I don’t know anyone who has ALL happy memories. Life hands out both happy and sad memories. It gives us good and bad. Did you know that by dwelling on the bitter memories of the past that you are giving power to whatever it is that happened?

Emotions are extremely powerful whether they are negative or positive. The difference is that positive emotions can transform your life into something beautiful, joyful, and meaningful;negative emotions merely destroy.

Napoleon Hill, author of Think & Grow Rich, identifies anger as being one of the most destructive emotions we can have. Anger is so destructive that it WILL destroy your business,personal relationships, and even break down your body.

We tend to suppress our anger. That doesn’t dissolve the anger, it simply gives it breedingground so that it continues to build and build until we finally explode. Anger needs to be expressed instead of being turned inward. Giving expression to your anger is not a license toinjure yourself or others or to destroy property. Giving expression must be done in a safe, controlled manner and with a commitment. The commitment is that once you give expression to
your anger… you LET IT GO.

If someone is angry toward you it is extremely important that you do not take on their anger. It takes practice, but for your own well-being try to take a step back and observe and leave their anger with them. Say to yourself “My, that’s interesting. But it’s their anger, not mine.” And let it go! Do not engage in physical or verbal retaliation and do not allow it space in your mind and
heart. If you do, then YOU own the anger and are responsible to deal with it.

A safe and effective way to deal with anger is using the journal writing technique called Unsent Letters. Unsent letters are written with the intention of NOT sending them. These letters do not hurt anyone. They free you from a potentially deadly poison.

The beauty of an Unsent Letter is that you can:

  • Get as MAD or as UPSET as you want
  • Write an unsent letter to someone who has died or left your life
  • Write to someone or something that is not realistically an audience

Follow these guidelines:

  • Set aside time when you will not be interrupted
  • If you need support, ask someone you trust to be with you while you write the letter (they sit quietly in the background as you write, supporting you to know that you are not alone and this action is a safe and controlled way to express your feelings)
  • Tune into the feelings that you want/need to express
  • Write without fear of judgement or reprisal because the letter won’t be sent
  • You do not need to censor or edit or even read the letter when you finish
  • Write quickly without stopping until there is nothing more to be said
  • Begin the letter with a springboard statement like, “What I’ve wanted to tell you is…” or “Something you may not know about me is…”

The final step is your commitment to LET IT GO! Letting go is not easy but it can be done and achieved by creating a closing, such as a ritual. The ritual is your unique way to dispose of the letter. Do not keep the letter because that only harbours the anger.

Some suggestions for a ritual are:

  • Burn the letter
  • Rip it up and stomp on the pieces and throw it away
  • Drown it in water
  • Bury it

This exercise can be emotionally charged; therefore, it is draining. It is important to have someone to debrief with after you finish. After you have finished the exercise, do something nice for yourself. Take a warm bath, go for a walk, work out at the gym, or sit quietly and listen to soothing music.

Remember this: the human mind cannot hold two thoughts at once; therefore, it cannot hold a positive and negative thought at the same time. One will dominate! The gift for all of us is that we get to choose…so choose wisely!

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