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Monday, September 20, 2010

Walking Away From Anger: Forgiving


This topic is so multi-faceted, that entire books could be - and have been - written about it. Today I merely want to touch on a tiny aspect of it. But a hugely important one.

When you experience great anger around a relatively small incident ... say, for example, that you return to your parked car and find that the driver's side is blocked by a motorcycle, parked in such a way that you can scarcely open your door, let alone get in, meaning you now have to climb in from the passenger side and maneuver over the gear shift, and you notice that the anger that surges in you makes you want - even if only in your mind - to do physical harm to the inconsiderate being who did this to you.

While we can all understand anger, it is important to recognize that such strong anger over an incident that is  - in the grand scheme of things - something relatively minor, is anger that does not in fact come specifically due to the incident, but has its roots in something different. It might be childhood hurts or being abandoned (physically, emotionally, psychologically), it might be feeling misunderstood in other earlier moments of life that were never addressed, and so now, whenever something happens that causes you to feel mistreated, ignored, or "dumped" in some fashion, anger arises that is generally far greater than the situation merits.

Understand that this is a message from you to you. A clue that something is amiss. A signal that you might wish to examine what is going on under the magnifying glass of your past.

And once you have done that - even if just in cursory fashion - you are ready to take the next step in order to resolve, or begin to resolve this thing in you that creates such anger: you are ready to consider that you might wish to forgive ... that you might wish to choose to forgive. Not for the other person's sake, not for anything or anyone else but yourself. In order to be able to lay this to rest. In order to be free of it. In order to be able to live in peace. And as you do it, as you begin to forgive, you begin to show yourself that you love yourself.

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Photo Credit: Arvind Balaraman



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