Reflecting on Grudges, Resentments, Guilts and Regrets

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Thursday, December 07, 2023
By Emy Fernandez, MBA, Life Coach

As I sit here reflecting on this past year, I feel a heaviness instead of my usual end of year reflection of excitement for the New Year.

We often encounter moments that leave us burdened with grudges, resentments, guilts, and regrets but for me these moments are fleeting.  They come and they go randomly throughout the year without further thought or deep introspection.

Emy with blanket on balcony

My motto has always been “out of sight – out of mind” when it came to the grudges, the resentments, the guilts and the regrets.

I understand now this is just a safety mechanism to keep me from experiencing the same negative emotions on repeat.

Hey, I’m a Life Coach, right? Let’s think positive, let’s move forward and so on and so on.

The problem is that these grudges, resentments, guilts, and regrets don’t magically disappear by ignoring them.  They go to sleep temporarily and when you least expect it, they rear their ugly heads over and over again.

We think they are different, but they are the same ones – with new ones tacked on.

Although fully letting go of these thoughts and feelings can be challenging, it is important to do so, for our own growth and inner peace.  Learning from our mistakes helps us avoid continuously making them and the peace that follows from letting go strengthens us.

So – how do we let go?  Well what IS helping me.  Yes!  This is work in progess (insert emoji frustration face here).

Identify. Reflect. Forgive.

  1. Identify each of your grudges, resentments and/or regrets.  How do you know which ones they are?  For me they come up when I repeat the same mistakes.  Start there.  This will trigger your memory vault.
  2. After you’ve identified them, think back. Be kind to yourself in this process.  What lessons can I learn from them?  How can I do it differently next time? Do I want to do it differently next time?  Maybe not.  But if not, more reason to let it go.
  3. Forgive yourself.  Self-forgiveness is a vital part of the journey towards our inner peace and growth.  Forgiving ourselves with love gives us the capacity to forgive others with love too AND enables us to move forward with compassion and understanding for ourselves as well as others.

By embracing forgiveness and reflecting on our past mistakes, instead of the “out of sight – out of mind” mentality, allows us to free ourselves from emotional burdens and remove obstacles that keep us from moving forward.

As we embark on this journey of reflection together remember that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves first – this will then allow us the ability to forgive others.


“Looking through the rearview mirror first – allows us to then navigate forward.” Emy Fernandez, MBA, Certified Life CoachREARVIEW MIRROR WITH VIEW OF A TRUCK