Saturday, January 21, 2012

Article #182 Forgiveness and Anger

Since kindness and unconditional acceptance don’t seem to come naturally to most individuals, there is always a need to learn to control your reactions and practice forgiveness. Somehow as we grow older and gain wisdom, we think that others would like to know what we have learned; but that’s not true. It seems everyone must learn by his or her actions. It’s always better to keep your remarks to yourself, unless asked for advice. Listening is the best procedure, but perhaps the most difficult. Learning to ask thoughtful questions can lead to informative discussions..

Being forgiven or forgiving someone who has offended you is not always simple. I‘ve seen how easy it is to offend younger family members with unsolicited advice about child raising or a harmless suggestion on how to improve communication in the family. What can you do if you have offended or been hurt by others? Talking it out certainly is important, but not always the easiest thing to do in our modern society. Letters, phone calls and emails can’t substitute for face-to-face talks. Seeing one another’s body language as you attempt to communicate can show you how they are reacting to what others are saying. With the vast distances that most families live apart these days, that’s not always possible though preferable.

Sending unconditional acceptance and love to every person is so important. Anger held onto isn’t healthy for anyone and can lead to depression. Being angry with someone else hurts you more than it does the other person. If you are one who has offended others, try saying, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings that wasn’t my intent. Hopefully, they’ll accept your apology, if not…never give up on a relationship especially with family members. When someone is angry, it’s because they feel hurt or harmed in some way by your actions.

I realized just recently that a son of mine who is now middle-aged is still trying to find his “personal space” and be independent from his mom (me.) That realization affects how I communicate with him. Respecting his life and desire to interact less frequently, doesn’t have to be taken personally by me. If I let him know I’m always here IF he wants to talk, and that I love him has to do for now. Time and patience will heal all wounds and bring more understanding. Anger is a reaction; forgiveness is an action. NEXT TIME: Act or React.