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Releasing Negative Emotional Baggage Part 2: Being the way I am benefits me

April 11, 2024

Congratulations! You came back! I’m so proud of you. This shows that you are on your way to becoming – you guessed it – a master of your destiny, not a victim of your history, and that you have courage, humility and discipline.

Many people would have stopped when it got the hard work, but you came back. That’s discipline. You did the exercises, even if you didn’t want to. That’s courage. You wrote honest answers, even when it hurt to read the things you didn’t want to admit them to yourself. That’s humility AND courage. 

Now I want to take you through two more healing exercises designed to help you release your past. The first one might bend your mind a little. But go with me. 

Being the way I am benefits me 

I know that statement might sound crazy to you. Let me explain why it isn’t. Imagine you are a smoker. You know it’s harmful. You want to change, and have even tried quitting multiple times, but each time you fail. How on earth does smoking benefit you?

Your brain is wired for your benefit. It is wired to protect you and help you thrive. So why would it let you smoke? So ask yourself, “how does smoking benefit me?” You might be thinking there is no way it could possibly benefit you. However, consider this: 

  • Maybe smoking allows you to take more breaks from work. 
  • Maybe the smokers at work all have a social bond and you benefit from that. 
  • Maybe it curbs cravings so you don’t gain weight. 

Of course, the risks far outweigh the benefits and you already know this, but until you can acknowledge the ways your current behaviours or feelings benefit you, you can’t find healthier ways to replace them. So your brain just sends you back to the old, toxic habit. 

Think about your own story, and ask yourself these two questions, as many times as it takes to cover your story: 

  1. What is the current benefit I get from being this way or doing this behaviour? 
  2. What is an alternative way to get that benefit?

When you are ready, let’s move on to another powerful exercise. 

The Anger-Healing Letter. 

Ancient wisdom says, “Forgive and forget.” I say that’s stupid.  I say, sure, forgive and let go of the negative emotions, but remember the lesson. When you forgive and let go of the emotion attached to the memory, you can live outside its toxic influence.  But it is good to learn the lesson and never make that mistake again. How freeing! 

But in practice, letting go of the emotion can be a little tricky. That’s why I recommend is something to get it out of your system. The next thing I want you to do is to write an anger-healing letter to people who make you furious. This is a very important step in the process of forgiving and healing. Let me guide you through this step by step.

  1. “Dear”
    Who is it that you feel anger towards? A parent, spouse, business partner, boss…?
  2. “I was angry that you…”
    Spell it out! What is the reason you are angry? Put all that emotion into writing. 
  3. “It made me feel…”
    Express how it impacted you, and what went on in your emotional landscape. 
  4. “It caused me to…”
    Give specific examples of the results. Did it stop you from believing in yourself? Or stop you from pursuing a dream? Name it.

    And then, when you are ready, I want you to write this extremely important line
  5. “Although I still remember and still do not accept or agree with your actions, I now choose to forgive you for this.” 

It's very important to write this line. You are not releasing that person from any wrongdoing. You are not absolving them of what they did to you. What you are doing is releasing the negative emotion and the negative memory. You don't agree with the action, but you're going to let go of it.

Then I want you to get very specific. For example, "/ forgive you for ;udging me", "...for treating me badly", "...for not supporting me". Whatever the reason, describe it the way you need to describe it.

Next comes this: "/ am in control of my life, and I choose for our relationship to be..."Then describe the next phase of the relationship: " be full of love... to be full of care... to be full of respect." Maybe you don't want to love that person? All right, but you can at least have basic respect between you.

The last thing to write is, "/ am healed, and I feel loved, I feel worthy, I feel powerful, I feel committed, I feel strong." Put in whatever positive affirmations that are going to help you, and then sign your name.

You might need to go and take a walk to breathe deeply and clear your mind after this exercise. Allow yourself the love you would extend to someone else who showed this kind of bravery. You’ve one a big thing. 

Well done. I am proud of you. You are a master of your destiny, not a victim of your history. 

You’ve done some hard work. If you feel you need more, definitely download my eBook “Slingshot”, or better still, get a hardcopy you can write in. But if you are feeling focused and lighter, then its time to move forward. 

In the next article, I’ll be showing you how to turn these negatives into the slingshot that will project you into a future you have mastery over.

Moustafa Hawmi 

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Moustafa Hamwi - Keynote Speaker, Coach, Author