Resentment And Gratitude

“Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release”

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Here is a great exercise that I recently did in the Strong Coach program. This is a great exercise that I believe will benefit anyone. We have all been through some tough times or dealt with people or issues that we didn’t want to have to deal with. And for some of us, that can mean we held on to resentment as a result of those situations. No matter where you’re at in life, I believe you will find value in doing this simple exercise.

Write your resentments down

The exercise was to take an hour and write down all the resentments you have in your life. It can be about people, situations, organizations, family, clients, etc. Then after completing your list, you take the piece of paper and burn it.

Once the resentment list has been burned. You sit down and write your list of gratitude.

Start writing

When I first sat down to write my list of resentments, I thought to myself, “I don’t really have any resentments”. I stared at the paper for a few minutes, because I felt like I’m pretty good about letting things go. I decided just to start writing whatever came to mind.

Then I thought about one thing and wrote it down. That one thing led to another and then another. Before I knew it, I had a list. It wasn’t a huge list, but some people that have come and gone in my life that I could have done without. There are decisions that I wish I would never have made, personally and professionally. There are situations that I could have handled better. For some of these things, I chose to close the door on them and never really let them go.

This exercise allowed me to open that door and put those resentments down on a piece of paper, knowing that I was going to be burning this paper. When I finished writing, I folded up the paper and tucked it into an envelope.

I felt the weight of these resentments

Now the plan was to burn this paper right away. That didn’t happen. I ended up carrying this envelope for almost a week. And every time I thought about it, It felt like a had a thousand pounds in my bag.

Then one evening when I got home I pulled it out and walked outside to the backyard. I had the pocket lighter and started lighting one corner of the envelope. It took a few minutes for this envelope to really catch fire. I thought to myself, maybe this is a sign that I have been holding on to these things for too long and that it was going to be hard to let go. Didn’t matter, one way or another I was going to get this damn envelope lit.

Once it caught fire and I immediately felt better. I had taken these resentments and transferred them from inside me to a piece of paper. As the paper burned, I felt as if my soul was getting lighter, and I was truly letting go.

I’m now at peace with those items listed and they are no longer there.

Resentment list burned

Gratitude List

Now with the mind clear of resentment, it was much easier to be in a place of gratitude. My list of gratitude flowed easily. I do a morning exercise of journaling with seven questions to start my day. This exercise has been a game changer for me. It is easy to think about all the things we don’t have or that we want. Every day I do this exercise, I remind myself of all the good in my life.

I truly believe that I have an amazing life. I’m grateful for all of it.

Do this exercise and tell me what you thought of it in the comments below.

Author: jpbolwahnn

JP is a Former Navy SEAL coaching professionals to their highest quality of life through health and mental performance.

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