Turning Resentments into Gratitude

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Last week we looked at some common sources of resentments: expectations, pride and loss. Recently I saw an entry on HuffPost the related to the topic. They looked at how negatives could be turned into positives. Although they did mention gratitude, they didn’t list resentment specifically. Here is their list:

“Anger can be fueled into creativity. River Evening

Struggling with adversity can profoundly alter your perspective.

Working through shame can help you cultivate compassion.

Pessimism can make you more productive.

Envy can spur you to become better.

Loss can lead to gratitude.”

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/how-to-turn-negative-emot_n_4158113.html”)

So I began to think how to take the ideas from last week and transform our resentments into gratitude, not only those from loss but those from pride and expectations.

Divide a paper into two columns. At the top of the first column, write “Things as they are.” At the top of the second column, write “Things as they should be.” Then on the left, write “About me”, then half way down, “About Others”, and then toward the bottom third “About Circumstances or Situations Around Me.”

After you have filled in your thoughts, examine your entries for expectations, pride, and losses.

Now for the great part. Can you find any good in how things are?

This doesn’t mean to talk yourself into believing what you don’t or pretending things aren’t the say they are.

Just ask yourself: Are there any positive aspects of this? In the past, has there been any good or benefit that has come out of it?

I know I have learned more from people who were difficult for me to relate to that from my friends. I have discovered strengths about myself from going through things I didn’t want to. I have identified patterns than no longer served me that I had learned in childhood.

I believe that all learning is beneficial. While I might not have preferred to learn it that way, I did. And I am better today because of it.

And it’s not always about me. Sometimes I have gained experiences that I have then been able to use to help others. It’s all a big circle.

Let me know what you discover from doing this exercise. I’m eager to hear what worked or what didn’t!

 Gratitude Exercise

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