11/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Four Steps To Move Beyond Resentment

Resentment builds up when we are not real with the people in our lives. It is that which is left unsaid that causes resentment, often little things that pile on top of each other, until the tiniest event can cause an explosive reaction. Try incorporating these habits into your life to free yourself from resentment:

Say what you feel, in the moment

Speaking our truth is one of the hardest things for us to do, and telling people -- especially the people we love and admire -- when we are annoyed with them, is often extremely difficult. The reason it is so hard is that we are afraid of rejection, of losing their approval, and ultimately, losing their love. But when we don't say what is going on, the momentary irritation or conflict that was generated by their actions is stored inside, and adds to all the other times we have repressed similar annoyances. These emotions become an energetic barrier that impedes the love we feel from flowing freely -- every time we see the person, we are subconsciously reminded of those moments that bothered us and so our attention, instead of being fully present in embracing the person as they are, afresh in each moment, is distracted, focusing on what is wrong. The spontaneity of the relationship has then gone -- if we pretend to be nice and friendly, our interactions become a performance -- an act, where true love is hard to find. When you decide to face the fear of rejection and say what you are really feeling, something incredible happens. Your transparency sets you free, allowing you to release the built up judgments and emotions, and let go of resentment. You can then return to the appreciation and innocence that the relationship once had. This is why so many couples grow apart with time: out of fear of losing the other, they hide what they really feel. The result? Two people who are physically close, but distanced inside all the same.

Develop a loving relationship with yourself

The need to receive approval from our loved ones, the need to control and manipulate their opinion of us, comes from our own need for acceptance and love. It is only when we have lost the ability to accept ourselves that we start worrying about what other people think, and so start hiding and contorting ourselves in order to become what we consider "good enough". In order to change this, we must go inwards, and start looking at ourselves. There are many ways to go inwards; some people use meditation, others simply focus on being present with themselves... I teach the facets of my system - which are what worked for me; the important thing is that you start listening to yourself, giving less attention to how the outside tells you to be, and start listening to the voice of your own heart. This will make it easier for you to start speaking your truth, and letting go of the need for external approval.

Feel your emotions

In order to release the built up charge of resentment, allow yourself to feel. Young children don't feel resented exactly because of this -- they feel everything, without "filtering" what they should or should not express. Because of this, they are able to see everything afresh -- every moment is new, full of possibility and excitement. It is as we grow older that we learn to judge certain emotions as wrong, and in doing so, begin storing those emotions within, unwittingly carrying them everywhere; they become our constant subconscious companion. Let yourself feel. Let yourself get angry, allow yourself the liberty of feeling sad. When you do, you will find that the resentment and bitterness around events of the past begin to lift, and you are able to recuperate the magic and innocent wonder of childhood.


Resentment comes from feeling lack of some kind -- of feeling mistreated, disrespected, or hurt in some way. When you feel like this, give. In giving, you take your attention out of your own drama of dissatisfaction, and are immediately focusing on abundance; on what you do have, instead of what is wrong or what is missing. This is an extremely powerful way of changing your focus, from lack to appreciation.

Resentment is a trick we have to take us away from enjoying the beauty of the present moment. Don't let it rule you; life is too precious, too full of excitement and opportunity to remain stuck in the past. Use these simple steps to train yourself to experience the freshness of the here and now, and you will find freedom from resentment.

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Isha's latest book and movie, "Why Walk When You Can Fly?" explains her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Her website is