A friend recently did something that made me truly question her character.
To be honest, she did a few things that made me raise an eyebrow, but this one was the very last straw, and I found myself feeling flames-coming-out-of-my-ears angry.
I know what you're thinking.
Everything happens for a reason. It’s all unfolding exactly the way it is meant to.
After all, forgiveness is the bedrock of a spiritual practice.
But just as fear has something to teach you, so does anger. Honestly, it’s an essential component of the whole enlightenment process. Arriving at forgiveness and peace is a process that happens over time, and anger’s role in that process has gotten a bad rap.
Here are three things to keep in mind when you're furious at someone:
1. Don’t ignore your anger.
So you got hurt? Somebody betrayed your trust? Maybe you were abandoned, disrespected or wronged? Resist the urge to skate over those feelings or the urge to brush them under the rug. I think women are particularly inclined to rationalize away their hurt feelings and anger. Doing so invalidates your very real hurt and stifles your power.
2. Shine an ultra white, piercing light on your hurt.
Bring your darkness to the light. The healing you seek lies on the other side of pausing, hanging out with your anger (without judgement because, really, judgement is so unhelpful) and seeing it for what it is. Pain.
3. Ignore the desire to plow through processing your anger quickly.
Oh, but it would be lovely to stop feeling these feelings of indignation, wouldn’t it? That desire is probably rooted in some misappropriated sense of shame for getting hurt in the first place. You are not responsible for other people’s bad behavior. If you feel like you got screwed, give yourself the permission to take the full 60 minutes or 19 days to deconstruct your anger and make better sense of it.
Look back on the history of humanity. Is it not true that acceptance and peace most often lie on the other side of understanding?
Give yourself the gift of space to feel the anger, the time to establish clear cut recognition of the circumstances an, inevitably, the freedom to dance into forgiveness.