Anger Management: Is It Finally Time To Forgive?
In order to free ourselves from the pain of anger and resentment we need to be able to forgive our self and others. The longer we dwell on hurtful situations from the past, the longer we keep our self from living fully in the present. Forgiveness is an act of kindness. An act of kindness to your self, as it leads to a sense of personal freedom.
Recently I had a client who had a lot of resentment towards her mother for many things that she had done to her in the past. "I don't want to forgive my mother for what she did in the past." my client said. "What she did is wrong, and she has never apologized."I hear this very same statement from many clients who are living with resentment, whether it be towards their parents, their spouse, or their boss.
I asked my client if she felt that anyone other than herself, was responsible for, and capable of, making her happy. After a rather long and convoluted discussion, she said that when it was all said and done, she realized that she was indeed the only one that could make herself happy.
We sat there together for a while, and then I took a deep breath and suggested that my client do so as well. Here is an idea, I said. "What if as a totally selfish act, done simply for your own personal happiness, you decided to go ahead and let go of the resentment you had towards your mom, so that you would no longer need to have resentment clouding your life. What would that be like?" "You would not be saying that what was done to you was OK. You would simply be letting go of the resentment so that your own life would be happier. Would you want to let go of your resentment if it meant you would feel greater happiness?"
We sat there together for a while and my client's face softened. She said that if she was able to let go of her resentment, it would be like lifting a weight from her shoulders, and removing a dark cloud from her heart.
"With all you have been through," I said. "With all of the pain you have suffered, wouldn't it be a wonderful gift to yourself if you could lift this weight from your shoulders and remove the dark cloud from your heart? Would it not be wonderful to be freed from your hurt and resentment?"
She sat there for a while, as tears formed, and she said very softly "Yes, I want to feel good. I want to feel love. I want to feel free."
"So" I said, "In order to free yourself from pain and open your heart to love, you would be willing to go so far as to forgive your mother if this is what you felt was necessary for your own personal happiness?"She was somewhat hesitant, but said "Yes.""Remember" I said, "I am suggesting that you do this purely for selfish reasons. Not because you want to actually forgive your mom at this point in time, but because you want to free yourself to live a happier life."My client said "Yes, when it is said like this, I have the resolve to forgive my mother, in order to free myself to live a happier life.""Good I said. "Hold these thoughts and feelings in your heart for a while and then we can talk about how to actually accomplish your forgiving."
How about you? Are you holding onto any resentment? Are you ready to recapture your happiness? Would you be willing to undertake the radical act of forgiveness in order to free yourself? I certainly hope so.
And if not today, maybe tomorrow.
Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from his thought-provoking ideas and a new self-help Practice every two weeks, by subscribing to his free newsletter about the importance of Mindfulness in our lives. If you want to learn more about anger management or become involved in Practices that can help you to feel calm and centered, Seishindo is a great choice. Find out more about Seishindo Anger Management theories and practices by reading the Seishindo Newsletter issue entitled "Coming to terms with anger."
© Charlie Badenhop, 2005. You have permission to publish this article electronically free of charge, as long as the bylines with the active links are included and you don't sell the article to others.
Choose a Stressless Lifestyle!
A stressless lifestyle? That's very easy to say. Yet it is so important. Our health should be our # 1 priority. We all know that, and still we keep hearing about yet another work mate who is now on the sick-list for several weeks to come.
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One of the hardest forms of stress to avoid is workplace stress. After all, you need to go to work and there are plenty of things to worry about once you get there. However, that does not mean that workplace stress is unavoidable. Just like other kinds of stress, there are ways to manage workplace stress and there are ways to avoid it. Maybe you cannot avoid it entirely, but that is no reason not to try.
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Setting High Personal Standards
In his book, The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness, author Greg Anderson wrote, "Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to."
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Deceiving? You bet they are. How? Without your even knowing it, the effects of anger, frustration, and resentment can take a toll on your life. Chances are, it's happening right now. But most people are not - no, correction, do not want to be intuitive enough to figure out what's going on. The reason? It takes a certain amount of self study - it may sound a bit ludicrous, but the truth is the vast majority of people don't want to take a good hard look at theire inner selves. It's unfortunate, too, because the reward for doing so are fantastic, it's inexplainable. There is nothing like self honesty - when you really decide to know the real you, you've taken a serious step. After the decision must come action.
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