Resentfulness can be a very powerful and intense negative emotion that if not dealt with can cause great division in our relationships and lead to many other painful emotions and experiences.
In this episode, Lorissa shares from her own experience how to process the emotion of resentfulness in order to uproot it from our lives. 

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ello, Mama welcome to episode 64 of Made for Greatness. I am your host Lorissa Horn. And if you can’t tell I’m a little bit congested right now, I think, you know, a lot of us are not feeling super great, but here I am recording this episode. So I apologize in advance a little bit for the sound of my voice, but here I am showing up and I am excited to pour into you a little bit of goodness today. I hope that this episode is a blessing to you. A couple of weeks ago, I did an episode on forgiveness, and I think that this episode is gonna be kind of like a follow-up to that because today I’m gonna talk about a really powerful emotion that kind of is in line with forgiveness or lack of forgiveness. And that is the emotion of resentment.

Now we don’t spend a lot of time talking about this emotion. It’s not really something that we wanna sit around and talk about, but I wanna shed some light on this emotion today. And I particularly wanna share some insights that I’ve had for my own personal experiences with this emotion. And I’m gonna use an analogy to start this off a, a short little story when my husband and I first got married and we were living in our very first home. We had kind of this little planter area outside our front door. It has some shrubs, some bushes, some flowers growing, and it was a kind of this beautiful little area. And it was really the first time we had owned property. This was for me was the first time I had ever really done yard work. But in this particular area, this one day, we started to notice that amongst the flower beds and the shrubs, there was some Ivy growing.

There was a kind of the Ivy was growing throughout this area. And at this point in my life, I didn’t know much about Ivy. I didn’t know much about a whole lot of like plant issues, but my husband and I cut back the Ivy, cut it back, trimmed it back, and cleared it out, of the area. So it was away from, from the plants and the other Bush is, and that was great. And then my husband and I went on vacation and about a week and a half later, we got back, and not only had the IV grown back completely, but the IV had just spread incredibly throughout this area and through the bushes, it through the flowers and everything. And it had wrapped itself around the shrubs and around the bushes. It had killed a lot of the little, the little flowers, and then the bushes themselves were dying.

And I couldn’t believe it in such a short period of time. Literally, the Ivy had like choked out the life of all the other plants that were in this area. And it was really hard. My husband and I had to like cut back the Ivy again, but we realized this time that we couldn’t just trim it back. We couldn’t just cut it back. Like we had to get to the source of it. We had to figure out where it was coming from and really like dig it up completely and uproot it. Otherwise, we knew like it would just come back and it would come back even stronger. And we would just keep having this problem. And it took a lot of effort to really get to the source of where this Ivy was coming from. The roots were so, so deep. Like we had to dig and dig and dig to get to the root, to the very bottom root of where this Ivy had started.

And I just remember thinking at that point, like there were so many analogies that even him and I were talking about when I came, like when it comes to sin, like in a lot of ways, like sin was like the Ivy, but even more so to me, like that is how I perceive the emotion of resentment as being that resentment is something that is if we don’t get a grip on it if we don’t, don’t take control of it at its root and literally uproot it from our lives, then it will create major issues. It will kill as it will suffocate out. It will kill the life around it. And so to me, that is a really good example of visual of what resentment does in our lives and why it’s one of those negative emotions. That again, if we let resentment go, if we allow it to continue on for long periods of time, it will destroy our lives.It will destroy our relationships. It will destroy our own.

It will like, it will suffocate out the joy and the love that is in our own hearts. And a lot of times we don’t even necessarily realize how powerful a negative emotion resentful resentfulness is. A lot of times resentfulness is tied to other emotions or it can lead to other emotions. So for example, resentfulness oftentimes is associated with anger. Sometimes it leads to bitterness, it leads to loneliness. It leads to decreased self-esteem sometimes when we’re feeling resentful, it can just cause us to feel consumed with revenge or even somehow wanting another person to be punished for whatever it is that we feel that they’ve done to us. So again, this is a very powerful, powerful emotion, and it’s one that can be a lot like the IV. Like for example, when my husband and I first noticed the IV it seemed pretty innocent until really it started destroying everything in its path.

So let’s dive into this for a moment where does resentment come from? And that could be, you know, a huge, that’s like a loaded question because it can come from a lot of different places. But a lot of times resentment comes from our own expectations. Like we have this expectation, whether it’s for ourselves or for others, that somebody should do something. And when that person doesn’t do what we think they should do, we feel resentment. Like, why didn’t they act in this way? Or why did they do this? Why, you know, like we usually have this thought, like, I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t have acted that way. Why did act that way? We have expectations a lot of times for our husbands, our children, a coworker, or whatever. And a lot of times when people don’t act the way we think they should, then it leads to a lot of emotions of resentment.

