Day 316: Letting Go of Anger

I really had no clue what I was going to write about today.

Actually, that’s not true. As usual, I had too many clues and was having more trouble, than usual, deciding what to choose.

Then I read this wonderful post, called “They Could Not Forget,” by Louise Gallagher. At the end, she writes:

The war is over. In loving memory of my father and those who fought beside him, I let go of anger. It is time for me to make peace.

Louise’s post gave me lots of gifts, including the title of this one.

So, what do I want to write today, about Letting Go of Anger?

Here are my beliefs/observations about anger, at this point in my life:

  1. Anger is a human feeling, just like joy, sadness, and fear.
  2. Anger is a reaction to not getting needs met, including the need to feel respected and valuable.
  3. As with any other feeling, it’s helpful to let anger flow through you — without squelching it, trying to extend it, re-directing it to an inappropriate target, or otherwise screwing it up.
  4. Most people don’t have good role models for experiencing or expressing anger, so we often screw it up.
  5. In my culture, anger is more accepted in men than it is in women.
  6. Personally, when I was a kid, I had some experiences that would make ANYBODY angry; however, I didn’t express that anger.
  7. There are many, many reasons why I didn’t express anger back then. Maybe there wasn’t enough room for my anger. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. Maybe I and other people around me could not have borne it.
  8. I don’t know all the reasons why I didn’t express anger when I was a kid.  And I don’t need to know.  I can do my best, in the moment, to let go of anger, now.  Like Louise.

I love lists. Does it show?

So my commitment to myself — and to any others bearing witness — is this:

I will do my best to let go of anger. I will not expect perfection in that, or in anything else.

I need one more thing, before I publish this.

I love images. Does it show?

First, I will check to see if any recent photos of mine will fit the bill.

Okay!  I took this photo yesterday, revisiting the same place I pictured in my blog two days ago (here).

Image

That’s the place I was, when I was a kid, where I felt anger and fear.

Re-visiting there, taking photos, lingering,  breathing nearby, writing about it, showing this to you — all those things are helping me let go of those old feelings.

I am honoring my commitment.

Thanks to Louise Gallagher, Children’s Hospitals everywhere, people doing their best with anger, witnesses to healing, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Day 316: Letting Go of Anger

  1. Thank you Ann! I appreciate you and your words and willingness to let go of anger — I believe if we all let anger go — to not “squelch” it or hold onto it, our world would be a better place. As you write — it is just an emotion — and there’s no need to hold onto it. Somewhere I read, anger that has lasted more than 10 minutes is not about what is happening now — it’s about the past. Let the past go.

    Hope you have a joyful and angry-free day!

    Hugs

  2. Number 5 is a doosey, people struggle with the concept or actuality of anger in women. If I was a man they say I was fiercely protect and not to be disrespected, but as a woman…I’m a “little crazy”

  3. clayton paul

    A super list, Ann! No doubt, anger is deadly, or “toxic” to us as we like to use the term today. More education on how to let go of anger and move past it is always good. Excellent post!

    Clayton

  4. I inherently do not express anger, I repress it. For that reason I never ever even allowed myself to feel it. I am slowly learning that it is OK to FEEL anger. It is the response to the anger that is the important issue. To respond to it in a positive way.

  5. It seems so many of the let go people think we can do this like we have some kind of on and off switch. Much does evaporate with time, however. I have been working on anger management. Now the only time I get angry is when someone pisses me off.

  6. Pingback: Day 1655: Letting go | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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