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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Conquering Anger and Resentment




What is the difference between anger and resentment? My Webster's New World Dictionary defines "anger" as "a feeling of displeasure and hostility that a person has because of being injured, mistreated, opposed, etc." It defines "to resent" as "to feel or show displeasure and hurt or indignation over or toward." The way I want to use these words today is: anger is an active feeling, but resentment is when we get stuck thinking over and over about what someone did. Resentment is more long-term. I like the word "indignation" in regard to resentment. We develop indignation toward someone from our anger toward them.
Anger as a Feeling Can Be Helpful
When we first feel anger, it can be helpful to us. Anger can keep us from getting depressed. It allows us to recognize when someone has wronged us. It helps us to learn about ourselves. Anger helps us to learn where to draw boundaries. If my neighbor does something and I get angry, then I need to say something. I suggest calming down first, but some of us need a bit of anger in order to have the courage to say anything. If we speak in anger, we need to be careful to not hurt someone else. Anger is a tricky emotion that way. We are responsible for our actions in anger. Therefore, we may want to calm down by using a tool such as slowly counting to 10 before speaking to anyone. Anger wants to be expressed. There are many safe ways to express anger. You can write about it, draw or paint. I painted an ugly picture when I was angry with my mother, for example. I still have it, to remind me that my anger was okay. I shared my anger with friends. I can share my anger with a life coach. What does your anger want to say? So step one of this process is acknowledging our anger and letting it have its say in a safe manner.

Forgiveness
Step two is dealing with our resentments that we have. We deal with resentments by forgiving. What is the benefit of forgiving? What do we have to gain by forgiving someone? I believe that this release clears our soul of the festering bacteria of resentment that are eating away at it. We then receive a new, clean, fresh life! We release the burden of these negative thoughts. I also believe in positive thinking. So releasing these negative thoughts of "indignation" clears out negativity from our minds, which frees us up to think more positive thoughts. Additionally, in some cases, relationships can be restored. Not always, but sometimes.
What is Holding You Back From Forgiving?
Could it be, like me, you want the person who wronged you to suffer a bit longer for what they have done? This is not about them, it's about you and your new freedom. Could it be that you don't want to let them "off the hook?" It's not up to us to judge them. We are not God. Plus, forgiving them doesn't mean that we agree with what they have done. Could it be that you, like me, want to hold on to your story a bit longer? Do you want to be able to tell it a bit more? Is it worth it, really? Do you have other reasons to not forgive? Perhaps you feel like yours is a special case. People have forgiven murderers of family members and found the freedom that it brings and released the burden of resentment. It's up to you. It's your choice. You can conquer your mind and conquer your life by forgiving.
Nanette Saucier is a Life Coach specializing in shadow parts and voice dialog. She works with weight loss, prosperity/money and any other issues that are relevant to you. Nanette is a graduate of the University of California at Davis. She is well-trained in life coaching, using the Enneagram and shadow work. Nanette Saucier is dedicated to her life's purpose which is to inspire and empower people to live their best lives. Nanette offers group and individual sessions at http://www.your-best-lifecoaching.com


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