Resentments are conversations in our minds that keep us rooted in the victim archetype. If someone did harm to us, we are blameless and therefore absolved from any responsibility... or so some small voice in our head whispers. With resentment comes the belief that other people should be different from the way they are; that they should not have done what they did. Anchored in being right and justified, the ego embraces the delusional belief that we should get to decide how other people, places and things are supposed to be. One definition of resentment is that it is a lack of acceptance of reality, a resistance to accepting what is because we don't like it. Believing ourselves to be victims tends to create more and more of the same patterns in our life script; more bad things happen because we expect them and make unconscious choices to support that view of ourselves in the world.
This time of year old family resentments are often dusted off and put on display with the rest of the holiday ornaments. Something that happened twenty years ago can be the centerpiece on the dinner table. Start up a conversation for change during this year's holiday celebration. Forgiveness starts with an inner conversation, the decision to become willing to forgive, to become willing to accept others for who they are. And that begins with accepting yourself with the feelings of anger or resentment that you have, acknowledging them without resistance, just accepting them for what they are. They've been with you for a while, they served you somehow, and now they are no longer moving you in the direction you wish to travel. Perhaps, like with my client, they gave the illusion of protection. Or maybe the feeling of righteousness was the only way you knew how to feel good about yourself. Whatever the reason, thank them, bless them, and surrender them up; choose willingness to accept and forgive yourself for having lived this world view, this lifestyle. And then choose something different, one decision, one moment at a time. When you notice yourself reverting to the old way of thinking out of habit, recognize, forgive, and redirect. Let your best present this year be a conversation of forgiveness and goodwill to all. Ask for help when you need it. Use this holiday season to practice and become the peace and love and forgiveness that you want to see in the world.