Harbors make inviting scenes. Photographers of all stripes and talent levels have photographed them since the inception of cameras.
Attached is a picture my son took on a recent trip to Block Island. I was looking at it last night and began to think about the word “Harbor.”
I initially thought of seascapes and then I remembered a line from numerous TV shows – “Harboring criminals.” Like many words, “Harbor” has multiple meanings.
In the case of boats or as a refuge for criminals, it’s suggests a collection area – a collection area that defines the harborer.
The natural question to ask then is: “What are you harboring?”
For many, the answer will be resentment.
You can collect anything you want in this area, but you’ve chosen resentment. You’ve defined an area within you where resentment can drop anchor and have a safe port of call and stay as long as it wants.
Resentment is not a good harbor mate. It leaks oil, never washes itself, spreads its garbage everywhere and pollutes the environment. Yet, we allow it to stay at no charge and at a tremendous cost.
If you harbor resentment, it will consume you.
What I’ve come to discover about resentment is that people who harbor it, justify and defend it. They become like the mother of a sociopath. “My child is a caring, loving person.” Never mind that they just found 21 victims buried under his front porch.
When you justify your resentment, you give it new life. It continues to grow until, one day, it totally poisons you. I’m sure resentment has never shown up on a death certificate but I’m just as certain that people die as a result of resentment every day. It’s an insidious disease.
When you look up resentment in the dictionary you read, “Aggrieved feelings caused by a sense of having been badly treated.”
Here’s what the definition leaves out: The bad treatment you received will pale in comparison to the damage you do to yourself by harboring resentment.
What you need to hear LOUD and CLEAR is that which you resent will kill you no matter how justified you are.
Sad to say but I’ve seen too many cases of people who died extremely painful deaths due to the justification of a smoking habit. Justification of resentment is just as deadly.
I’m reminded of what The Buddha said about anger which could just as easily apply to resentment. He said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
People who harbor resentment believe their justification is their reward. As long as they can tell their story, they feel as though they are getting vindication.
What they fail to see is what others see – them dying a slow, painful death.
It’s a choice; you can harbor anything you want. I wonder how soon you’ll ban resentment from your harbor.
All the best,
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