I will begin this article by stating the obvious. If we are angry with someone, even if it is ourselves, then love simply cannot be present at the same time. If we truly know in our heart the vital importance of love, its ability to heal wounds, to build bridges and to resolve our problems, why would we refuse to let go of our anger, and thus deny ourselves the love that would be present in our heart if we were to forgive instead?
It is because anger gives us a feeling of power. Anger enables us to punish people who we believe have wronged us in some way. Without anger, we cannot punish anyone and we are much more likely to feel powerless, more like a victim. And feeling powerless can be quite a scary feeling, because we feel unable to control what happens around us. So anger is the antidote to feeling this way, the antidote to victimhood. Anger means power, and power is highly addictive and difficult to give up, unless we fully see that there is a better option, a better fuel for our system.
This is why it is vital to see how anger, when it is held on to, obscures our peace, our joy and our love. If we withhold our love from others, it can feel good because we feel we are giving them what they deserve and teaching them a lesson. This gives us a satisfying sense of justice and righteousness. But in truth this is a very unintelligent and self-defeating thing to do. Do we really think we can punish someone and it not affect us? It is our pain that wishes to punish others through anger and if we continue to do this, we simply keep our pain alive; we feed it. The way to heal the inner pain which lies beneath the anger is to forgive. There is no alternative. We have to want to let go of the anger, so that forgiveness can occur.
But many people do not want to let go of it, because they feel it is their source of power. However, this is not true because love is infinitely more powerful, and is a deeply creative force, whereas anger used against others (or against ourself) is a destructive force. Anger destroys love very quickly, not least within our own heart.
It is almost like we have a choice to make… let go of our anger and experience healing, or hold on to it and let it continue to poison our soul, our body and eventually make us ill. Trust me, it really comes down to this. This is a vital choice we must make between feeling a sense of power and control, or feeling the beauty of love. They are mutually exclusive.
People also use anger to deflect other people away from coming too close to them, from seeing their vulnerability, their sensitivity, their fear. If we are afraid of feeling pain in our heart (which subconsciously, most people are) then we are likely to use anger as a means of keeping people away, when we find ourselves in danger of being revealed, or in the spotlight of someone’s attention. People like to be able to hide (psychologically) when they feel insecure or vulnerable. They do this through wearing a mask, through pretending, or through cleverly averting other people’s attention. But if they feel their hiding place is threatened, or that their diversion tactics are being seen through, there is a good chance that they will become very angry, as a final line of defence.
The pain which is held in many people’s hearts is great, and usually stems from childhood. Understandably, most people really don’t want to feel it again, and thus anger becomes their defensive power. But that anger is a symptom of that pain. It simply perpetuates the pain, by preventing the healing balm of love flowing in to where it is most needed. It is vital to understand this. If you want healing, you must let go of the anger.
We can justify it to ourselves as much as we want to. We might think we have every right to be angry, that we are totally correct to be angry with this person or that person. But that justification does not remove the destructive effect that the anger is having upon the deepest part of us. It has been said that holding on to anger is like drinking a poison and expecting the other person to die. This is very accurate.
Holding on to anger is what stubborn children do, not mature adults. Mature and intelligent adults must realise when they are perpetuating suffering and pain through their own choices, and then choose differently. This is wisdom.
We can continue to find scape goats and blame other people for all the unpleasant feelings we feel inside of us, all the frustration and the injustice, but we will not grow up by doing this. Our emotional and spiritual growth will be stunted for as long as we are doing this, and nothing will change, because we simply cannot force others to change. To try and do so just makes us a more controlling human being, which nobody really wants to be around. If we want things to change, we have to take 100% responsibility for the emotions we feel in our body, rather than blaming other people for them. Because it is our thoughts that cause our emotions. Thoughts of what other people have done, or are doing wrong will create a sense of anger and blame within us.
Yes, we can indeed use that anger to motivate us into creative action, but if that anger just comes out as blame, resentment, bitterness, harshness, then we are poisoning ourselves, poisoning our relationships, and missing the truly astounding potential for love to fully blossom within the depth of our being.
As long as anger is being held on to, even just towards one person, we are keeping ourselves away from our own beautiful depth and our own true peace. This is why we must forgive everyone. Even if we become aware that we hold anger towards our mother or father, we can forgive them by forgiving our current partner. Human beings always project their parental relationship upon their romantic relationships; it is a deeply subconscious process.
So if you are angry with and punishing your male partner, there is a strong likelihood that you are subconsciously using your partner to punish your father, who is the male that you are really angry with on a deeper level. Maybe he did not give you the love you wanted and needed. Maybe he was not around enough for you, and unable to give you the attention you craved from him. Maybe he did not protect you enough and make you feel as safe as you needed to. Whatever the reason, subconsciously that child whom you were is still dictating the way you relate to males, when you become closer to them. It is exactly the same with men relating to females and mother figures. This is a deep psychological phenomena, and of course you may deny it or believe it is inaccurate, but you have to go deeper into your heart and find out. What is at the root of your pain, your fear and your anger?
Ultimately, we do have to forgive our mother and father. They were not perfect, and they did what they needed to do. Just be sure you do everything you can to ensure that you do not perpetuate any patterns of withholding love, of holding on to and justifying anger and punishing people as a result, especially if you have children. They will absorb this behaviour and exhibit it in their own relationships at some point, and thus your suffering will become their suffering. We really want to avoid doing that.
So I will end this by article by returning the focus to what you must do to resolve this destructive cycle. Forgive. And how do you forgive? By wanting that love replaces any anger. By putting an end to the desire to punish someone. You must see what you are doing. You are drinking a poison, and it is making you a more resentful and bitter person. It is making you ill. Nobody wants to be like this, yet if forgiveness does not occur, then it is inevitable.
So be wise. Decide that you want to cleanse your system of this poison, to release the anger and the desire to punish. Ask for divine help if you really find this difficult, and you will be strengthened. As you stop wanting to be angry, forgiveness will occur easily and your heart will be restored to its all-embracing, all-giving, unconditionally loving and joyful state.
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