Weight Loss Tip # 13: Make a list of people you have harmed and, after discussing the list with your mentor or life coach, make amends.
Take some time on this tip. Don’t let it become overwhelming. It is important to our emotional health to make a list of the people we have harmed in our lives and to make amends to them but it is a process, not something that happens overnight. It may take years. What’s important is to be willing to begin to look at our side of the street in every relationship in which we experience or recall conflict. Eventually, if we work at it a little bit every day, we will be able to break free from the pains of our past relationships.
If you feel resentment toward someone, put them on your list. It may take a long time before you are able to see your part in the conflict — especially if someone has abused or mistreated you. It may be that your “part” in the conflict is allowing it to live in you. Perhaps your only responsibility will be to make an amends to yourself for holding onto a damaging resentment for years and years.
It may take you a week to make a list of people you have harmed and/or resented or it may take you a year. Once you have finished your list of people you have harmed and resented, make an appointment to read the list to a trusted mentor or friend. A pastor, therapist, life coach or mentor might make a good person to share the list with. Tell the person to whom you share the list that you would like some help deciding upon appropriate amends. It may take several conversations to decide where amends are appropriate. In some cases people will have died and you will not be able to tell them face to face that you are sorry. In some cases you may have stole something from a person. In cases where you have taken something that wasn’t yours, it will be important for you to return what you took and to face the person from whom you took it.
We never make amends in situations when doing so would injure ourselves or others. This is why it is so very important to discuss your list with someone mature and objective before setting forth to make amends. There may be cases in which it would be injurious to you or someone else for you to express your amends directly. A mature and objective third party can help you decide what is appropriate. For instance, if you slept with your best friend’s spouse a week before the wedding and have been holding this burden for 20 years, it may make you feel better to tell your friend and get it off your chest. But it is also possible that a direct amends would hurt your friend and cause damage to the marriage and family. Don’t decide what is appropriate on your own.
Those of us who have stuffed our feelings down with food for many years are not in the best position to decide appropriate actions in such emotionally charged situations. The good news is, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. You are building a community of support. And remember, it takes time. We didn’t get ourselves into the messes we have made in our lives overnight. We can’t expect to transform our lives in an instant, either.
Daily Inspiration: “Holding onto a resentment is like drinking a cup of poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Cleaning up our relationships and learning to love ourselves and others more compassionately is really just good self care. We cannot live healthy lives when we cling to our resentments. Today we ask God to cultivate the gardens of your hearts and prepare us for the process of letting go of all resentments. It is a weeding process. Some of our heart gardens have more weeds. Some of our weeds have deeper roots. We won’t be discouraged, though. Every day we live our new healthy lifestyle flowers blossom in the gardens of our hearts.