Now, also a lot of times resentment comes from people hurting us. Like we, we do have these legitimate moments where people have done something to us in our past, and it has hurt us. And we hold on to that hurt. And we feel, again, this emotion of why did they do that? Or why did they hurt me in that way? And this emotion of resentment just builds it, festers. It grows over time. The thing with this is, especially when it comes to pain from our past is that most of the time when we’re holding on to resentment, for someone that has done something to us in our past use, that person is no longer still hurting us most of the time, that’s the case, not all of the time, but most of the time when we have resentment towards someone in our past, it’s something they did.

And we have allowed the negative emotion of resentment to build and to grow over time. And so think about that memory. We just keep reliving it. And the powerful thing, and I mentioned this in the podcast on forgiveness is that we can literally relive a memory from our past, and it brings back all the same emotions, but this is the thing that’s so powerful. And this was the thing that was so life-changing for me to realize, especially when it comes to reliving things in the past, it’s this somebody may have hurt me a year ago or six months ago or 10 years ago. But if I keep reliving it and I keep holding onto the anger and to the resentment, then every time I relive it at this point, now I’m the one that’s causing me the pain. This is something that a lot of times we don’t realize that it’s our are thoughts about the person.

It’s our thoughts about the situation. It’s our thoughts about the memory that is now bringing back the pain. We think it’s the person, but it’s actually our thoughts and reliving that thought over and over and over. And we think that because that person did something to us, a, we have no power over it, but this is the truth of this work. And this is why we’re so passionate about really looking into the, into our thoughts and recognizing how much power we give over to our thoughts and how, when I choose to relive a memory and think about it and dwell about it, dwell on it and bring up the resentment and all of that pain. Then now I’m the one responsible for causing me the emotional pain. This is the deal with resentment is that resentment. Although it is directed at another person, the emotion of resentment is causing us the real pain, the real emotional pain.

And I believe that God does not want us to carry this. This is where it becomes so toxic for us in our own life. So poisonous. This is where it chokes out all the other really good and beautiful and positive emotions that we desire to have in our lives. So I’m gonna just share with you an example of, a time recently in my own life, where I experienced some resentment and what I did to process through it and how it helped me to do this coaching. I basically coached myself through this experience and I wanna share it with you so that maybe you could do the same if you’re struggling with this, or then maybe the next time this intense emotion of resentment comes up. Now, first of all, I’m, I’m, I’m grateful to say that resentment is not an emotion that I feel very often.

It’s been an emotion that I’ve definitely felt in my life, but it’s not one of those emotions that I feel on an ongoing basis. I’m very grateful for that. And since I’ve started learning about life coaching and, and learning about thought work and stuff, it has been an emotion that I’ve been very attentive to meaning this when I feel the intense negative emotion of resentfulness. And, and you’ll notice me saying intense because at least for me in my life when I feel the emotion of resentfulness, it is a very intense emotion. I feel it very intensely in my body and I become very in tune with that. There are some emotions that I feel that seem to be more dull or, you know, maybe just not as strong, but for me in my life, resentfulness is, is always felt very intensely. And so this, this happened to me probably about six months ago, I was feeling this very negative emotion.

I could, I could feel it in my body. I was feeling it actually for a good solid day or two of just this negative energy, negative emotions. I found myself, I was really irritable with my children, with my husband, with the people around me. I just felt just really frustrated and angry. All of it. I was like, Larissa, what is going on here? I could tell that I was having this intense emotion. And because of this work, like in the past, when I would feel an emotion like this, oftentimes it would be very easy for me to want to either suppress it, try to ignore it, try to numb it, whether it was with food or with distractions. But I knew like from now, from like learning about life coaching and learning how to process through our emotions, I knew that I didn’t like how I was showing up.

I didn’t feel this emotion, but it was kind of confusing for me. Like it wasn’t really obvious at the moment where it was coming from. I just knew I had this strong emotion. And so I knew that God was inviting me to actually process it. And if you’ve been listening to our podcast or if you’re in our master’s program, you know, that we talk a lot about processing our emotions. And what that really means is instead of wanting to resist the emotion, push away from it, get away from it, which is normally like the normal human reaction for a negative emotion pro assessing the emotion is actually stepping into it, being willing to actually like enter into it, lean into it, fully experience it. And so I’m just gonna kind of share with you my process for this. What I did was I sat down, took a couple of deep breaths, closed my eyes.

