Finally check your baggage and fly free!
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. ~ Nelson Mandela
Did someone do or say something that you find unforgivable? Do you find yourself still hurt or angry when you think about the pain? Does the resentment of this situation cloud your current happiness? It probably does, even if you aren’t aware of the impact of holding onto past hurts this way.
Resentment can live inside you, feeding on your negative feelings and emotions and it will become stronger the longer it is ignored. Left unattended, it can prevent you from seeing the world from a balanced place.When you hold onto resentments, they accumulate in your body and damage your health and happiness. The good news is that you can use this seven-step process as an effective way to release resentment and finally feel free to live your life with joy!
1. Take Responsibility
It is easy to feel like you have little or no control over powerful emotions. When someone says or does something that hurts you, you may feel justified in reacting in anger. But if your emotional state depends on what other people do or say, you will forever be at the mercy of others. Understanding that you have a choice in how you respond and interpret experiences is the key to stepping into your own power over emotions and your ability to heal. Someone may have said or done something that triggered your emotional response, but you own how you respond.
2. Use Your Body as a Witness
Your body is always in the present moment. Your mind is often in the past (anger, resentment) or the future (fear and anxiety). You can use your body to help clear accumulated resentment!
Close your eyes and consider the action or words that triggered the resentment. Notice where in your body you feel the emotion rising. Observe the feeling and allow your attention to embrace it. Breathe into this area of your body. Acknowledge the feelings and sensations without trying to change them. Notice the emotions and sensations in your body start to release when you do this.
3. Label Your Feeling
Next you will give a name to whatever sensation you feel in your body. Use simple words such as fear, anger, guilt, frustration, or sadness. Our conditioning often has us reach for words like betrayed, let down, hurt, or any word that implies that someone else is to blame for how we are feeling. These words are actually victimizing words because they disable you from moving on unless someone else does something! By simply labeling your feeling with an empowering word, you avoid the temptation to rehash the long, complicated story. Every story is about the past. Your sensations and emotions are in the present.
4. Express Your Feeling
This is super important! If you resist, ignore, or suppress emotions, they only become more toxic. Expressing your feelings allows them to release from your mind and body. This isn’t about expressing how you hate or blame someone else but to truly free it from your present with clarity and insight.
You may want to write your feelings down:
- First describe the situation and your feelings from your point of view.
- Next, express what happened from the other person’s point of view. Understanding allows for forgiveness. We can acknowledge that the person did the best they could with their abilities and current state of consciousness.
- Finally, describe the situation as though you were a reporter writing an objective news story – just the facts.
When you describe all three perspectives, the intense emotions lose their grip on you and your awareness expands.
5. Share Your Feeling
Now you have an important choice to make – that is, choosing someone you trust and then sharing your feelings with them. Include the whole process you’ve been going through and all three points of view. Let the person know you would like them to just listen and allow you to share your experience of processing the resentment. You don’t need them to take “your side” or offer advice; you just need them to hear your process. Hopefully you will now be able to share without blame. If you find yourself going into blame, just pause, breathe, and start again. The aim is to be heard and get a true reflection, which the right listener can provide.
6. Perform a Release Ceremony
Cultures throughout time have used ritual and ceremony to deepen the meaning of significant life events. Create your own ceremony for symbolically releasing the resentment. You may want to write down what you’re releasing on a piece of paper that you then burn or simply allow a rock or leaf to represent the resentment and throw it into a body of water or allow a river to float it away. You can do this alone or invite others to join in witness of this important release.
7. Celebrate and Live Life!
Last but not least, do something nice for yourself to honor your release. This doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. You might simply listen or dance to your favorite music, buy yourself a special present or enjoy a delicious meal. Just something special for YOU!
We can never control what other people do or say, but we can control how we react. When you practice owning your reactions, expressing yourself, and embracing forgiveness, you clear yourself from resentment’s cloud and enjoy life in the present!
Tammy Steele’s passion is to inspire you to connect to yourself and empower you to live fully present in your life. Her expertise and experience can help you transform your life and get you reconnected with your happier, healthier, more vibrant self. Tammy is a holistic work/life flow coach, an energy intuitive, and Reiki Master at Fully Present Living. She is holding an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Retreat designed by Dr. Deepak Chopra March 16-17 at Cedar Sanctuary. At the retreat you can Discover how to identify imbalances in your life and create a personal daily routine that nourishes you. You can finally release emotions in a healthy way, eliminate physical stress so your mind and body begin to feel at ease and relaxed, and experience health, vitality and happiness. Sign up today to get started.