Anger, Bitterness, and Resentment
For this week, I want you all to focus on forgiveness. There's at least one person in your life who has hurt you in some way that you haven't forgiven. Holding on to your resentment, bitterness, and anger is like walking around wearing a heavy suit of armor. You think you're protecting yourself from being hurt again, but it just leaves you mentally and physically drained at the end of the day. The worst part is that you devote all this time and energy towards being angry at this person (or group of people), and the person who wronged you isn't even thinking about you in most cases. This week, I want you to hand-write a letter to a person who has wronged you in some way. I want you to pour your heart into this letter. I want you to tell this person exactly how their actions made you feel, and how pissed off you are at them. In the 2nd part of the letter, I want you to tell the person that you forgive them. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you forget what they've done, it just allows you to move on and to stop hanging on to so much resentment.
After you've written the letter, read it over a few times. Take a deep breath, and I want you to burn the letter. As you watch the letter burn, you need to start letting go of the anger you have towards this person. When the letter is gone, you need to take another deep breath and let go of all the pain, hurt, and resentment you've held on to thinking about this person. I use this exercise with some of the coaching clients, and most tell me that it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders after they burn the letter. Some even choose to write a letter of forgiveness to themselves. If you're unable to write the letter and truly forgive someone, I want you to ask yourself what benefit are you getting from holding on that bitterness and pain? There's some benefit that you're getting from holding on to the anger, or you wouldn't keep doing it. Perhaps you don't want to feel vulnerable again, and hanging on to the anger is your way of protecting yourself from being hurt again. Being vulnerable isn't a sign of weakness, it's actually a display of power. It takes tremendous strength to open yourself up and expose your soul to the outside world for all to see. Write the letter, and let me know how you feel afterwards.