Sunday, May 2, 2021

Anger Towards Those We Love

Anger Towards Those We Love

 “Once we are honest about our feelings, we can invite ourselves to consider alternative modes of viewing our pain and can see that releasing our grip on anger and resentment can actually be an act of self-compassion.”

― Sharon Salzberg, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection

A dear friend of mine is suffering from COVID19, but even worse, her father with whom she's had a falling out with, recently passed away from the same COVID that he gave to her.  She asked me recently,

"What am I supposed to do with this anger?"

"That's a difficult question to answer." I replied.  It differs for everyone.  

Her father knowingly had the symptoms of COVID19, but continued to preach at his local church, giving this disease to the congregation, including his daughter.  Now she is understandably angry.  She continued to be angry at him until his sudden death.  Now there is no proper reconciliation, only the knowledge that she carries bitterness and resentfulness to his grave.  

This I do know.  Her father loves her dearly.  She also loves her father.  He had foolishly done many selfish things in the past, yet people forgave him.  Maybe undeservedly, but as he continued to preach the forgiveness of Christ, he brought many people to forgive others and themselves for past transgressions.  

I personally struggle with the concept of forgiveness.  I feel as though I can live a perfectly peaceful life knowing some people don't deserve forgiveness.  Even if they die, if they've never sought's not my responsibility to forgive them.


Unknown said...

Ah, yes, forgiveness. 😜 In some ways, it seems a four letter word. I think forgiving gets a bad rep and is often very misunderstood.

I have had much to forgive in my life from those who were called to love me most, my parents. My husband attributes the fact that I chose the path of forgiveness with regard to them as evidence of my kind heart, but that's not why. Rather, it's more like Martin Luther King, Jr.'s quote, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too heavy a burden to bear."

I didn't forgive them for them. They did not ask it of me and see no need. So what? I don't need their participation. I forgave them for me. After all, they'd already taken enough from me. Why let them take more?

"The Art of Forgiving" by Lewis Swedes is helpful from a Christian perspective.

But the movie "An Unfinished Life" was even more healing for me.

No easy answers!!

Wishing your friend all the best. I will pray for her recovery. ❤️

Unknown said...

Note: check quote for accuracy. It's late. 🙄

Jesse Ahmann said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Maybe to clarify, "not forgiving" someone doesn't mean harboring hate in your heart....but letting go is essential, I agree.