Anger & Forgiveness…

I’m not that big of a reader, so I think it has been interesting how I have been guided or inspired to read the last couple books that I have cracked opened. Maybe God is gently guiding me to what direction I need to be able to heal, in many ways.

The first book, (which I started first, but am not quite finished with) is called Healing Multiple Sclerosis. . I’ve enjoyed reading and learning from this book, because it follows the logic that I do, in the belief that it is important to pay attention to all aspects of the person in order for that person to truly heal, body, mind, and spirit.

I thought it was very interesting some of the things that the author Ann Boroch had to say. One point she brought to light, was that there is actually a school of thought where they believe that diseases will actually have a core emotional problem. She mentioned that Cancer’s core emotion was thought to be guilt, and Multiple Sclerosis.. well its core emotion is thought to be anger. This actually surprised me, as I have never thought of myself as an angry person, I don’t get aggressive, and I don’t yell or throw tantrums, what I do is cry, usually I attempt to keep it to myself as to not burden others with my feelings.  so I was reluctant to acknowledge how this particular point could apply to me. Angry?.. me?.. no that was more like… well like my Parents.

The more I thought on the subject though, and the more I opened my mind, the more I began to realize that my initial resistance to this thought was more because of a difference in my own perception of what anger is. The word anger to me, brings up visions of tirades, yelling, throwing things, fighting, screaming berating, physically hurting etc.., but if you look up “Anger” in the dictionary, this is what you get:

Anger   /æŋg’r/  Spelled Pronunciation [ang-ger]
–noun 1. a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.
2. Chiefly British Dialect. pain or smart, as of a sore.
3. Obsolete. grief; trouble.
–verb (used with object) 4. to arouse anger or wrath in.
5. Chiefly British Dialect. to cause to smart; inflame.
–verb (used without object) 6. to become angry: He angers with little provocation.

Hmm.. a strong feeling of displeasure, pain like that of a sore.. (maybe even a sore spot.. emotionally?) well who hasn’t experienced that?

As I explored this thought more, I rationalized that while I generally don’t “Act out” on angry feelings, I still have them, and its a lot more common than I like to admit. In fact I do something probably even worse with my anger, I try to ignore it, and hope that it will just go away at some point. If it’s something beyond my ability to fix, (either because of a self limitation, or unreasonable attitudes), I think I actually hide the anger away hoping that it will just disapate over time, and that I can just forget.

After all, I forget things all the time, my keys, my phone…  if I hide it away, I’ll eventually just forget it ever happened right?….. Wrong!

This leads to quite the internal self conflict! Hiding things and not resolving problems is the most prominent charactor flaw that creates a wedge in the relationship (or lately lack of one) between my Mother and I.

I cannot stand how she is so willing to play the victim in every single situation. How her actions in her view, never ever contribute in any part to the situation at hand as it is always everyone else’s fault. Everything is raw emotion that doesn’t necessarily make any sense, how situations never even inspire her to think about anything other than how something affects her. Never seeming to think of anyone else’s feelings or needs, nor looking for truth before she starts her tirades . She either doesn’t care, or is simply clueless (I’m not really sure which it is) about how hurtful her statements and her passive aggressive nature can be. She will talk to near everyone else about an issue, except for the person she is having the issue with, and then with that person present will pretend everything is fine. She figures out how to get enough people to feel sorry for her, that those people will consistantly “step in” and guilt others into putting some sort of “band-aid” on the situation, or just give up. 

My relationship with my parents have been a continued source of frustration and sorrow for me. What it boils down to, is that I am extremely hurt by their behaivors. I am extremely hurt by the lack of respect, and the lack of value I hold in their eyes.  Here are people who are supposed to love you no matter what, love you unconditionally. The reality when it comes to my parents is that there are many conditions you have to fulfill to be worth anything. Its about what you “do” for them, and that you allow them a constant sense of control in your life. That you agree totally with what they have to say, because there is no middle ground.

Because I didn’t follow their plan for me to a T, I am not worth anything, and as my Dad told me once, “Our paths don’t need to cross if they don’t have to”. This all generates a toxicity that I can feel slowly poisoning me. Angy?.. yes.. sadly I think I just have to admit it.

There have been a few different ways that I’ve tried to deal with it all.

I had tried talking it out to no avail.. only huge mountainous emotional upheaval.

I resent that there were many times early on where I allowed myself to be one of those “others stepping in” trying to take care of their relationship mistakes. That dispite talks where I thought progress was being made, I’d get disheartened find out the actions they chose to take instead, was those of further distancing themselves from any real headway, or closeness.

Multiple Dramas later lead to the most recent (and wrong on my part from the way it sounds) coping strategy.. just giving up.

I’ve given up so many times in the last 4 years.. deciding there is nothing I can do to change her (or them), and me being unwilling to let the hurt lap over into my children’s lives, as it was beginning to do. Deciding to no longer put energy and effort into something that I can’t make happen on my own.  I gave up, stopped trying to fix or help, turned my attention instead to my kids and our life…. No longer my problem right? Washing my hands of it as it were… as heartless as it sounds, that should minimize my pain over this hurt (and I guess anger) that overwhelmes me… Right?..  … no.. It continues to eat at me because I have not been smart enough to find the “right” answer. Niether being actively involved or totally removing myself from the craziness has fixed anything. The pain doesn’t go away. The anger, frustration, and hurt just gets pushed over to the side to fester a little more I suppose.

