The Backpack Theory
Imagine that every unresolved conflict in your life is like a tiny pebble that you put into your backpack. You may not feel the first 100 as you walk along but, at some point, you will begin to feel the straps pulling down on your shoulders. The heavier the pack gets, the less you will feel the weight of one stone and the more you will feel the weight of the backpack in its entirety.
When you do finally manage to take out a pebble or two, you may be disappointed by the lack of relief that you feel. The pack feels the same. It’s at this point that you may feel stuck. Your effort appears to earn you little to no reward.
What we need to understand is that this same experience works in reverse. It may take a ton of effort, a great deal of time, and many stones before we notice a shift.
The real reason why this matters is that, even though we may still feel burdened, we are intuitively aware of our trajectory. "Is the pack getting heavier or lighter, over time?" This is the difference between feeling hopeful and feeling hopeless. This emotional state is what allows us to carry our backpack of rocks when we feel like giving up.