While we may not notice it, a great deal of our mental and emotional energy is spent managing unconscious, repressed negative feelings-like guilt, anxiety, desire, and shame-that stem from unresolved issues. One of the best ways to dig up and clear out your mental garbage is by conducting a moral inventory. Choose a time when you can be alone in a quiet, calm place for as long as you’ll need, and bring a pen and notebook. Before beginning, it is helpful to breath calmly and/or pray for guidance, fearlessness, and to feel the supportive presence of God. Begin by writing down all the negative and positive qualities about yourself you can think of, and then move on to regrets, “wrongs” you’ve committed against others, and anything that comes to mind that gives you a negative charge. Don’t worry about legibility-work quickly. The important part is to get as much down-and out of your brain-as you can. Now look at the list and let it go! It is in the past and you cannot change this; you can only grow from it. You’ll be amazed how free you feel afterwards and how much clearer and lighter your thinking is. If you have a trusted pastor, friend, coach or therapist to share your list with, do so. Have a conversation about how you have learned from this exercise and what you are willing to start or stop doing in the future.
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