I, I set a prayer. I invited God into this moment and I prayed for some clarity and some wisdom, which is usually what I do when I kind of start to process through something. But I the very first thing that you kind of wanna do when beginning to process it and a particularly a negative emotion is to almost get out of your head for a moment and get into your body, which is actually something that is hard for a lot of us as women, especially because we’re so in our heads all the time. And this is why it’s helpful to kind of get into a state of prayer and enter into like a calm, like take a deep breath, close your eyes. But then I kind of really started looking at, into my body, like, where am I feeling this negative emotion? Where, where am I feeling it physically in my body?

And that’s where I started to notice, okay, I’m feeling this intense emotion in my chest and in my stomach. And I literally would put my, I put my ha one of my hands on my chest and one of my stomach and, and the chest, like in my chest, I felt this heaviness. I could feel the tension. It was hard to breathe a little bit. Like I could just, I felt this, Ugh, like I wanted to, to almost hit something, right? Like this is like, oh, just anger, building up, swelling up inside of me. But I also, I also could feel in my stomach kind of nauseated emo-like feeling like that’s where it was kind of showing up. Like, I kind of felt sick to my stomach. Like I was frustrated and, and hurt, but also angry all of it. And I just kind of got really clear with it.

What am I feeling? And at first I just thought that I was just really angry, but as I sat with it and I prayed about it and I invited God into this and I was like, God, please show me what this emotion is like, what is it? And all of a sudden it became very clear to me. It was very obvious. And I even said it out loud, like I’m feeling resentment right now. And all of a sudden I had great clarity around that emotion. Like, yes, this is what I’m feeling and feeling resentment. And as I sat with it for a little bit, I, I got really clear. And, and this was the powerful thing is that I found, and I discovered that I was feeling resentful towards my husband. And I also found that I was actually feeling resentful towards God. And as I say this out loud, knowing that other people are gonna hear it.

I’m not proud of it. I’m not proud to say that I was feeling these emotions towards my husband. And especially like towards God, but I’m just being really honest with you right now. Like, and it was hard for me at this moment too, to, to really admit what I was feeling and what it came down to as I started, as I sat with that emotion, as I started kind of like exploring it. And this is the beauty of processing through our pain or processing through these negative emotions is we, we enter into it, not from a place of judgment, but from a place of a kind of exploring it, trying to understand it, just trying to have clarity around it. So that’s really where I was. I wasn’t coming from a place of like judging myself or, you know, beating myself up for having this emotion.

It was just like, I just needed clarity and I needed to figure some things out. So I started peeling back the layers and trying to figure out why was I feeling this emotion and what it came down to. And without going into all of the details of about it, I was feeling stuck in a situation, in a particular situation. And I was actually what it came down to was I, I didn’t really feel like my husband was supporting me in the way I felt like I needed him to support me. And this goes back to that expectation. Like I deep down inside, I had this expectation that he needed to support me, or he needed to help me with this in a particular way. And he wasn’t doing it now. I wanna be very clear. My husband is incredibly supportive and he’s amazing. And I’m sure if he heard this right now, he’d be like, what is she even talking about?

I’m here a biggest supporter? And he is, he truly is. But I’m sharing this with you because I wanna share with you this full process that I went through in my initial, like peeling back the layers, I started to realize that I was also angry at God, because I felt like God had like, had put me into a situation. And ultimately I felt like he didn’t have my back either. That’s like really what I came down to is like, I was like, I don’t know if my husband has my back. I don’t feel like God has my back. I feel like I’m stuck in this situation and I can’t get out of it and I need help. And they’re not helping me. Like, that’s, it’s funny, like saying it out loud, but that was really what was going through my brain at this time. And that’s what was causing me this emotion of resentment.

But this is super powerful because as I started to just sit with it and I asked, you know, like I, ice was praying and I was asking God in this moment to reveal his truth and, and shed light on this whole situation that was happening in my life. And I can continue to just peel back the layers. What I actually ended up discovering is that this feeling of resentment, that I was directing towards my husband and directing towards God at the root of this resentment was the fact that I discover that this emotion that I was feeling was actually truly being directed at myself. Like I was feeling resentful to myself because in this particular situation, I at the deepest level realized that I didn’t believe that I had my back, that I wasn’t standing up for myself or that I wasn’t supporting myself, that I wasn’t advocating for myself the way I needed to in order to truly show up and honor my own need and my own expectations.

It was deeply powerful peeling this back. And all of a sudden, as I started to come face to face with the reality of, of the root of this resentment, it was at that place that I could finally discover where I needed uprooted and realize that, okay, this emotion that is actually now directed, actually at myself, has been misdirected at my husband, has been misdirected at God is something that, that I can actually deal with now, myself. And it was from there that deep, deep place of self-awareness that I was actually able to uproot that emotion to realize that this emotion is not serving me, that this emotion is just simply creating a wedge in my relationship with my husband. It’s creating a wedge in my relationship with God, but it’s also creating a wedge in my relationship with myself. This is what resentment does.

