Releasing and Resolving AngerAug 19, 2023
I had a big surge of anger emerge yesterday. It rose to the surface like an old friend. It's not an emotion I feel very often anymore and it was almost shocking how consuming it was. I couldn't think, I could barely breathe, all I could manage was shaking my head back and forth and muttering a stream of repetitive grunts under my breath.
My usual methods didn't work - I walked, I meditated, I did Qi Gong, I showered, I drank a cup of tea, I called my husband, I ate....nothing helped.
And so I surrendered and gave my anger time, space, and accepted that even though I didn't understand it yet, it was coming to the surface for a reason.
The next morning it passed in a fashion similar to a storm - it had risen, it had rained, it had thundered, and then the skies cleared in my morning meditation and I felt fresh, free, and renewed.
In the wake of the storm I was able to clearly see that it was old anger, triggered into a fiery cacophony of emotional chaos by a comment that was small and somewhat inconsequential.
The truth of it? Anger feels good. Anger feels principled and virtuous. Anger feels powerful and protective. Anger feeds a sense of righteous indignation. And in my experience, it is the most challenging emotion to master.
The cure? I almost hate to say it.
Forgiveness is hard because it means letting go of being right, of being justified in our hurt, disappointment, and anger. We resist it because it feels like letting someone off the hook for their wrongdoing - ourselves included. Frankly, forgiveness kinda sucks. That is until we feel the depth of relief, freedom, and peace that comes with it.
Not all gifts are easy to give, but forgiveness is a gift that we deserve to give ourselves. Forgiveness isn't about the other person - it's about you. It's about doing something healing, transformative, and liberating for YOU. Because holding on to the absolutely valid anger, resentment, guilt, disappointment, frustration, and grief is harming us and eating away at our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.
To help you in your pursuit of forgiveness I offer you the following questions to reflect upon:
- Who is someone you are angry at? Why? Note that this person can also be you.
- How has holding onto this anger sown seeds of disharmony, discontent, and resentment within your relationship and beyond?
- How would it feel to be free of this anger? What would the benefits be? What would heal?
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