“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” ~ Cherie Carter-Scott …
As Cherie mentions here, anger makes us smaller–it holds us back from growing into something greater than we are now, something that we were specifically created to become. And when looking at my own life, those times in which I have experienced and embraced anger have certainly lessened me–both as a human and a spiritual being. In addition, they were unhappy times filled with stress, grudges, and resentment. And although expressing our anger, to a certain extent, can be very important in life. If not done properly–in a positive and healthy way–it can also have very damaging effects on us and on those we love (just as holding onto it and not expressing it can).
The advantages of forgiveness over anger are easy to see when we are thinking completely objectively. Forgiveness keeps us focused on love, and it recognizes the right of others to make mistakes without being severely punished for them. More importantly, true forgiveness allows us to let go of anger and resentment, freeing our hearts, minds, and spirits to focus on more important things such as love and compassion.
Anger, on the other hand, keeps us distracted from love–one of the greatest defining purposes of life. It instead keeps us focused on what we perceive to be negative incidents or actions, isolating us in the past where we continue mulling over the awful thoughts, feelings, and emotions in our minds. Anger holds us captive in a place where our minds, hearts, and spirits are not free to find positive and constructive things upon which to stay focused. And often times, it is us that holds back our minds, hearts, and spirits because we like to feel the self-righteousness that comes along with anger.
Much of the anger we feel in life is justified, but that certainly does not mean it is acceptable. In fact, the more we hold on it, the less justified, and the more destructive it becomes. The best way to deal with it is to face it directly and then channel it into something constructive or let it go–not because someone else has given in to our will and asked for forgiveness, but because we are willing to remove the poison from our bodies and souls–to forgive and to move on with our lives.
Find ways to let go of the anger you experience in your life.
Questions to consider:
How does anger really make us smaller?
What are some inappropriate ways of dealing with anger? How often do you use any of these methods?
What are some of your self-defined limits to forgiveness? Why?
For further thought:
“If you stay in the company of anger, pain, or hurt, happiness will find someone else to visit. Make the choice to view all of your past relationships as a gift. Throw out what hasn’t worked in the past and incorporate new concepts. Focus on being happy.” ~ Kristen Crockett, The Gift of Past Relationships