Please know this is nothing more than One Man's Opinion on Forgiveness.....I don't have answers only observations from my experiences.....Peace.
~Anger may well be the most misunderstood emotion. For all the trouble anger can cause, you'd think we'd work harder to understand it, but we don't
Our understanding of anger is complicated by how we define it. Our childhood experiences of anger in our own families color how we understand it later in life. Anger is a primary emotion that can include everything from cold silence to mild impatience to an out-of-control rage. Something interesting about anger is that when we feel it, either in healthy ways or unhealthy ways, we often feel Stronger. One of the roles of healthy anger is to Protect us in certain situations. It can help stop a process in which someone has victimized us. Anger protests, "You can't continue to do this to me!" The absence of anger where we are victims of someone else's behavior leaves us feeling weak, exposed and helpless.
Not all anger is productive. Expressions of anger can be harmful to us and others, hence the saying, "Don't let the Sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to evil actions" don't let anger control you. There is an anger that is only concerned with our self-absorbed, self-centered issues and really doesn't care about the other person. There is also a self-directed anger which is anger directed at oneself and is an expression of our not caring anything about ourselves. Healthy anger involves a concern with justice, with protecting both you and me, and is disciplined in it's actions.
Becoming angry too quickly can be counterproductive in the Forgiveness process. There are sayings for this...."Those who are short-tempered do foolish things"..."those who control their anger have great understanding, those with hasty temper will make mistakes". People with good sense restrain from anger. Always be slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Being disciplined in our anger and cautious in its expression does not mean that we deny our anger. Healthy anger is essential to the forgiveness process. In fact, if we try to forgive without experiencing anger, we are not really forgiving...we are merely trying to EXCUSE the behavior.
When someone hurts us, there is usually nothing to be gained by getting angry directly with the other person, especially if the hurt took place a long time ago. The purpose of anger is to Grieve not to Confront. In fact, confrontation should come ONLY AFTER we have finished the process of actually forgiving the other person.
It's important to remember that the forgiving process I am describing is something a person does Internally, without the other person's involvement. In fact, it may be helpful to Limit ANY Contact we have with the person that we are seeking to forgive.
Someone asked me, "what if I am trying to forgive this person, but he/she keeps doing the same thing to me? How am I supposed to forgive in that situation?". In a situation like that we must first do what we can to stop the Hurtful Behavior, perhaps by Limiting and contact with the other person until we have become Strong enough to Protect ourselves. Then we can work on Forgiveness.
The other facet of Grieving is the experience of Sadness. This one I know too well. I hate the fucker. Our Heart may have been broken by our loss and Tears become our constant companion. But Sadness is more than just Tears. Other things are going on inside us as well.
During the Angry Facet of Grief, we are focused on the other person and how they Hurt us. During the Sadness facet, we become more focused on ourselves. We go through a perios of Self-Evaluation, considering what has been lost to us. What is it that we will never experience again? What has been taken away that we can never regain? What has been our part in the process?
We experience a growing sense of resignation as we journey into the depths of our Sadness. There is something Healing in our Tears. Sometimes we get a sense of the experience from the perspective of the other person. We put ourselves in his/her shoes, and in doing so, we realize that we are both losing something through this event.
as stated in a previous blog, men seem to have a great difficulty with the Sadness aspect of grief. Not only is it hard for men to cry but they also seem to avoid the self-evaluation that typically goes along with the experience of Sadness. This is a time of reflection, not a time of action. Men feel an urgent need to take action to solve the problem, but men should resist this urge and learn to sit with their Sadness.
As we journey down the Path of Forgiveness, we need to remember that reaching the place of forgiving requires that we experience both the Anger and the Sadness. Once we have spent time in both, we are free to move to on to the next step on the path, which is where we take action and actually forgive the one who hurt us so deeply.