Anger Management: Is It Finally Time To Forgive?

In order to free ourselves from the pain of anger and resentment we need to be able to forgive our self and others. The longer we dwell on hurtful situations from the past, the longer we keep our self from living fully in the present. Forgiveness is an act of kindness. An act of kindness to your self, as it leads to a sense of personal freedom.

Recently I had a client who had a lot of resentment towards her mother for many things that she had done to her in the past. "I don't want to forgive my mother for what she did in the past." my client said. "What she did is wrong, and she has never apologized." I hear this very same statement from many clients who are living with resentment, whether it be towards their parents, their spouse, or their boss.

I asked my client if she felt that anyone other than herself, was responsible for, and capable of, making her happy. After a rather long and convoluted discussion, she said that when it was all said and done, she realized that she was indeed the only one that could make herself happy.

We sat there together for a while, and then I took a deep breath and suggested that my client do so as well. Here is an idea, I said. "What if as a totally selfish act, done simply for your own personal happiness, you decided to go ahead and let go of the resentment you had towards your mom, so that you would no longer need to have resentment clouding your life. What would that be like?" "You would not be saying that what was done to you was OK. You would simply be letting go of the resentment so that your own life would be happier. Would you want to let go of your resentment if it meant you would feel greater happiness?"

We sat there together for a while and my client's face softened. She said that if she was able to let go of her resentment, it would be like lifting a weight from her shoulders, and removing a dark cloud from her heart.

"With all you have been through," I said. "With all of the pain you have suffered, wouldn't it be a wonderful gift to yourself if you could lift this weight from your shoulders and remove the dark cloud from your heart? Would it not be wonderful to be freed from your hurt and resentment?"

She sat there for a while, as tears formed, and she said very softly "Yes, I want to feel good. I want to feel love. I want to feel free."

"So" I said, "In order to free yourself from pain and open your heart to love, you would be willing to go so far as to forgive your mother if this is what you felt was necessary for your own personal happiness?" She was somewhat hesitant, but said "Yes." "Remember" I said, "I am suggesting that you do this purely for selfish reasons. Not because you want to actually forgive your mom at this point in time, but because you want to free yourself to live a happier life." My client said "Yes, when it is said like this, I have the resolve to forgive my mother, in order to free myself to live a happier life." "Good I said. "Hold these thoughts and feelings in your heart for a while and then we can talk about how to actually accomplish your forgiving."

How about you? Are you holding onto any resentment? Are you ready to recapture your happiness? Would you be willing to undertake the radical act of forgiveness in order to free yourself? I certainly hope so.

And if not today, maybe tomorrow.

Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from his thought-provoking ideas and a new self-help Practice every two weeks, by subscribing to his free newsletter about the importance of Mindfulness in our lives. If you want to learn more about anger management or become involved in Practices that can help you to feel calm and centered, Seishindo is a great choice. Find out more about Seishindo Anger Management theories and practices by reading the Seishindo Newsletter issue entitled "Coming to terms with anger."

© Charlie Badenhop, 2005. You have permission to publish this article electronically free of charge, as long as the bylines with the active links are included and you don't sell the article to others.

In The News:

Breaking the tension  Daily Pioneer
Stress Relief for Overwhelmed Women  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
Eat These Foods to Reduce Stress and Anxiety  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
Doing What Matters in Times of Stress  World Health Organization

Mindfulness and Panic: Ask Your Anxiety

Panic.Heart racing. Palms sweating. Breathing rapid and shallow. Mouth dry.... Read More

No More Sleepless Nights (Insomnia)

Insomnia is usually the result of the modern way of... Read More

Is it a Crime to be a White Guy in A Tan Car?

I had the unpleasant experience of being pulled over the... Read More

Simple Tips to Help Simplify Your Life! - Make it Great!

Quote of the week"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da... Read More

Recognize the Early Signs of Burnout

Most of us are trying to balance work, home, and... Read More

Stop Yourself Reacting To Other People When They Push Your Buttons

We all know what it feels like to have our... Read More

Put the 80/20 Rule to Work for Your Life!

Perhaps you've heard of the 80/20 rule, but don't know... Read More

Break Up Your Day And Become More Productive

Often, in today's fast paced world, we forget to take... Read More

Conquering Stress and Depression with Exercise

One of the best ways to combat stress and depression... Read More

Spontaneous Play

"We do not stop playing because we grow old. We... Read More

Top 10 Tips on Managing Conflict, Emotional Tension, and Anger

To be a safe and predictable person for those around... Read More

How Are You Achieving Rejuvenation for Peak Performance?

When was the last time that you truly took a... Read More

Beyond the Stress of Success - Access Your Thriving Zone

Genuine enthusiasm...real feeling of accomplishment...sense of satisfaction and fun. Welcome... Read More

The Top 10 Steps to DeStress

Do you feel tense and anxious at work? Do your... Read More

Aromatherapy Candles Release Stress

Have you been feeling so stressful and almost losing your... Read More

10 Symptoms of Workplace Stress

It is no secret that stress and related disorders are... Read More

Stress Control: Tough Leadership vs. Easy Does It

Tough leaders are usually seen as ogres. Their exacting demands... Read More

Those Deceiving Emotions

Deceiving? You bet they are. How? Without your even knowing... Read More

Wholistics

I have yet to see a scientist talk about the... Read More

Stress Relief

Traffic jams. Toddler tantrums. Deadlines at work. Money troubles. Too... Read More

Stress Management: An Owners Manual for Your Brain

Here's an amazing quote from Time magazine:"At birth a baby's... Read More

Stress Relief in Minutes

For those who are suffering from stress, just about the... Read More

Stress Management: Problem Land or Solution Land

In my experience, most of us spend a lot more... Read More

Stressed? Relax Right Now with 5 Super-Simple Stress-Busters

Stressed? Relax Right Now with 5 Super-Simple Stress-BustersStressed-out? Don't know... Read More

The Message Bill Heard

Voice: Bill!Bill: I thought I heard a voice.Voice: Bill! This... Read More