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     Anger and Forgiveness

    -healing the harm done by others

 "An eye for an eye will only leave the world blind"
                           Mahatma Gandhi

 Forgiveness heals the person who forgives. We cannot however ever pretend to forgive. Pretence simply does not work with feelings.

Someone lets us down or acts badly towards us or someone we love and we are angry, really angry. This is a natural response. It is not the only possible response but it is an understandable genuine one for a lot of us. If someone has harmed you then clearly you feel a need to protect yourself and those you love and so you feel angry. You then look around to see what you can use your anger for. Is there something you can do so that the person will put right the wrong they have done? We all get angry in relationships regularly because the flux of power is getting unbalanced and our anger helps us to let the other person know that their behaviour is not acceptable to us. Normally this is sufficient, the situation is resolved and the need for forgiveness is out of the way before we even noticed we had it.

However sometimes things do not work out so easily. We find ourselves in a situation which we feel powerless to change and our natural anger cannot find its correct outlet, which would be resolving the problem and then....natural forgiveness and letting go. Sometimes the person does not acknowledge that they have done anything wrong. A Minister once told a friend of mine that it was impossible to forgive a person unless they acknowledge what they have done wrong and I believe he is almost right. It is almost impossible to forgive someone whom you must come in contact with unless the person is able and willing to acknowledge what they have done wrong. To forgive them without this would be foolish because they would likely just do more of the same as soon as they next had the opportunity. If we need to continue seeing the person then it is important to find a way to resolve the situation. If you do not you are allowing the other person to have power over you. If the problem is at work then possibly you can go to a superior and if it is in a personal relationship and you believe you must keep the relationship going and you cannot resolve the problem then I would advise you seek out counselling. Our anger is there for a reason but it is not comfortable living with it for too long. A good counsellor will help you look into the problem and find the resources within yourself to deal with it.

 

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