When my first company tanked, I was on the hook for about $150,000. Before I got slammed with that fact, my CEO, who I hired to run the company, thought it best to fire my Founder’s ass. Shortly after they canned me, the whole business fell apart — because you can’t have a personality-driven business without um, the founding personality there. And because, bad karma.
Anywaaaay, I got to sit back and watch them tank without me. Which was only slightly satisfying. Mostly it was sad and crushing. When the castle crumbled, the bank called me for its money. And because I’d co-signed the loan as a “person” and not as a co-founder of the business — I had to pay up, even though I’d been fired months before.
I made a conscious choice to not resent the shit out of paying off that bad debt. Decision, made. And it’s not like I had the money. I had noooo money, beaucoup credit card debt, and only 60 subscribers to the site I started since I was suddenly solo. (You and about 300,000 people are reading that site right now! Woot! Good karma.) For 5+ years the bank withdrew $524.97 out of my account monthly, and I hammered the rest down in chunks of money when I had it to spare.
… is a major energy drain;
… can feel all righteous and cool, but it’s actually totally disempowering;
… can be insipid, like water poisoning that you don’t really taste but it’s affecting your whole system.
The good news about resentment is that — unlike other so-called negative emotions such as sadness, or jealousy, or grief — resentment can be easily turned around.
Turning around resentment:
- Own that you are in charge of what you do. YOU CHOOSE to be there, to give it, to respond, walk away, show up, do it with swagger, with grace, or with vengeance. Your energy, your choice.
- Be grateful for what you have. And there’s always something to be grateful for.
- Trust that more of the good stuff is on the way. (Bonus: Your trust helps it get to you sooner.)
- Know where you want to go. You have to be really clear about where it is that you are heading — and that it is better than where you’ve been.
I knew that if I actively resented and bitched about those monthly payments, that it would distract me from my own creations. Also, the anger about the whole situation was heavy-duty. And I was done carrying it. So I re-framed paying the debt into a reason to be grateful. Every time that money came out of my bank account I said, “I’m grateful that I have the money to pay this.” And I was. And I let THAT be the lead story. And then… magically (but not instantly,) on the VERY same day that I FINALLY made my very LAST monthly payment on that bad debt, my company tipped its first million dollar mark — and I did the happy karma moonwalk. Oh ya, oh ya…