Friday, April 16, 2010

Sabbatical Day 5

I had one last issue to take care of before I leave this wonderful cabin of peace tomorrow and go back to resume my life. This issue was the hardest one. The one I had been putting off even thinking about this whole week. I didn't want to deal with the can of worms it would open up inside me. I knew I had to deal with it though, and deal with it, I did. This issue I am talking about is anger. I had a lot of pent up anger and it was coming out all sideways at the people I love the most - my family. I didn't want my children to remember me as Angry Mom, so it was for them, most of all, that I tackled this issue.

I believe that anger is actually a secondary emotion. Anger is what frustration, hurt, disappointment and resentment leave behind. Someone has hurt, frustrated or disappointed us and because we don't want anyone to dislike us, we keep the hurt to ourselves and next thing you know we are angry and bitter because no one understands us. Of course they don't; we never said anything! We then carry these negative emotions around with us and turn them inward, causing us to be anxious and depressed. This effectively allows the person we are angry with to come along beside us wherever we go. They are like an albatross we drag around with us, placing them smack between ourselves and those who really matter in our lives. Everywhere we go, there they are. Allowing them to have a place between us and our loved ones reminds us to keep our defenses up, so that we won't be hurt like that again. As long as they are there, no one can get too close. The problem with this is obvious - we are allowing these people who have hurt us to control our ongoing relationships and thus our lives. The only way to remedy this problem is to release the anger. Which is what I did today.

I knew it wasn't a good idea to confront these people. It would have been a circular conversations that would have left me more frustrated. I had to think of some way to get all of my pent up frustration, hurt and anger out, once and for all without opening myself up to even more painful emotion. So, after much thought, I came up with a plan. I sat down and wrote out some letters to these people. I told them of the ways I was hurt by them, frustrated by them and now felt angry and bitter towards them. I wrote and wrote and wrote until I didn't have one thing left unsaid. I let it all out on the paper. Then I read the letters. Then, I read the letters over and over again until the words no longer had feeling behind them. I read them until I was no longer affected by the words. After the words no longer had control of my emotions, I took the pages and torn them into little pieces. As I was tearing the pages to shreds, I prayed. I prayed that God would give me the strength to let go of my anger once and for all and give me peace. Then I began to pray for the people I had written to. I asked God to bless them and grant them peace in their lives.

It's done. Finished. I can no longer pick up those hurts because I tore them all to pieces and threw them in the garbage where they belonged. I wish no one ill, but I will no longer be controlled by people I choose not to have in my life. They are gone and so is their power to manipulate me.

I feel emotionally drained right now, but I feel free. I am ready to go home tomorrow and continue to work on all of these issues that I have uncovered. By the grace of God, I will be able to conquer them all in due time. Moving forward I see light and great, glorious adventures.