Tag Archives: anger

Stuck in Anger

A client of mine—I’ll call her Anna—shared this tidbit by Garrison Keillor:

“When you’re angry at people, you make them part of your life.”

That’s so true! Prolonged anger usually has a focus, and that focus usually involves a particular person. I can’t imagine being angry at my printer for two weeks—20 minutes yes, but not for two weeks.  On the other hand, I can imagine—at an earlier point in my life—being angry at another human being for two weeks. And that encrusted anger didn’t free me in any way. It kept me mentally fused to that other person.

So the lesson is clear: If we don’t want bothersome people in our life, we have to give up the anger. How do we do that? By making a decision to either walk away—as Anna chose to do with an unkind friend—or by changing the way we think about that person.

This is what Sophia, another client, did. She doesn’t have the luxury of merely walking away because the unkind person in her life happens to be her brother.

“His nasty comments just leave my blood boiling,” she said. “How do you see him?” I asked. “As a jerk!” she said. I commented saying “As long as you see him that way, you’ll feel tortured by him.”  I went on to suggest she view him as a younger version of what he’s becoming. “If he were fully evolved, he would treat you with more sensitivity and respect.”

Ever notice that our well-being is never at risk in our encounters with advanced souls?

This way of thinking doesn’t excuse her brother’s behaviors. Disrespectful and rude behavior is never okay. I made sure Sophia understood that and advised her to be protective of herself. “It’s just that this different way of viewing him takes the sting out of it,” I said. “You suffer less.”

After Sophia and I talked back and forth about it all, she had an illumination: “Ahhh. That’s why forgiveness is important. It has more to do with what it does for us—not the other person.”

She’s got it!

I think this quote by Carrie Fisher, the actress, expresses what being stuck in anger does to us:

“Resentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Names are changed to honor client confidentiality

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Filed under Client of the Week, Get Free

The Latest Wow: The Power of Love

Remember Beth? I mentioned her in an earlier post.  She and Sam got a divorce several months ago but then decided to give it another go. In that post I asked her, “What made you change your mind?” She said, “I’ve discovered that anger fades a lot faster than love.”

They’re living together now to discover whether the love that joined them initially is stronger than the issues that separated them.

In our last session, Beth talked about a recent ah-ha moment:

“It used to irritate me when Sam would leave lights on. Now, it makes me smile. I just see it as a quirk. Besides, I can find him anywhere in the house. All I have to do is follow the lights.”

Hmmm. Same issue, just a different way of seeing it. Nothing is changed, but everything is changed. Now that love is a dominant force in their relationship, the colors in their world are brighter.

Happy for them!

Names are changed to honor client confidentiality.

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Filed under Couples, General Interest, The Latest Wow!

Introducing ‘The Latest Wow!’

I’m setting up a new category of posts called, “The Latest Wow.”   Sometimes when I’m meeting with a client, I’m utterly moved by something they say.  That’s when I interrupt them with, “Don’t say another word, I’ve gotta write that down!”   So, without further ado, here’s the first ‘Wow”:

After getting divorced, Beth and her ex decided to give their relationship another try. I asked her, “What made you change your mind?” She said, “I’ve discovered that anger fades a lot faster than love.”

 

Names are changed to honor client confidentiality.

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Filed under Couples, The Latest Wow!