After my daughter’s big party that I mentioned in my last post, I was left with both a feeling of satisfaction and disappointment. I felt satisfaction that everything went well, and all who were there had a good time. Yet, I was a bit disappointed that some key invited guests unexpectedly didn’t show nor did they give notice or reason and this isn’t the first time.
Though life often throws us into situations that we don’t choose to be in, we can still take control by making good choices when it comes to our reactions. So, yes, anger can help us if it is processed the right way. We have emotions such as anger to signal us that something is wrong. However, the human tendency is often to take our emotions a step further and begin reacting based off of how we feel. This approach only leads to further pain and conflict.
Our goal here needs to be to move towards self-control where we can separate our emotions from our reactions. When the behavior of others affects us, which it often does, the outcome can and will end in one of two ways: We will use the emotions that were awakened in us to either retaliate and cause further harm, or we will use these same emotions to educate ourselves and work toward a resolution.
The final process of turning anger and hurt into healing is to, yes, I must say it, forgive. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t expect others to learn or change their hurtful behavior if they don’t even understand that they are hurting you. But, what you can do is explain your hurt to those who caused you the pain, and offer them forgiveness instead of a few choice words. Rather than making matters worse and causing irreversible damage in this relationship, you walk away knowing that you conquered your emotional triggers and won. They still may not have learned their lesson; but, at least, you gave them something to think about. Compassion and forgiveness teach more meaningful lessons to those who have hurt us than anger and wrath. Furthermore, you walk away in the clear, and that alone is worth walking away with your head held high!