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September 17, 2019

Let That Sh*t Go! Here’s How to Perform a Burning Ritual to Heal Unresolved Conflicts

Not too long ago, a trusted friend and someone I did business with burned our relationship for short-term gain. 

This person had their own motivations for crossing legal and ethical lines. I’m steadfast about doing the right things, for the right reasons, with the right people. I decided to sever ties immediately and though I left a lot of money on the table, I knew that this was the best path for me internally.

The pain and anger sat unresolved within me for quite some time. Every time I saw their company logo, brand color, associates, social media, you name it, I was triggered, pissed, and hurt all over again. 

It was then that I discovered an ancient method to resolve conflicts: a burning ritual.

You might be bogged down by your past in some way, whether it be from traumatic experiences, painful relationships, or situations out of your control. The thing is, all unresolved conflicts are energy leaks, and when you have big goals to accomplish, you need to preserve and use energy wisely. You cannot afford to be burned out or make the excuse that there isn’t enough time when in reality, you just don’t have the energy. 

Resolution only exists within yourself, but it’s a challenging endeavor without a strategy to process the emotions. Since I’ve been there myself, I want to share my tried-and-true, five-step approach to finally resolving the pain of the past so you can accept, move forward, and feel energized 24/7. 

Related: How to Legit Control Your Thoughts 

Step 1: Pick a Conflict

Identify a small conflict you want to resolve. Starting small is essential to build momentum and help you move to more significant issues. In behavioral economics, this is known as the “snowball effect” which says to start with small things, like paying down $100 of debt first before you tackle bigger things like $10,000. Whereas if you start in reverse, paying down $10,000 would take forever, and you might burn out.

Step 2: Write a Letter of Fury

Grab a pen and paper and start writing down whatever is making you pissed. Get your frustration out for 15 minutes. Say it all. Unadulterated, uninhibited. Cuss, chew people out. Bring the fury. Say how you feel and how you were wronged. Writing down the experience transfers negative energy from your subconscious, through your conscious mind, down your arm, through the pen, and onto the paper. Moving the energy is a release, so you stop being triggered at things that remind you of the issue. 

Step 3: Light It Up 

Now that the paper holds all your negative thoughts, start a fire and burn it. Hell, even spit into the fire if you want to. You don’t want it to exist anymore, so you have to get it out of this universe. Whatever you do, don’t keep your letters of fury sitting around. 

I personally have a little note pad at my desk, and when I know I’m triggered — boom, I write it down. When I’m ready to burn those suckers, I stuff them into my barbeque chimney, douse it in lighter fluid, drop a match, and watch it go up in flames.

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat 

After the letters are burned, only part of the problem is cured. You have to keep going until you get it all out. So if you cured 5%, then you have 19 more rounds to go. What you write during round two doesn’t have to be the same thing. In fact, you’ll be surprised to see the tangents you can go on once you open up the floodgates. Block off 15 minutes every week to sit and purge that conflict.

Step 5: Observe Your Progress 

Keep writing until you notice a change in your tone. After going off on someone for a while, you’ll see that your voice and attitude towards the conflict will eventually change. When you observe the shift, that’s when you’re healing. Your empathy will begin to increase, and you come to a point where you achieve acceptance. That’s when you know the conflict is resolved.

Related: High Vibes 101: A Practical Guide for Emerging Leaders

Accept and Move On

The beauty of this method is that you don’t need to forgive or forget. All you have to do is accept. Forgetting is impossible, and genuine forgiveness takes lots of time. But acceptance says, “I accept the situation and no longer get triggered.”

Ultimately, resolving conflicts is not to forgive or forget — it’s to accept and move on.

Show Me Your Fury Fires

I want to see pictures of your fury fires! Send me a picture or video of you lighting up your letters and let me know how it feels to do a brain dump of all your negative energy. Here’s to letting that shit go once and for all.

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  1. Melissa Keller

    I did a simple burning ritual and asked my husband to add some sage leaves to it. But the fire went out of control. The fire got enormous and the flames almost reached the ceiling. I have done many times a burning ritual and never had seen this. Could you advise me on this?

  2. Shirley Barnes

    I don’t think I can forgive her for feeding him her cycle and trying to take what I’ve built for 30 years I wan the worse for this person.after a few months she had him to doing proposal to her and that shit hurts just imagine all my friends that knows us saw what she put on Facebook just to be spiteful

  3. Joan shade of sun

    On the harvest moon in October I have a smudging and heart clearing. Big bonfire. Positions n, s, e, w. Friends write down their issues or things they want to change and offer it to Mother Earth spirit and throw in fire with an offering. This is our New Years resolution. I burn sage and perform a cleansing smudge.

  4. Relieved

    The other day I found some old documents in my late father’s briefcase. These were from some unnjust court case ages ago, and I remembered how it bugged him for years because a “friend” sued him for something he didn’t do. However, I kind of felt like he’s telling me to burn them, so I did. I really feel relieved after that.