider someone finding my disc, because the majority of my bag are discs “borrowed” from the universe!

  6. Sounds like you had a frustrating day. We all have those from time to time. I usually feel worse for losing my cool than the anger at whatever or whoever created my wrath in the first place. There are very few people on this planet that can make me REALLY mad. My daughter and my husband.. lol! I get pissed off and frustrated with others but I get over it (eventually) 😅

    1. It was actually just a frustrating 20 minutes or so. it happens. I’m the only one who can really make me mad, not even raiders fans or the rude dude at Little Caesars last night.

      Those closest to us seem like they probably know better than anyone how to trample on our last nerve!

  7. Oh this is such a fantastic post Eli and I appreciate your honesty. We all lose our cool from time to time – to let other’s get underneath our skin, or to let circumstances burble and boil in our stomachs and then *BAM* we explode. Life isn’t perfect and we aren’t perfect. But we learn and we grow and we find balance and we forgive and move forward….always move forward. Like you said, you wrote this post on a Tuesday instead of a Monday and man, that’s ok. There’s always tomorrow. Start new. Brush that off.
    Love this post.

    1. Thanks so much, Kim! I think it’s usually not the final straw that breaks us, but the accumulation of letting things roll off our back – because even then, there’s something residual. We have to know that.

      You’re so right about life’s imperfections and the power of forgiveness. It’s the only way forward.

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m already behind the eight ball for this week’s Monday post. But everything’s going to be all right.

  8. You’re so right that no one makes us angry but ourselves. We can choose to respond with anger, or we can choose a less toxic emotion. I had to make a similar decision not too long when (apologies for being vague, but it’s just to avoid all the backstory) someone I see almost every day, and whom I thought I could trust, did something that made me question that trust. Was I angry? Absolutely. But once I realized that if we discussed the situation, it would only end with us still on opposite sides of the table, so to speak… well, I knew I had to let it go. I decided I was better off not being angry with her, even though I didn’t like what she did.

    On a funnier note: I don’t think I know anyone who’s ever achieved instant Zen. (I know I haven’t!) And if someone has, they ought to share that secret with us.

    1. It’s natural to blame others for our anger. I used to think it would take great energy to squelch that toxicity if you absorbed it but didn’t toss it back out into the universe, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

      I’ve made traffic a reminder of this to me. no more telling someone they’re a dumb !@#$er just for driving fast. I let them go on their way and I feel less resistance to the moment I’m in, too.

      In the long run, were you able to totally let that situation go? The further we get from it, I think, the easier it is.

      Instant Zen would be so cheap! I’d rather have a journey to show for it.

      1. I have a funny traffic story, actually. Not an angry one at all. I was driving to work on the main highway one morning, and a car zips by us in the breakdown lane. (Which is against the law unless it’s really an emergency, of course.) As I watched him, I said to myself, “Where are the cops when you need them?” Sure enough, a mile down the highway, a Massachusetts state cop had pulled him over. XD

        Regarding my situation: I think it will pass with time. There are days when I still feel tense about it, as if I’m expecting her to try to start that conversation I spoke of. But I also have a habit of worrying to the point of obsession about things… so that may very well be all in my head.

        That’s a really good point about Instant Zen, actually. 🙂

      2. You called it, Sara! I had something like that happen, but it involved a cheeseburger. A story for another day! I wonder if people really consider how inconsiderate it is to assume they’re beyond waiting like the rest of us.

        Well, I think sometimes it’s in those pauses, even in a friendship, that speak volumes. Hoping you have some peace there.

        Never trust gas station coffee, dollar-store pregnancy tests, and any promise of instant Zen.

      3. “I wonder if people really consider how inconsiderate it is to assume they’re beyond waiting like the rest of us.”

        When people are that impatient, no, I don’t think they do. :S

        “Never trust gas station coffee, dollar-store pregnancy tests, and any promise of instant Zen.”

        XD XD XD

      4. I think you’re right, Sara. We walked in behind a dude at a store who didn’t hold the door for people right behind him, stepped in front of other people to check out, and did the same thing leaving, with the door. It was apparent he just wasn’t aware of anyone else.

