Esther Harding – The I and Not I

“Resentment always means that we are not willing to do something about the situation.

We prefer to assume that it is someone else’s business to take of the difficulty or that it ought to happen to use in a better way.

We do not definitely say, even to ourselves, that “Life” ought to treat us as favorer children; nonetheless, that is the implication.

Resentment stems from the unconscious.

It is based on an unconscious assumption of the way things should be, and when this expectation is not fulfilled, the individual is unable to react directly to the actual situation, because his assumption is not conscious to him.

I once knew a woman who never said that she did something, but always that it happened.

This gave a most curious impression that she just drifted through life without any conscious direction, and with practically no sense of responsibility towards her own life.

In her, the ego had been most adequately formed, but this did not prevent her from having very strong reactions regarding her own comfort and her expectation of what was due to her.

Any frustration would be met by resentment, not by an effort to do something constructive about the difficulty.” —M. Esther Harding, The I and the Not I