Reversal lists

This has come up in a couple of conversations recently: The value of creating reversal lists.

When we experience loss of a desirable situation – health, a person, a relationship etc. – it is easy to habitually remind ourselves of what was desirable for us in it. We exaggerate what was good, and overlook what didn’t work so well. And that is a guaranteed way to make ourselves miserable.

So why not do the reverse? Why not make lists of what we didn’t like?

What didn’t I like at the time? What was worse about that situation? What is better now? What do I find when I am honest and specific, and include even the apparently insignificant things?

Together, all the stories give us a more nuanced – and more honest – picture of the situation. We are released out of looking at it only one way. And we are released out of certain habitual emotions around it as well. There is more flexibility and fluidity in our view and emotions.

And there is relief in yet another way: Acknowledging more of our stories about the situation, looking at it from 360 degrees, we are finally being more honest with ourselves.

All of this is built into The Work, but it can be useful to do this on its own as well.

Trigger: Two conversations with friends who in turn have friends who just ended a relationship and have taken it quite hard.


  • reversal lists
    • what didn’t like about the situation (at the time) – what was worse about that situation
    • what is better now

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