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Most of us have experienced anger and resentment in our life. Typically anger and resentment comes from the feeling that someone should have done things differently. Because of their actions I have been hurt in some way.

Tremendous amount of life force gets drained if we hold on to anger and resentment for an extended period of time. Spirituality and religion talks about forgiveness as an antidote for this emotion. However, personally for me, forgiveness has never worked effectively. On the surface it felt like i had forgiven the abuser, but somewhere inside I knew I was still holding on to the resentment.

Here is the tool that has worked effectively for me. See if it resonates with you: It is the Serenity Prayer combined with wisdom.

Whenever, I feel the emotions for anger and resentment arise in me, I bring to consciousness the meaning of the serenity prayer. For this person that I am angry at: Can I do something about the person or the situation. If not can I just accept the way things are.

If you dig deeper you will find the intention behind this emotion is to change other persons behavior in a way that benefits us. At some level this intention is wrong in itself. This seems more like use of force to manipulate someones behavior. You will also realize that it is nearly impossible to change someone else.

You should not allow people to abuse you. You don’t have to like the person either. However, accepting the person as they are is usually a much better choice. In fact that is the only choice you will have in most cases because changing the other person is not usually a viable choice. Unless of course you are willing to destroy your own life, such as going to prison for physically hurting the other person, or going to the hospital with serious illness yourself or destroying your life dreams.

My advice is to accept that you cannot change people in most cases. The moment you decide to accept this knowing, your psyche stops to bleed life force. This life force then gets utilized to heal your own life so that you can have a better future. From this place of acceptance take appropriate action: adapting to them, changing your expectations or even getting rid of them.