Welcome to day #16 of our Gratitude Challenge! I love this one today because I feel it is so important for everyone to know how to do this in their life in order to let go. Relationships are the core in our lives and when they aren't right, or if we carry bad feelings with us, it only hurts us. Heal the relationships you currently have, or those in the past so you can feel at peace and happy about them.
Do you have any difficult or broken relationships? Or do you have a broken heart that you feel like you can't fix, or maybe you're holding on to resentment towards someone? It's OK if you're feeling that way. We all go through periods where events may happen in our relationships that cause them to have bad feelings, and they put a strain on us. The problem comes when you don't know how to deal with these types of feelings in a healthy way. When you can't let go of them and they bottle up inside of you and can cause you to feel emotionally hurt or depressed, or angry. The good news is that gratitude can have a miraculous effect on improving any relationship, as difficult as it may seem.
When you are having problems with a relationship in the first place, chances are you are not grateful for the other person at all. Instead you're blaming them for all the problems between you. Blame is a negative action, and doing that isn't going to get you anywhere. In fact, it will probably make your whole life a lot worse.
Whether you have current relationships or past relationship with bad feelings, practicing gratitude for those relationships will eliminate those bad feelings you have towards that person. I know some of you are probably thinking, why would I want to remove bad feelings about someone who hurt me? I have every right to feel this way because of what they did. Well, the reason why is really for YOUR benefit.
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
I love that analogy of the hot coal burning your hands, just like holding on to any bad feelings towards someone else is only hurting you. I know it's hard to think about being grateful for someone who may have hurt you, but here are some examples of how to practice gratitude towards them.
For example, if you have an ex-partner you have kids with, even if the relationship has gone bad, you can look at your kids and realize that they wouldn't be alive without your ex. Or, if you're feeling heart-broken over losing someone. Either to a relationship ending or someone passing, you can practice gratitude to heal your pain. Think about the happy moments you may have shared that you are grateful to have experienced, or the lessons you learned from them.
So for today, your challenge is to think about a relationship you may have that has bad feelings. Choose 1 that you wan to work to improve. It doesn't matter if this person is currently in your life or not. Take some time to sit down and write a list of 10 things you are grateful for about this person. Think back through your history before things went bad, think about lessons learned, experiences you had, things you received from them. It's important to know that this is not about who is right or wrong. You are trying to heal the relationship. Heal it for you. You don't need them in order to heal it either. It may be hard to think of things to be grateful for at first, but keep digging in with your mind. There's always some sort of positive in any relationship.
When you're done with this list of 10 things, you should feel a little better about your relationship. The ultimate point you want to get to is that you have no bad feelings towards this person. Every relationship is different, and may take a little longer at times to heal it. But I want you to keep writing this list every day until you feel completely healed. I've done this for so many past relationships and I continue to do this for my relationships today. It works, you just have to put the time in to practice this gratitude. I promise if you do, you'll feel free from those bad emotions over time!
Remember to use this practice proactively in your relationships as well if you start to see that there may be bad feelings coming up, practice gratitude for that person to help it get back on track.
Your checklist for today:
1. Make your daily gratitude list of 10 things you are grateful for and why. Remember to read down your list and after you read each item, say thank you 3 times. Worksheet
2. Pick 1 relationship that you have bad feelings for and make your list of 10 things you are grateful for about that person. Worksheet
3. Before you go to sleep tonight, pick up your gratitude object and reflect back on your day on the good things that happened. Pick the best thing that happened and say THANK YOU!