It creates division. It creates divisiveness, in whatever relationship it happens to be directed towards. And this is the power I think of doing this work of, of being willing to enter into that emotion, to process through it, to a, to look for, you know, the depth and to peel back the layers to have deep and profound self-awareness so that we can do the work that we need to do to be able to move forward. Resentfulness is one of those emotions that will keep us stuck. It will keep us stuck in the past. It will keep us stuck in all and, and like spinning in all sorts of other negative emotions. And essentially like if we don’t deal with it, resentfulness will often always lead us to a place of deep loneliness because always, always resentfulness ends up breaking down the connections we have with other people, or like in my case, even ourselves. 

So resentfulness is like the opposite of connection. It divides us. One of my clients recently said that when she STR, when she struggles with resentfulness, she feels like it repels her from the person that, that she is having this emotion with. And I think that’s a beautiful example or a definition of it. Like, yes, it kind of does it repels us. It pushes us away from the very people that we usually really wanna feel a deep connection with. And so my sisters in Christ, what do we do with this? What do we do with this really strong, negative, intense emotion when it comes up? First of all, like I said, I I’ve given you this example of, of what it feels like in a way to process our emotions. A lot of times it’s hard to do that on our own. It’s one of the things that we do in coaching is, you know, when we have a client that’s experiencing a, a strong negative emotion, we’ll, we’ll walk them through that, but really getting clear with it, sitting with it, enter into it, being willing to, to really feel the emotion, feel it in your body, invite God into that emotion and be willing to peel back the layers. 

It’s not always comfortable. In fact, it can be processing negative emotions can be very uncomfortable at the moment, but it is also a very deeply beautiful one. Whenever we have these moments of profound self-awareness healing always happens, I believe. And that’s why a lot of times when we have these negative emotions if they keep coming up, they keep coming up, they keep coming up. It’s kind of God’s way of telling us, Hey, you need to deal with this. Let’s deal with it. Let’s ex let’s enter into it and feel it and move through it, process through it and come out on the other side with a much deeper sense of having learned something, having gained some sort of like profound knowledge, self-awareness insight clarity, all of it. And to me, whenever I experience that kind of growth, that is very exciting.

It’s very empowering. And for me, that’s when I know like then the emotion just, it, it basically passes away and then we are able to move forward. So again, when we feel stuck, it’s a lot of times because we need to process through something that we can move forward. And we have a whole new perspective that gives us so much more insight. And this, this really is like, my sisters in crisis is the beauty of this life, right? Like a lot of times just don’t want, we don’t wanna, we don’t wanna have negative emotions, but our life is really 50, 50. We’re gonna have positive emotions and we we’re gonna have joy and like overwhelming love and beauty and all of those things. And although we wanna feel all of those really good emotions all the time, it’s oftentimes walking through these new negative emotions that we grow and we learn and we experience transformation and we become the better versions of ourselves as we continue forward.

This is where we get wisdom. This is where we get insight. It’s always when we’re willing to go start peeling back those layers and figuring things out and learning things about ourselves and having God reveal things to us that oftentimes can only be revealed through going through hard, hard things. In fact, a lot of these things is the processing through these emotions are what brings this closer to someone else. And ultimately when it comes to the emotion of resentfulness the antidote to resentfulness is pretty much two things, one forgiveness, and two gratitude. Now I already talked about forgiveness on, you know, two episodes ago. So you can go back if you haven’t listened to that and, and dive into forgiveness, and you can see, it’s very obvious to see why forgiveness is an antidote to resentfulness, but the other powerful emotion that counteracts resentfulness is gratitude.

And for me, particularly in this, in the situation that I just shared with you a few moments ago, as I process through that emotion of resentfulness and discovered things and, and had that self-awareness about myself, I needed to spend some time thinking about my husband and, and God from a place of gratitude. And so when I do at that all of a sudden, you know, there the resentment fell away. And when I, you know, cuz it’s very easy and I, and I think for a lot of us, especially in our marriages, we can, we can hold onto a lot of resentfulness, right? It can build up there are things that we do. We cause each other pain. It’s just, it’s part of marriage. We have these moments where we hurt each other. We have these, sometimes we have these really high expectations that the other one either just, maybe they can’t meet it or they don’t meet it for whatever reasons.

