Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lessons from Anger

This week has been incredibly frustrating for me. After months of being irritated about a situation at my apartment, I finally lost my temper. I must say that I was so angry I actually got sick. I wasn’t on my best behavior and that upsets me. Now that the situation is settled, not completely resolved, but somewhat dealt with, I have to look back at why I was so angry and what I could do to change my behavior in the future.

It boils down to the fact that I hate being lied to and try very hard to be truthful myself. I had been lied to and ignored, told that my observations of reality were invalid because someone else, who wasn’t involved and had not been around to observe the actions I had seen, said differently. Instead of holding on to that knowledge, that truth, I got angry and lost sight of what I needed to do to resolve the conflict.

I was so angry that my whole body shook; I couldn’t sleep and my heart pounded for hours. I couldn’t let go of my anger, no matter what I tried. These people had won, because I couldn’t let it go.

I had to ask myself: “What should I have done differently?”, “Why am I so angry?” “How did I let myself get so bothered by these other people that I forgot who I am?” I was embarrassed to have to tell myself that I let it happen by allowing their bad behavior to affect mine in a negative fashion. Once I admitted that to myself, I knew I had the choice to change my behavior. Today, I spent time cutting those psychic cords attaching me to the people who had angered me. I reflect back the negativity they send my way. I am holding on to my truth. I am letting the anger go, because it hurts me.

The lesson I have learned from this experience is this: hold on to what you KNOW, if someone won’t believe you and you are sure that you are right, don’t let anyone take that truth from you. Let go of the negative emotions that make you behave in ways that are not YOU. Imagine yourself pulling negativity out of your mind, body and soul. Cut any psychic cords that keep you attached to negative situations. Give yourself permission to change things. Forgive yourself for your lapse in decorum or control or good behavior. Shame is only useful in the short term. Once that moment is over, being ashamed of how you behaved is just wallowing in self pity. Apologize to anyone you offended or unwittingly dragged into the situation; be the bigger person that you know you are. No matter what other people do to you or say about you, you can choose your reaction. YOU always have a choice to be the best person you can be. You don’t have to be perfect, but you can start smoothing out the rough edges of your own personality.

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