We cannot have resentment and remorse towards ourselves and be in forgiveness.
Neither can we be forever angry at another and claim to be in forgiveness.
To move towards the territory of forgiveness we need to begin reconciling the anger and rage we direct towards ourselves and we need to reconcile the unresolved rage we hold towards others.
Reconciliation of self-rage and rage towards another begins with honesty.
For self-rage it is sorting out whether the anger we feel towards ourselves is actually about us, or whether it is really about someone else, and it has become easier to be inwardly rather than outwardly angry.
Ask yourself the questions, am I prepared to state my anger to another as needed, or do I do whatever it takes to avoid having to express it?
If the answer to this question is no, the chances are high that anger is being self-directed. If this is the case, then anger will build up in time into self-rage.
If the workshop facilitator made sexual advances to the girlfriend I used to be with at a time when we both took one of his workshops and I never said anything to him because I was scared to make a fool of myself and I didn’t have the confidence at the time to say what I needed to say, I may re-experience my anger and humiliation over that incident at some later time.
After having worked through and beyond the personal resistances that in the past served to prevent the expression of feelings of anger and humility, I may now feel the need and desire to talk to that workshop facilitator, and to tell him either face-to-face, or perhaps in a letter that even though it was an incident that took place some twenty years ago, his actions were entirely inappropriate and inconsiderate. I may tell him that I hold him responsible for the humiliation I felt at the time and have held inside until now, and that I welcome the ability and the means I now have to say, “How angry I am at you for your grossly inappropriate behaviour.”
Given the fact that my now ex-girlfriend encouraged the incident through her flirting, I may need to communicate my feelings to her in a similar manner.
Prior to reaching this stage in my own personal growth, if I had come into contact with a student of that workshop who happened to ask me if I ever dealt with the situation between the facilitator and my girlfriend, I might have said, “Oh, I let it go and I’ve moved on.”
For this to be true, I would have needed to have resolved the feelings of anger and humiliation that were present for me at the time. Because if I hadn’t, and the feelings remained inside of me then I am, with regards to this incident, living in a fantasy.
To set out on the road to forgiveness we need to have resolved the resentment we still hold on to.
Resentment and regret, whether towards others or towards ourselves, do not have a place in the house of forgiveness. We have to enter into reconciliation either in one or both of two directions: towards those we hold resentment or regret towards, and/or towards ourselves.
The ideal arena for resolving past pent up emotional expression is with someone you have resentment towards and who has the resolve, tolerance, and ability to directly hear your grievances, and who has insight and courage to take responsibility for their part.
This may also mean that the listener has their own story to express and the emotions that go along with them too, which would entail you listening to them.
If either party is unable to provide this for the other then alternative forms of expression need to be considered, such as writing a letter or an email to the person. It is less direct in that it is not a face-to-face encounter but it is still requiring the person on the other end to listen. Or have someone act as a mediator, perhaps a trusted friend, a family member, or a professional therapist.
If the person to whom the grievance is centered upon is not able to hear you, that is, if expressing directly risks confrontation or further potential hurt, then expressing your grievance indirectly becomes the next best option.
Write the letter as if the person is going to receive it, then read it out to him or her after it is written – except don’t send it!
Or, imagine the person in the room with you to the point where you feel or sense the person is there in the room with you. Speak your resentment to him/her. Look him\her in the eyes and say aloud what needs to be said. Represent all your experiences, feelings. and emotions: your sadness, anger, disappointment, humiliation, loss, regret…Tell your story – and don’t hold back.
Speaking in this way to the person whilst exercising – walking, jogging, dancing, or aerobics – is especially physically conducive to releasing rage, anger and resentment,
Combining both specializes in exorcising the areas that carry associated physical congestion in the body due to congested self-anger, rage, resentment, and regret.
Thank you to the 374,902 people who read my blog posts these past month, Pietro.
Do you have a way, or do you know of a way to release resentment, regret, or self-anger that has worked for you, or that you have heard has worked for others?
Please share it with us all so that we may expand our repertoire for release and support our momentum towards forgiveness.
Next Blog (Friday, August 7th) :
How Do You Forgive Yourself When You Have Abused Someone?
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