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    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #1

    Aug 7, 2006, 02:15 PM
    Anger (and forgiveness)
    So I am looking at this forgiveness idea again. Here is the thread that was started originally https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/spirit...t=forgive+aqua I think I have put the cart before the horse though. After talking to someone this weekend he suggested that I haven't actually forgiven certain people for some wrong doings. He says I am far to angry, for forgiveness to have to have taken place. I am leaning towards this being right.

    My question being, how do you work through anger?

    Is it just a matter of talking? Not caring? What?

    Do forgiveness and anger go hand in hand? Which one comes first? (To me this is like the chicken and the egg?)

    Anyone? How do I stop being so angry?
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #2

    Aug 7, 2006, 03:06 PM
    Once the initial flash passes, the immediate residual anger serves a purpose... it spurs me on to look for constructive ways to be less vulnerable to this person doing this thing to me again. It helps to create energy to make another piece of my spiritual armour with, so to speak. It makes the hurt count for something and that helps me. And it is my job to look after me, as I am an adult after all! LOL

    I am really big (if you haven't noticed) on "learning the lesson" so when I am wronged by someone, I ask myself directly "what was my part" in this. It is what AA taught me to do specficially and boy, does it work! It may be that my part was small and even justifyable but I avoid like the plague buying into any self ordaining "St. Victim" business since I know what crapola that will get me! I "own" whatever I did --right or wrong-- since it is still what contributed to my getting hurt. And a lot of times I did do something wrong, little and not so little too. So I look to change my part in order to not feel like this will just repeat and repeat in my life. I look to that first because it is the easiest thing for me to change. Once I don't feel as vulnerable, its MUCH easier for me to negotiate the next step -- the thinking up possible solutions which might include asking the offender to stop hurting me, if I think that might work. Once the solutions part is done (which may or may not have worked, by the way LOL) I may wish it had never happened but the anger is gone.

    What has stopped me in my tracks with the really destructive anger that lingers (I call those resentments and they are SO spiritually toxic! ) is when I was shown the mistakes I made and the utter contemptuous hypocrisy of my holding others to a standard that I myself don't, can't keep-- a floodlight went on. This came as a result of doing some of the more indepth AA steps, by the way. I realised one day, in an emotional epiphany, that humans make mistakes, ALL humans. I realised when I was making my mistakes, I didn't at the time realise I was -- so neither do those who make them! Although they may look like they know what they are doing, sometimes they don't and I know that now. So the resentments vanished, the legs I once had to stand in judegement vanaished and I don't even get nearly as angry as I did before -- its more a dismay and a sadness when someone demonstates, up close and personal to me, how careless they can be.

    In a nutshell, I first make sure I am more careful, and then I ask them to be also and if they can't, I take precautions. You ought to see some of the armour I wear with some people. Where exactly forgiveness occurs in all this process, LOL I am not sure but it does. However I may or may not trust the person again since THAT has to do with them making or not making amends -- a totally different thing than forgiveness as we covered in the old thread.

    Sorry this is so long -- it was hard to condense. It is an important topic and I wanted to do it justice. I hope this helps and Aqua (hug) keep asking all these good questions, keep wondering and looking and digging... these are the problems worth solving since they affect the very quality of our lives.
    pennybot's Avatar
    pennybot Posts: 57, Reputation: 18
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    #3

    Aug 8, 2006, 07:29 AM
    It is going to be hard to forgive a person when there has been no closure.

    It may help talking to the other person...It might be worthwhile giving the other person a chance to identify it and correct it. I recon everyone at least deserves one chance to rectify situations that involve them directly.

    But be prepared as not all closure comes in the form of mutual. And not all people are so well adjusted they will acknowledge their part.

    I think for a lot of people today who have struggled with someone who denies doing anything that could cause another person pain, closure comes from accepting a situation as is even if the other person who wronged you doesn’t realize you have come to a conclusion of them and the matter.

    I was going through a problem a few years back with someone and felt a great deal of betrayal. I felt I could never forgive them.
    I will never forget what another friend had said to me after telling her the story,
    “Well that person’s an arse. There’s the sky. There’s the floor. So-and-so’s an arse. There. It’s a fact.”
    It’s a funny way to put it in perspective… reasoning with a person who’s made up their mind to be an arse, well, I’d have the same chance of reasoning with the sky. So in that way, I found my closure.

