Friday, March 23, 2007

Anger and Resentment: Identifying It and Owning It

The first step to letting go of anger is to identify it. Know what it is that is truly making you angry about a situation. Anger can be a blinding emotion. When you are angry about something, often that anger can be directed at anyone in your path. This is really not constructive anger, and it can hinder relationships with many people.

For example, when my first husband left me.....I was angry. I lashed out at him, my children, his family, my family, myself. Then after he got remarried, a lot of my anger was directed at his new wife, for reasons I will not go into here. Needless to really say, that marriage has since dissolved as well. I was destructive and damaging. It was not a good situation at all. I carried that anger with me for a really really long time. A while ago I decided to really reflect on that anger. I asked God to please help me let go of it, as it seemed to consume me. I realized that a lot of my anger was at myself. I finally admitted to myself that I was not blameless in the breakdown of the marriage. I made some fatal mistakes. Of course, so did he, and it was the accumulation of mistakes that lead to the final break up.

It was in the realization of what I was really angry about, that finally set me free of that anger. When I owned the anger, embraced it and admitted it, I could finally set it free. And by setting it free, it in turn set me free.

It is the key to freedom from debilitating anger and resentment, to identify it and own it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Resetting the Internal Set Points

Starting today, I am trying to find a way to reset my internal clock so to speak. I have fallen into a habit of using my size and weight to limit myself in how I think and what I do. I have been sucked into this vortex of the catch 22. My depression depleted my energy levels, then I started to gain weight. Then the weight held me back from doing the things I needed to do to boost my energy. My energy levels dropped even further, causing more weight gain. Throw a few pregnancies, a few more dips into depression, and you find yourself in a very low energy situation.

I am trying to find ways to boost my energy. I know sitting here blogging and watching TV in my bedroom is not contributing positively. One of my biggest issues is not really liking being outdoors. I am not sure if this is a low level agoraphobia or if it is more just a manifestation of the years of wanting to hide myself away from the world.

I feel vulnerable when I am out in the open. When I am outdoors, especially alone. I believe it is something about not being able to control my surroundings completely. Being open and exposed for the world to see and scrutinize. It is an uncomfortable feeling for me. I have always hidden myself. I hide under bulky clothing, I hide under my personality, I hide under my weight. I find it difficult to expose the real me to people. Even here, where I write these editorials. I want so much to lay it all out in the open. Strip myself naked and just let the world see what I really am. But even here I hide. I hide behind my words. I hide behind my insight and intelligence. People comment to me, saying I am so real, so raw, so open, and yet, I know I am still hiding.

There is truly only one person in this world who has seen the real me. And not because I really wanted to show him, but because he looked for me. He has taught me much about myself. Shown me strengths that I never knew I had. Given me courage to shed some of my armour and start letting myself be vulnerable and open. He doesn't expect me to change, he only wants me to discover myself, and love myself for who I am. He wants me to be proud of who and what I am, just as I am. I am starting that journey today. Baby steps..............

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I am sorry, but.......

This is worst form of apology that a person can try to offer. It is the most insincere form I can think of. By using the word "but" after the I'm sorry, negates the whole apology all together. The stuff that follows the "but" is always justification for the wrong doing in the first place, therefore, the person is not truly sorry. If wanting to make your point and justify your actions, then just forgo the "I'm sorry" part. If there is part of the action or the reaction that you are truly sorry for, you need to use the form below and be intrinsically clear as to what it is that you are apologizing for. Then, that for which you are not sorry, may then be discussed and your point can then be made, independent of the apology.

I know we have all experienced this, have done this. It leaves the person that is being apologized to feeling even less important than if you had said nothing at all. Apology is something that should never be entered into lightly, since if you feel the need to make an apology, you have done something that has hurt another human being.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Art and Anatomy of Apology

So often in life people apologize for things without really meaning it. In fact, in our culture we are so used to saying "sorry" for every little thing, that it has somewhat lost its meaning.

To make a meaningful apology one has to make sure to include all the parts.....the anatomy.

The first part of the apology is where you state that you are sorry and adjunct to that, exactly what it is you are sorry for. For example:

I am sorry for breaking your vase

Clear and to the point. But that is really not enough. You also have to acknowledge that you understand that it was wrong, inappropriate, hurtful, or whatever.

It was very irresponsible of me

Next you need to offer a way to make it better. A compensation. This will not fix the wrong, but does at least show that you do care about the other person's feelings.

Let me try to replace it or fix it for you

And finally, you need to finish up with a statement of intent to not repeat the offense. This is the way to show that you truly understand the impact of what you did and that you have enough regard and respect for the person to not want to ever cause that discomfort again.

I will be much more careful in the future

When all these parts are put together with sincerity and eloquence, the apology is much more heartfelt and it is received much more readily. It is those things that make it an art.