        Glad you liked that last bit! I came up with it just for you.

  9. I think the most important lesson in all of this is that you didn’t let your anger get the better of you. You recognized this, and walked away, with no middle fingers waving around to those boys, or anyone else in your path.

    I’ve been in many situations where I could have let my anger get the better of me and have it dictate my actions and words. But even when I do let some of those things slip, I end up feeling terrible. And the unease of not letting the anger out I can stand more than feeling guilty and angry and resentful.

    And Arby’s… well, it’s the perfect antidote for anger any day. And time with your girls, too. I’m thinking the Arby’s was really the bonus.

    You practiced your mindful Monday perfectly, Eli.

    1. I rarely get to that point, Corey, but it boils up sometimes! It made me think of how people get so mad at me when I drive the speed limit – really, what’s the use of rage?

      I could tell in the moment how pointless the anger was, and yet it had to burn itself out. It also gave me better perspective when I don’t give much slack to others who lose their cool.

      I think you probably know too that every time you’re able to shelve that vitriol before it spills out, you gain a notch in enlightenment. Not for show, but to make us better equipped next time to handle life with even more grace.

      The greatest thing about Arby’s is that Camdyn chose my sandwich for me – a beef and cheddar. The child knows the path to bliss for her daddy!

      Thank you for the kind words, as always.

  10. Haha, “vaping doofus best friend.” That cracked me up so much. 🙂 But I totally get it. I have to remind myself all the time that only I control my reaction and my mindset. But it’s sooo hard to remember in the moment.

    1. I could see his plume of non-smoke smoke rising from his stupid face, Mia. We all have thoughts like that. Right?

      In my head, I’m working on settling that inner voice too. It can get pretty edgy.

  11. Sometimes we just have to accept $hit for what it is and move on. Not worth getting all worked up and angry, right? I say this but don’t take my own bloody advice. Lol 😉

    Unnerving, to say the least, yes. *shakes fist*

    1. No one has a shit-shovel big enough for the universe, right Linds? Rage over it is one of the most worthless ventures in the universe, right up there with producing caffeine-free soda (imho).

      If I get by with a few mumbled f-bombs and no ass shown, it’s a resounding victory.

  12. Through the turmoil we can find peace…. And sometimes we need to see darkness to see the light … You know the phrases.. I hope your Wednesday was more peaceful.
    This line: “I’m reminded that days don’t end wrapped up like TV episodes, with resolution and a hint of foreshadowing.” Turns of phrases like this is why I read your blog!!

    1. Those days of less-than-optimal peace give the clearer days better definition, don’t they Katherine? Thanks so much for the compliment … this is fun, isn’t it?

      1. Otherwise, if there’s no contrast, we’re numb, suspended without knowing the good from the bad! (This is also why we should eat green beans – so that grilled cheese sandwiches will taste even tastier.)

  13. You know..sometimes colourful language is what makes it therapeutic. Not that we shd condone it especially not within earshot of the little ones; but sometimes I can imagine you can’t help it. There’s a need to vent. Need being the operative word. Then u find peace and along comes mindfulness.

    Great post, Eli! 🙂

    1. There’s science behind the benefits of blue language, Ann. And the little ones have heard it all by now.

      Sometimes you can find the peace even while you’re cussin’.

      1. That’s my current worry of the little ones hearing it all and then using the words like it mean nothing. Even if we don’t use it at home, they hear it elsewhere…at such a young age too. The challenge is to educate them on this – while it’s ‘”appropriate” for adults, it’s never appropriate for kids in my opinion.

        I have to agree that I do find peace while I’m cussing! LOL. Oh..the irony (and parenting hypocrisy :p)

      2. Those can be unnerving moments, Ann, when our kids play parrot with our bad words. They also make for great stories later.

        It doesn’t become a kid to use that language everywhere, true. But we kind of create an aura around it, don’t we? We love it, and watch movies with it in it, but don’t you dare do it, child!

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