    One of the heavier forgivenesses in my life came in the form of accepting that a loved one struggles with a disorder that caused her to do many rotten things.. the closure for me was to accept this was only what she knew. This is all she could know to behave without getting professional help. I didn’t get my closure through talking to her even though I took any opportunity without success...
    eventually I had to come to accept the reality of it. This is the path she has chosen and I can't help her. And I have my own life to live.

    Sometimes it just means you understand and accept the situation .. doesn't mean you have to like it or love it or forget about it. Just that you work past it and keep going on your own path.
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #4

    Aug 8, 2006, 09:23 AM
    Wow I just went back to the first post and skimmed through everything... it really went on for a long while and contained many excellent opinions! Not sure why I suddenly dropped out of it, but I suspect it had something to do with kids! ;)

    First of all, I think it's important to remember that like any other emotion, anger isn't wrong. If you're feeling anger it may well be justified and be your way of reclaiming that part of yourself that was "stolen" from you because of your bad experience. I don't know if that makes any sense, but personally, as someone who didn't express many emotions growing up, I found my anger to be quite healing.

    Of course if it lingers for too long and/or starts affecting other areas of your life, it can become very destructive and needs to be dealt with on its own. As I said about forgiveness in your last post, I also believe that working through anger is a process rather than an act you can do in a couple of days. You may feel especially angry one particular week, work through that, and then not feel angry again for a couple of days, weeks, etc. Or you may find yourself being slightly angry most of the time. I think the process of dealing with anger is different for everyone. You need to find what works for you. For me, I went to therapy for 3 years for the worst of it. I learned to tell myself it was okay to feel the anger, but not okay to take it out on others. I found "outlets" for my anger, and other troubling emotions. My main outlet is my art. I can wake up in the morning feeling sad, angry, that something isn't quite right, etc, and then painting or drawing for a couple of hours will completely lift my mood. Exercise also helps me tremendously well.

    If you do have a lot of difficulty with anger in your day-to-day living, an anger management group might be a good idea. You can talk about your anger, realize that you aren't alone, and get ideas from others on how to deal with the anger.

    Sorry that's all I can think of to say... I regard both anger and forgiveness, and the process of dealing with these as quite ethereal. Almost like part of a spiritual journey that one is on, and therefore difficult to explain in words.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #5

    Aug 8, 2006, 09:32 AM
    Val... I think I am finally getting it. You said you have to own, right or wrong, what you did to contribute to the situation. I have been blaming myself for some of what has happened, I guess I have to work on that. Whether it was my fault or not, I guess I should be addressing that before I go onto the next thing. Maybe forgiveness isn't something I can choose when I want? Maybe it will happen when I have done what I can do to heal from the situation? Maybe the two go together and you can't have healing without forgiveness? Of course it would depend on the situation. I heard that anger is not an emotion by itself and that it always stems from another emotion (frustration, fear, shame, etc.). I guess if that is the case then like you said you have to deal with what is causing it. Accept blame or whatever and keep on going.

    Thank you for that Pennyboat. In this situation, I'm not sure anyone will ever admit any wrong doing. Part of me feels like I need their acknowledgement for me to heal. I realize now that I may never get that and should maybe stop fighting it. Some family members were dragged into this and they think I am the biggest *itch for saying the things I said. That really hurt me. My parents reactions were bad, everything was bad. I am even mad at my parents for their role in things. I guess I will have to figure out a way to understand and accept the things that have happened. It is very hard as it seems I am the one in the middle, the hurt one, and know one around cares.

    Thank you Chava, I will be starting in a support group in the fall and I can hardly wait. I am a little afraid because I have never been to one. I think it could be emotionally draining and I'm not sure I'm ready, yet I feel like I want to hurry and get through this part of my life so I can get on with things. It has definitely affected me and the way I do things. I don't expect that to change, but I do hope to stop being so angry.

    I think there is a lot of forgiveness to come.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #6

    Aug 8, 2006, 10:27 AM
    Each to their own part... and you can always start the forgiveness ball rolling by forgiving yourself for your part!

