What if you thought you had forgiven someone, yet you feel you still have some sort
of resentment you can’t seem to figure out or let go of?
Or you are experiencing residual sadness and anger that come up even after you feel you have truly
What do you do?
There are a few different reasons why we might have some residual resentment, anger, or sadness
even after we think we have forgiven someone.
1. We might have only forgiven them from our heads (as a decision) rather than from our hearts (spiritual understanding).
If this is the case, we might still be seeing the problem more clearly than the relationship.
2. Another reason might be that we have not completely identified exactly WHAT needs to be
forgiven, or additional repercussions keep arising that we weren’t aware of when we forgave originally.
For instance, let’s say we forgave someone for a damaged car fender, but later we have to replace
the tire, then our insurance goes up, and a year later there is a noise and vibration up in the fender
that we have to get looked at.
These additional features that we were unaware of when we forgave are then added to the cost and
may require additional forgiveness.
3. Another common reason for resentment is that we are not fully healed from the damage done
and the pain is ongoing.
4. We could be experiencing “triggered memories” associated with an offense. For example, I
might forgive my friend for lying to me, but discover that resentment keeps showing up because I
have unresolved, and unforgiven issues from when my mother would lie to me as a child about her
What we can do to start feeling some freedom around these left-over feelings is getting curious
- Sit quietly with a pen/pencil and journal
- Take some breaths and focus on your heart
- Allow yourself to say: I notice I am experiencing _________ (here is where you would
name the feeling: anger, sadness, resentment, etc.) about _____________ (name the person
- Breathe into the feeling without judgment – just allow it
5. Ask yourself: What do I need to know about this feeling of resentment or anger
or sadness, etc.) and see what is willing to be shown to you as you continue
to breathe into it.
Journaling and breathing and getting curious are excellent ways of gaining insight.
The author of “Forgive Yourself”, Brenda Reiss truly walks her talk. She discovered the power of self-forgiveness when a series of life events put her in a very dark place. Failed marriages, abuse, and severe health issues were just a few of the challenges she faced.
Determined to rewrite her story, Brenda sought answers – and found them in the concept of “radical forgiveness”.
What she learned changed her life forever.
Brenda is highly skilled at helping people find peace in their personal and professional lives. Coupling teachable techniques with forgiveness theory, this certified Radical Forgiveness© Master coach creates an environment which allows clients to release anger, shame, and guilt. The result? An opportunity to live with joy in the present and the future.
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