Express Your Feelings Peacefully with the Help of Gratitude

In his poem, A Poison Tree, the great poet William Blake wrote,

“I was angry with my friend. I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe. I told it not, my wrath did grow.” 

When you suppress your feelings, both positive and negative ones, you’re keeping yourself from being all that you can be. Not only that but if you internalize your emotions, you are growing into the very same ‘poisoned tree’ that William Blake wrote about. 

Don’t Plant the Poison Tree Seed

When you conceal your true feelings, there’s an internal pressure that causes negative emotions like anger, resentment, fear, and hatred to swell up and take on more potential energy within you. The day always comes when those emotions explode outward because of the pressure. 

When this happens you might say things you don’t mean that may cause deep pain to those you love the most. The possible negative actions and reactions that stem from your suppressed feelings could fill an entire notebook, which is all the more reason to express your feelings peacefully!

By honestly expressing your feelings you can diffuse the negative energy and immediately start feeling more peace within you. After all, you’ll feel less stress, tension, and anger when all feelings are put out on the table. Expressing your feelings constructively will help you speak more sensitively and rationally and see the good within others. 

Gratitude Goes a Long Way in Expressing Yourself

Now, openly expressing your negative feelings doesn’t mean you should go around putting others down and it also doesn’t mean finger wagging or accusing. Instead, find a more constructive way to get things off your chest. You might find it’s best for you to write your feelings down and send them off in an e-mail. If you have the creative ability, write a poem or a song about your feelings. Whatever you do, focus on the problem, not the person. After all, we all make mistakes!

If you think you can’t be that open about your feelings, always express what you are thankful for first. For example, you can start with a positive compliment then gradually express your frustrations.

If you feel like you have nothing to be grateful for, you’re not looking hard enough. There are plenty of joys within your life that your negative emotions often disguise. For example, did you have a nourishing breakfast this morning? Then you have something to be thankful for! Have you ever had a rewarding conversation with a loved one that made you see them with new eyes? Then you have something to be thankful for!

Focus on these positive, rewarding experiences first and foremost, then express your feelings openly and honestly. With an attitude of gratitude for all that you have, you will feel confident in your right to express how you feel. 

In his poem, why did Blake readily tell his anger to his friend? He cared about his friend and was grateful to have him, so he wanted to diffuse his anger right away. However, when it came to Blake’s foe, he was not so grateful and, instead, suffered greatly as he became a poison tree within his soul.

Remember, your spirit remains within you and affects how you think, feel, and act. So seek peace within your heart and mind with the power of gratitude!


  1. Brenda Marie Fluharty on January 3, 2022 at 12:13 am

    I love your theme Paul. Wonderful advice.

    • Paul on January 5, 2022 at 10:29 pm

      Thanks, Brenda.

  2. Jeanine Byers on January 3, 2022 at 12:49 am

    What a wise poem by William Blake! And you’re so right, Paul – there are always reasons to be grateful, and if you look for them, you’ll find them. You make an excellent point, too, about how dangerous suppressed feelings are.

    • Paul on January 5, 2022 at 10:30 pm

      Yes, there is ALWAYS a reason to be grateful. Sometimes, you need to look harder than others, but there will always be something, Jeanine! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Marcie Hardy on January 3, 2022 at 6:57 am

    Interesting. I struggle with a gratitude practice. NOT because I’m not grateful for anything, but quite the opposite. I am grateful for everything. So, when it comes down to identifying what I’m grateful for – I come up with everything. When I try to put down general things like health, family, and career, I feel like I’m just regurgitating the same thing every day. When I try to be specific, I feel like I’m missing so much. Anyway, love the poem. Thank you!

    • Paul on January 5, 2022 at 10:32 pm

      There is nothing wrong with being grateful for everything, Marcie! And when you write them down, you can be as general or as specific as you want. There are no right or wrong ways to do it!

  4. Roy A Ackerman, PhD EA on January 3, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Valuable words in these times of pandemic, when folks seem to spew off in rancor willy nilly.

    • Paul on January 5, 2022 at 10:32 pm

      Yes, Roy – especially during a pandemic!

  5. Cheryl on January 3, 2022 at 11:42 am

    This makes a lot of sense. If you have a grateful heart and express your feelings as a part loving, you should be able to express even negative feelings. I always like to start off with expressing positive opinions first before I have give less than positive news.

    • Paul on January 6, 2022 at 11:04 pm

      That is also a great management technique when dealing with employees – always, express positive opinions first before giving less than positive news.

  6. Laurie on January 3, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    So, so true.
    I am learning that not saying things is not the way to peace. But learning to say them without the cutting edge is very important. Some things do need to be said.

    I’m thankful for the gratitude focus. Definitely need to work on the at!

    Ridge Haven Homestead

    • Paul on January 6, 2022 at 11:07 pm

      Glad to hear that, Laurie!

  7. Sinziana on January 4, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Love this post Paul! Was a great reading!

    • Paul on January 6, 2022 at 11:07 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sinziana.

  8. Lynn Leusch on January 4, 2022 at 11:08 am

    Having been blessed in interacting with you in a few group online events I know full well that you regularly practice gratitude. You are an inspiration to “living” what you share. Thank you for an inspiring post.

    • Paul on January 7, 2022 at 12:31 pm

      You say the nicest things, Lynn!

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