    Xoxo
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,318, Reputation: 10854
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    #7

    Aug 8, 2006, 03:55 PM
    Aqua, After all the wrongs I have done in my life I findly reached a point to ask THE GOD that I understand to please forgive me. HE did. Then and only then was I able to forgive MYSELF... and the healing, growing process goes on!!
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #8

    Aug 8, 2006, 09:29 PM
    Can't comment sorry Talaniman... but I did want to say thank you for that. I know He will forgive me, but for some reason I have a difficult time forgiving myself. I think that goes with dealing with the real issues. If I start, there is no stopping. Thanks again.
    pennybot's Avatar
    pennybot Posts: 57, Reputation: 18
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    #9

    Aug 11, 2006, 08:34 PM
    I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation you are in but it sounds like a doozy with your family. Family forgiveness is especially hard .. imo, no one can betray you like your own family members.

    I guess we all have to remember that even family members are humans underneath and can have some weak spots.
    Some people just don’t like to hear the truth and rather than accept it, they lash out at the messenger – maybe hoping that this will help their situation or make it all go away.

    And some situations take time for a person to think it through and realise that their initial reaction was poor and hope for forgiveness(or the ego hopes for forgetfulness) from others.

    Not all stuff that happens in life is roses and everyone is faced with hard decisions. I hope you don’t keep feeling hurt and beat yourself up over what sounds like a poor reaction from your family. Now you ‘ve seen their colours on how they will deal with difficult situations.
    It’s not good you feel so alone and that everyone is against you. Some families really fall short that way.

    But not all families are by blood.

    Definitely start that group. Families can be a group that you work with or talk with.
    No one should feel so alone.. big problems are best voiced with people who will understand and support you so you can get through them.. if you’re blood related family is not up to par to support you through it, pick your friends who will.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #10

    Aug 12, 2006, 05:29 AM
    Ooooh, I like the trying-on of a support group. If it helps, stay and if it doesn't leave and try something else -- the world is full of possibilities! Just be sure to give it a fair shake-- like at least six or so sessions?
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #11

    Aug 12, 2006, 08:50 AM
    Thanks again Val. I tried to comment, but apparently "have to spread it around". I really don't know what to expect, I don't want to be disappointed. I will stick it out for six and we'll see what happens.

    I left comments on everyone's messages once before and now they are gone. I know Chava had this problem, I hope they reappear.
    K_3's Avatar
    K_3 Posts: 304, Reputation: 74
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    #12

    Aug 12, 2006, 11:09 AM
    I believe you have to deal with anger before you can forgive. I also feel you need to put anger in perspective. It takes two to argue and get angry. Ask yourself, what was my part, why am I hanging onto this anger, if I had to do this over again how would I have handled it. As long as you give anger a safe harbor in your mind it is going to stay there. You can not give anger so much power that it takes away your peace of mind. If you can talk to the other party, great, but too often they are not going to listen. I write a letter to them and say it all like it feels, every bit of it and then I burn it. I may have to write that letter a couple of times, but it works. When your thoughts are consumed with the issue, you give it power and it gets bigger. Why give anything or anyone that much power to take away your peace. Letting go of anger and forgiving is the best gift you can give yourself. Letting go of it does not mean you are letting them off the hook, you are not. They have to deal with their part and it can eat a person away.
    Tal was right. Once you ask God to take that away and replace it with loving thoughts of others it will work. It always does. Anger is a negative thought and God is the positive.

    I believe the class is going to be great for you. You can help others and that can be the best healer of all. Good luck, because you sound like a wonderful caring person.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #13

    Aug 12, 2006, 11:18 AM
    Thanks K3. I will definitely try the letter thing. About, looking at what was my part and what would I do differently next time... well I would do EVERYTHING differently. I think that's the thing, I was stupid and shouldn't have gotten myself into the situation I did. I thought about writing a letter and sending it, the person would probably just laugh. I think that's the part that is making this worse. He will never take responsibility for his actions!

