Are you holding grudges?
Do you remember a past hurt? Letting go often seems counter-productive. We want to be on our guards against similar actions. We want to protect ourselves. Besides, letting go, we think, means we must forgive another and we’re just not sure we can do that.
Letting go, however, is far looser than “forgiving.” Sure, it may involve forgiving — another or ourselves. It may simply mean we accept what happened, or we acknowledge how something or someone hurt us.
Mostly, letting go means no longer allow someone else or some other event to have control over how we feel or behave. We take back our control.
You may not wish to do anything specific about the grudges and pains that are controlling you, but acknowledging their existence is the first step to conquering them. Make a list.
1. Jot down what grudges and burdens you are carrying.
2. Consider what you are gaining from holding on to them and remembering them and feeling them. Surprised? Sometimes we don’t think about this step.
3. Finally, imagine you simply let them go. Feel the energy surge back in? How light do you feel?
I’ve been practicing Gratitude Adjustments lately in an attempt to focus more on what I’m thankful for and less on what’s not going so well. Bright spots instead of thunderstorms.
Here’s my challenge this month:
- Set aside a few minutes – at the end of the day or first thing in the morning – to reflect on the day’s events, past or upcoming.
Jot down what you’re thankful for. It only needs to be a sentence.
Repeat daily, but each day take time to reflect on whether the previous day’s gratitude adjustment made a difference in your attitude, how you dealt with others, or your overall demeanor in the world. Did you brighten someone else’s day because you reflected on what you were grateful for?
Commit to a month of gratitude adjustments and then review results. You might consider keeping a daily gratitude journal all the time – use a special notebook, a blog, Facebook – whatever you like – to record them. Focus on the positives, not the negatives!
Today, I am grateful for people who have integrity and who walk their talk.
Accountability, Not Justification
Here’s the deal: can you stop justifying your behavior and assume full accountability for actions? Just for fun, try this experiment, which I lifted from a message board discussion on the Arbinger Community. I found this challenge very intriguing and VERY hard to do. But the very fact that you try to do it raises your awareness of it, and that can’t be a bad thing!
So, for the moment:
- Think of a time when you’ve made a mistake. Tell that story to someone or write it down as if you were sending it in an e-mail to explain to someone.
- Retell the story while only relating the actual mistake (without any justification for why you did what you did).
- The question to consider is this: “Why might it be difficult to do just Step 2?”
Try it. Pay attention when you tell others about something you’ve done. Listen carefully when they tell you about their mistakes. Then think about how you’d retell things without justification.
Think about how holding yourself accountable keeps life real and honest and authentic. Let me know how hard (or easy) it is for you!
What One Thing Will You Do To Change Your Life?
It’s a brand new year. What are you doing to weave the life you want?
I’ve been thinking about what one thing I can do this year that will make the biggest difference in my life. The usual suspects come to mind: lose weight, exercise more, eat healthy meals, of course. But I’m thinking in broad strokes.
So for me, it’s all about unloading “stuff.” Emotional stuff, physical stuff, old stuff, no-longer-needed stuff, why-did-I-keep-this and what-was-I-thinking stuff.
I think once I do that (and have a big yard sale this spring), I’ll feel lighter, less encumbered by things, and cleansed.
Wow. Now that’s a goal!
What about you? What one thing WILL you do this year that will make the biggest difference to your life?