Forgiveness in the Age of Anger

Forgiveness

by Michael Corthell

Our lives are short enough and time spent being angry and resentful toward someone is really a waste of time. How to cope? Forgive.

''Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.''
—Buddha

Hanging on to resentments and your angry, hurt feelings toward someone you were once close to will not only keep you from moving on with your life, you may never learn to deal with the emotional wounds.

Letting go of your anger, resentment, and jealousy, whether it leads to healing the relationship, or to wholeness and peace within yourself, or both, is essential to healing and maintaining good health—for your mind and your body.

''Resentment is like punching yourself in the face,
and expecting the other person to get a bloody nose.''

When you start to resent or hate a person, you become that person's slave. He controls your thoughts and dreams. He takes away good digestion, steals your peace of mind and goodwill, and takes away your love for life. He will dampen your religion and dilute your prayers. He goes with you on vacation. He destroys your peace of mind and hounds you wherever you go. There is no way to escape the person you hold resentment for. He is with you when you are awake. He invades the privacy of your dreams. He is sitting in the seat beside you when you drive your car and when you are at work. In short, he is living rent-free in your head. Resentment is like punching yourself in the face and expecting the other person to get a bloody nose.

Resentment, anger, jealousy are all connected by fear. When you live with resentment you become trapped in an obsession — a cycle of being afraid of your future, angry with your present, and filled with resentment over your past. The cure for this fear is faith, the antidote for anger is love, and the solution to resentment is acceptance.

''God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.''

How?

Write down and make a list of all the people you have any resentment towards. Do this honestly, and the list should be a long one. Include ANYTHING that gives you negative thoughts.

Add what they did to cause you to resent them. Again, nothing is too small.

Add how this resentment has impacted your life. The reason for the resentment doesn't have to make sense. It only has to be honest. This step is very often painful.

Add what part of your life each resentment affects. For example your self-esteem and confidence.

Add how you, yourself have contributed to the resentment. For example, maybe you could have been more assertive by speaking up. This last step requires you to be totally honest and determined.

Read and re-read this list. Analyze it and turn it over in your mind until you get a clear picture and pattern concerning your resentments. As you gain a greater understanding of your fear and the anger caused by resentment you can then begin to break that vicious cycle. For more information go to, Forgiveness - Breaking the Cycle of Resentment.

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Forgiveness in an Age of Anger
by Brant Hansen

We think we're entitled to "righteous anger", but is it really so righteous? And does anger actually help us fight injustice? In an increasingly angry culture, Brant Hansen encourages us to re-think our assumptions, and embrace a lifestyle of forgiveness.


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