And so we just carry and hold onto this resentfulness. But there’s always, always things that we can find in the people that we love and care about and spend our lives with that we can find where we can find gratitude. And so for me, when I start to feel that emotion of resentfulness coming on, I oftentimes think about that. Like I think about the emotion of gratitude and it really is hard at the moment. Like when, when you’re feeling resentful, it’s really hard to shift to gratitude. But when you do, like you can practice that and be aware of it. And if you know, that is one of you know, ways that we can kind of cure resentfulness is through gratitude. It’s easier to recognize that. And so to, for me, in this particular situation, I sat there for a little while and I started thinking about, okay, what are all the things that my husband does do?

Maybe he can’t always live up to all my expectations, but what are the things that he does do on a regular basis? What are ways that he surpasses my expectations in so many areas? What are the ways that he loves me so powerfully? And then the same with God? Like for me, you know, it’s like, okay, God, I know in this particular moment I felt like maybe you had put me in a situation and, and I didn’t know how to get out of it. And I felt stuck. And I didn’t know where you were in that moment, but I know that you always do have in my back, I know that you’re always there. You’re always working on my behalf. And maybe in this particular situation, there was something you were trying to teach me. And, and there are ways in which you’re inviting me to grow.

And there are things that you are doing behind the scenes that I’m not even aware of. And I know that down the road, you’re gonna make that known. And I’m so grateful to God for all the ways throughout my whole life that you’ve had my back. And then finally, for me, in particular, in this situation, I had to like sit with myself and say, okay, Larissa, what are the ways that you’re grateful for you for yourself? I know in this particular situation you felt like you didn’t have your own back. You didn’t advocate for yourself. You didn’t stand up for yourself in the way you did, but what can you learn from that? How can you grow? How, what, what maybe is God trying to show you about a, you know, preparing you for a future situation, and Lorissa, what are the ways that you’ve had your back in the past?

What are the ways that you’ve advocated for yourself? How are you grateful for the ways in which you do show up for yourself? And so just spending some time there, even feeling grateful. I, for the moments in my own life where I have had my back, my sisters in Christ, this is powerful, powerful work that we are called to do. And it can lead to a lot of profound healing. And so I just wanna invite you, if you are not in masters, this is the stuff that we are doing. This is the work that we are supporting each other in. And this is how I believe that we, as women of God, women of, of our beautiful Catholic faith can and take the treasury and the gift of our faith and apply it to a lot of these thoughts and emotions that we’re having and grow as a result of it.

You know, when we look back at so many saints throughout history and, and in their own journey and path to holiness, a huge part of that was that a lot of them had deep and profound self-awareness. They were able to, and in a lot of ways, a lot, it was because of their life, the way they lived, their lives. Many of them were priests and religious. Many of them were very contemplative. Many of them spent hours is a day in monasteries and convents praying and reflecting and reading and having spiritual direction, all of that, not all of them, but, but many of them. And, in that process, they were able to learn about themselves, their weaknesses, their struggles, the way that God was working, the things that God was calling them to. But here we are in the 21st century, in the midst of motherhood and our culture and society that is so fast-paced.

And it’s so like, go, go, go, and, and just, you know, suppress the emotions and stuff them down and numb them and hide from them and run from them and, and ignore them. And we spend so much time just trying, you know, we feel like we’re running this race. We’re like on a JAL, well, just running, running, running, like we don’t ever really learn how to stop and to reflect and to slow down and to process through these emotions. And for me in my life, in the last few years and learning these tools and, and entering into this ministry and this work of helping other Catholic women and experience all of this as well, I think there’s just profound beauty in, in this work and in giving ourselves permission to pause and giving ourselves permission to really experience these emotions and find clarity around them.

So again, I’d like to invite you to come and join us in masters, where we’re doing this work together. We’re figuring it out. We’re all in this journey of wanting to, to live holy lives and to follow in the footsteps of the saints that came before us as we, you know, a model for future generations, what it looks like to strive for holiness in, in our time today, I say this all the time to the teens that I work with, that, you know, life can feel really dark and scary at, at, as we’re faced with a lot of uncertainty. But it’s in these times that we know that God is raising up some of the greatest of saints. We are amongst those saints. We are the ones that he’s calling to lead. Our families, our children the people that he has placed in, our lives.

And so for us to do this work for us, to be able to know how to uproot these negative emotions that maybe are holding us back or causing us to feel stuck or impacting our relationships in negative ways. Like, man, God wants so much more for us. And he wants us to, to be able to lean into him, to be able to step out of our comfort zone, to trust that he has goodness and hope and joy for us. And that he reminds us that we are, that we truly are made for greatness. And so with that, my beloved sisters and cry, I said, I hope you have a great week and I can’t wait to talk to you again soon. God bless bye.