    Thank you so much for your support. I look forward to being on the other end of this.
    pennybot's Avatar
    pennybot Posts: 57, Reputation: 18
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    #14

    Aug 12, 2006, 04:41 PM
    Writing a letter is a terrific idea!(it's not letting me comment for you K_3)
    K_3's Avatar
    K_3 Posts: 304, Reputation: 74
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    #15

    Aug 12, 2006, 07:43 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by aqua@home
    Thanks K3. I will definitely try the letter thing. About, looking at what was my part and what would I do differently next time...well I would do EVERYTHING differently. I think that's the thing, I was stupid and shouldn't have gotten myself into the situation I did. I thought about writing a letter and sending it, the person would probably just laugh. I think that's the part that is making this worse. He will never take responsibility for his actions!

    Thank you so much for your support. I look forward to being on the other end of this.
    That is the great thing about you, you have grown from whatever happened and you have taken responsibility for your part. You won't allow it to happen to you again. He will think he has done nothing wrong and it will happen to him again along life's path somewhere, sometime. He has learned nothing. You are wiser now and can be proud of yourself.
    K_3's Avatar
    K_3 Posts: 304, Reputation: 74
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    #16

    Aug 13, 2006, 08:33 AM
    This is just a thought, but if you were hurt by all that happened, not only by him but other family members, maybe the hurt has not gone away. It can get intermingled in there with anger. Realizing other family members should have stayed out and they got involved because of their issues may help. When you let go of the hurt and feeling of being betrayed maybe that will help the anger go. When anger goes forgiveness sets in. As I said, it was just a thought, I do not know what happened or all of the players as you do.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #17

    Aug 13, 2006, 01:40 PM
    Thank you again K3. I think you are right about when the anger leaves forgiveness can finally set in. I know it is a big web, and it's very messy. I have some other issues to deal with too, yet they are all connected in a way. I think I will just have to chip away a little at a time. It takes so much time. Thanks again.
    YeloDasy's Avatar
    YeloDasy Posts: 363, Reputation: 81
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    #18

    Aug 17, 2006, 11:45 PM
    Hey, I am new to this post, but I read the 1st one (skimmed most of the responses) and thought I would put in my 2 cents...

    1. On the counseling perspective, grief/loss is a very difficult thing, and there eare many stages to go through... anger being one of the 1st stages! If you do not go through all the stages (working THROUGH them) they will continue to appear in your life and you will be vicitm to either your emotions or that person who you are angry at.

    2. Forgiveness is the last stage... acceptance of what has happened and not allowing it to control your life anymore. Yes, things in our lives can change who we are, but it doesn't have to CONTROL us anymore.

    3. Anger is a difficult emotion because it can be all other emotions at the same time. I agree with Val that looking at yourself and forgiving yourself, no matter what it is, even if it is simply just how you got yourself into this situation... you need to forgive self, and others...

    4. Please take your time to relieve the anger... letter writing is great... even having a burning session to celebrate the destruction of the letter(anger). Other things work too... journal, support groups, counseling, talking it out, punching pillows, crying, reading certain books, I can tell you more details later... someone was worried that getting stuck in it for too long is a concern, I would suggest taking a certain time a week( maybe 30 min a few times a week) to process these thoughts and feelings... doing some of the above things... and the rest of the week doing things for yourself... that way you have a start and an end to your anger for that day... and won't stay stuck... allow yourself the time, but not stay stuck... and that will allow yourself to take a break from the intense feelings and you will feel more in control. I hope this makes sense!

    But know that your feeling are normal and you need to process them... where the anger is from (not just the events, but deeper) and work through it... and toher emotions may come later, like depression, but still do the same. Again Val, I agree this is something that will never be forgotten but will teach you a great lesson into who you are, and what makes you a stronger person.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #19

    Aug 21, 2006, 06:16 PM
    So I am trying to skip ahead. That figures, knowing myself. Thank you for all that you wrote YeloDasy, there was definitely some good information there.
    YeloDasy's Avatar
    YeloDasy Posts: 363, Reputation: 81
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    #20

    Aug 21, 2006, 09:50 PM
    Yeah, I just write in another post, and seems to be a theme... that patience is an important key here... we are not always where we want to be NOW! But through hard work and patience, you will get there... as long as you believe in what you are doing! :) We all are working on this in our lives, including me! :)

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