What is the answer? How do you reason with people who are themselves unreasonable.. who don’t value people the same way you do? Who cannot agree to disagree on even trivial things.  Deep breath….

Second book.. Deon and I recently read “The Shack”, as I posted previously. I realize that this is just a novel written by what appears to be a very thoughtful individual, and is not a “scriptual” source necessarily, but I still think it offers some very helpful and healing point of views to consider. Hey I’m willing to take healing wherever I can get them.. 🙂

Without spoiling it for others, but wanting to make my point as well, I will say there was a definate focus towards the end on not only self-evaluation, but on the ability to forgive.

There were two points that hit close to home for me in this particular personal situation. The first one, was a part of the storyline where the main character, finally realized how he was judging himself, judging others, and even judging God based on his perceptions, and all without him even realizing he was doing so.

I feel it is important to really evaluate ourselves, and our perceptions. Perceptions are fickle, yet it is what we measure everything and everyone around us. We all harbor beliefs and perceptions that we a lot of the time don’t even realize. Without identifing what our perceptions are based on periodically, we will remain stuck in the same type of situation. “If you always do,  what you’ve always done”… well you know the rest I’m sure. 

Sometimes the most effective change you can make, is simply improving your own attitude.  (Sometimes I annoy myself with my own advice.. lol)

The second excerpt from the book, really focused on the importance of forgiving. Not only for the sake of the ones we need to forgive, but also for the sake of ourselves. By forgiving those who have hurt us, we free ourselves from the burden of acting as their judge. We release those who have hurt us, and offer them to God, (not necessarily for punishment like our selfish ways wish), but hopefully so that the small change can be a foothole that God can use to bring about a change in that individual. Not a judgemental religious change, but rather a spiritual open minded, open hearted change..

It also spoke on the small point that forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, it just means showing love by letting go of things that cannot be changed, and moving on.  I think I have struggled so much before because I am afraid to be hurt, over and over again, and I haven’t seen any indication towards change on their part.

 I sorta had this perception that to forgive, both parties really needed to come to some sort of terms where the offender is actually sorry, and then the offended forgives them.  Because of this notion, I think I have been stuck waiting for them to “see the light” and be sorry, so I could forgive them and move on.  Sheesh that sounds so self-rightous when its said out loud,  With that line of thought, I was being judgemental without even realizing it. Even worse though, I was giving them total control not only over the situation, but also for how long I could be tortured with it. Why do we prolong our own suffering? It simply never dawned on me that forgiveness could be one-sided, even though I had plenty of biblical dipictions showing it, I just didn’t get it. God forgives us for things before we even come to to the point where we decide to repent.  I guess I don’t need to wait on them to all the sudden care, or be sorry to release myself, because that may never happen.

 I have worked my whole life trying to prove to myself and others that I can be valuable. That I am worth the air I breath and the space I take. Difficult as it is sometimes, when during dark times even I myself wonder what value I have.  When you don’t match up with preplanned standards your parents had, it can be difficult to find some other sort of measurement to go by.  I don’t think I will ever forget some of the pain that some dealings with them has caused, and how it made me feel and while it is scary to relinquish control, (or rather this incorrectly percieved sense of control we have) and just step back and give it to God, that is exactly the hint I think he has been giving me. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”… right?

Deon and I talked this over last night. The reason I have failed to “feel better” about the situation in the past, is because I haven’t forgiven them. I need to do it now, not only because it is what my heavenly father who does love and value me wants, but because it is a source of anger and pain that I definately see as a road block for me to heal on a few different levels.

Because I don’t think its ok to just say I forgive them and then not communicate it, I think I will write a letter. Honestly, I almost imagine that they will take it as a personal attack. Not how its intended, but then I guess thats for God and them to work out now. And since its not likely they will be contacting me anytime soon, my Mother has what she wanted from me.. my sister recently agreed to let me give Mom her phone number, and my Dad hasn’t spoken to me since him blowing up at me the last time I tried to help them out… well aside from an unfeeling “hi” uttered at my sister’s wedding, so a letter I think will be the way to go.

It will be ok.. No matter what their response is. The fact that I choose to forgive is what matters. It doesn’t necessarily mean I will be rushing to plan any get togethers with them anytime soon, but will hopefully soften my heart enough that the next time I have an unpleasant collision with them, that it won’t hurt as bad.

 “Stone vs Stone will shatter one if not both, but Stone vs. Pillow, is far less destructive” ~ Serina Clason  12/1/08

My own original quote I thought of today.. yay!. … although I should have went on to say “Pillow vs Pillow sounds like alot more fun”,  but baby steps here.. I’m really not expecting any miracle.

2 thoughts on “Anger & Forgiveness…”

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