Resolving Resentment Around the Holidays!


Updated: December 22, 2012

We all know that the holidays are a time that we are supposed to be grateful for all we have and everyone in our lives. But what about those family members, relatives and even people in our past for which we still hold resentment? How do we move past that to truly enjoy having them in our present life, or leaving some in our past?
Why should we do this, and why tackle it now? Because when we escape dealing with our feelings we people who feel too much use food as a soother. We stuff something in our mouths as a way to avoid everything else. We engage in mindless eating and during the holidays we justify eating all of those high sugar, high carb processed foods because this time of year is supposed to be about celebrating, right? They’re called treats for a reason so we treat ourselves and meanwhile we’re actually hurting ourselves.

If you are stressed out about going to see your family or interacting with your ex for the sake of the children, is there anything that is your part to own? Could you make amends for yourself and become freer for it? Or could you go in with a spirit of forgiveness? What resentments do you still have moving into these environments? Don’t fight this, work with it.

I recently spoke with my ex-husband and resolved some of my resentment towards him. In order to do it I had to first look at myself. What I found might be exactly what you are feeling you just haven’t given it the time and attention to let it resolve itself. What I realized is I resented him because I was not the person I wanted to be when I was with him. I was mad at my ex because I became very sarcastic. I was obsessive and I turned to food, and I was not a perfect person and I made poor decisions. When I think back to that time in my life I did not like who I became and I blamed him for it. My reaction to him was my responsibility but rather than acknowledge it and engage in self-compassion and self-love, it seemed just easier to resent him instead. Sound familiar?

When we spoke we both realized that we’re getting older and life is short. We ended up having the best conversation and I didn’t even need to share my deepest feelings for us to get past what was and create a new “what is.” What I took away from our conversation was why would I resent someone like that? This whole time I was re-feeling things that were not his and meant nothing to our relationship. My feelings were about me.

As Christmas and the New Year approach, consider this: gratitude lists will not work for you if you are not willing to look at the resentments you’re still holding onto. Do the work and you will have far more to be grateful for once you do.

  • Have you been harboring any resentment for years?
  • What part of it is yours to own?
  • Can you engage in self-compassion and find a way past it?

Please share your comments below.

Many blessings,
Colette Baron-Reid
Intuitive Counselor &
Life Strategist

Showing 3 comments
  • Kate

    Do I harbor resentments, yes, towards my parent’s, I hold them responsible for our family dysfunction.

    My part, I’m too damn nice, sensitive and caring, a difficult mix in a family full of narcisstic people, who berate me time and time again and I never stand up for myself, that is until recently after a verbal tirade by my father, I decided I would sit this Christmas out from my parent’s and stay home with own my family. I don’t need or want the trigger’s from them. I’ve tried to reach out to my mom and dad for years but to no avail, I have had enough and I’m ready to stand up to them, no more throwing me under the bus for their own pleasure.

    So, this Christmas day will be different for me. Will I be okay, I don’t know, I am sad and have a heavy heart, but I need to do this for me. I am way out of my comfort zone, actually I don’t even see it.

    I think this is about time.

  • Cris

    Hi Colette,

    Wow, your blog (along with a month of crises and challenges) has helped me scrape down to the bone of my long-held resentments. They show me how much I continue to expect others–my sibs, my boyfriend, my clients—to convince me I am lovable. I know this is nuts. I want to get thru it. Mantras of “I am loved” have morphed to “I am love” and that feels like progress, but the sense of fear, self-deprecation, and lack of confidence is, well, making me lack confidence! Would like to trust more. Prayers help. Page 86/87 helps a lot. You help a lot! Thank you!

    Patti’s friend Cris in NYC

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