“Anger is poison. Anger won’t set you free. Holding on to anger is hurting you more the the person your mad at.”
Insert eye roll here. I already know what your thinking.
Before you leave this page, or decide, or maybe you’ve already decided this blog is dumb. Give this a chance and hear me out.
I can’t make any promises how you will feel after, but I am not going to sugar coat things and say the cliche things listed above.
Why do we get mad at someone?
Whether it’s the person that cut us off while driving, the fast food worker that can’t seem to get the order right, to more intense hurts like the person who cheated on us or the person who left the family to fend for themselves.
Despite the degree or relationship, we all get hurt by someone for something. Obviously, we’ve all experienced it.
If you really think about it, were experiencing anger because,
a) were hurt and feel unheard, therefore lashing out will communicate to the person that hurt us that we are in pain, “hear my pain!”
b) were hurt also because we feel that person owes us something. We didn’t get what we wanted, when we wanted it nor how we wanted it.
If you look at it that way it’s kinda funny, who are you to lash out at someone because you don’t think they heard you? Most people, religious or not, have a conscience, so you don’t need to yell or express why your hurt. Chances are they already know they hurt you and the cold hard truth is, they don’t care. At least for that moment the offense was caused, otherwise they wouldn’t have done it.
Secondly, who are you to think someone owes you something?
I believe there is a more “reasonable” reason to think someone owes you something and a “you brought it on yourself” way to think someone owes you something.
1) This is such a light example, but the one I began to write was much more controversial. Buying something, losing the receipt and or tag then attempting to return the item only to be told it cannot be returned. Does that sound familiar? That’s frustrating and easy to take it out on the store clerk or in some cases, the manager. This is an example of situations people get themselves in and then blame the person that hurt them, which rightfully so, but they don’t technically, legally owe you anything.
2) The other type of owing I mentioned is to be more reasonable, the type of hurt where someone hurts you and you didn’t even fall short and put yourself in that situation. For example, if a person is robed, of course they have absolute reason to be angry at the individual that committed the crime. Especially because the victim did nothing to have that happen. However, to say the criminal owes you something, is a lie. They don’t owe you an apology, it would be nice, but they have free will, obviously chose a really bad decision at your expense and doesn’t owe you anything.
While reading my devotions, I came across one on the app about anger.
I think the hardest part for me was the section on anger where it talks about someone not owing me anything, because while writing this I’ve been extremely angry at a few people and I really felt, up until I read this devotion, that they owed me, ALOT!
Maybe you can relate.
I challenge you to an exercise that’s a little different then what a lot of things may suggest or perhaps you’ve heard of it before.
Also, no this is not a “write down every single thing your mad at exercise and burn it”. Although effective for some, that’s not what I am suggesting.
It’s a little more simple then that.
Instead of writing down every single hurt, why not write down everything that person owes you. Not only will the list be shorter but you can get a look at how ridiculous the expectation is.
Think about it, writing down every single hurt, legitimate or not, ultimately only time can heal all those wounds.
Are you really mad at so and so for not paying you back a large some of money? You would answer yes which is fair. The real question you should be asking yourself is, do they owe me it? Legally if there was documentation signed then yes, but you may not ever get that money. So if you don’t let go of the notion that they owe you something, you will always be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things we have reasonable grounds to fight for in court most likely financially where someone does in fact owe us something.
I’m more talking about every and all other things we get mad at.
Your list should look as follows:
1) “so and so” owes me money
2) owes me attention
3) owes our children a father/mother
4) owes me love
5) owes me a date
6) owes me a call back
7) owes me the gift of a child
8) owes me our friendship
9) owes me an apology
10) owes me a vacation
11) owes me a raise
12) owes me a discount
If we specified every single hurt that would take pages I’m sure.
1) I’m hurt because they dumped me
2) I’m hurt because they didn’t pay for me a the movies
3) I’m hurt that time they forgot my birthday
4) I’m hurt that time they didn’t text back.
When really that can be summed up to, “They owe me love and attention”.
That’s really what you wanted because if they fulfilled that longing, it would seep into every single one of those 4 examples I just listed.
I had to come to terms with it and so do you, that no one owes us anything, even if we didn’t ask to be put in the situation.
If we keep dwelling on what someone didn’t do or should do, we really can’t succeed or continue on in life as individuals.
After writing what someone owes, I encourage you to “cancel” them in your mind. Quickly read them, think about it, picture it, then cross it out.
Continue down the list until all is crossed off, it actually feels so satisfying to see everything crossed off.
Maybe for you this exercise or different view on anger has made you more angry or hasn’t helped at all.
Maybe it’s because you don’t really want to let go of anger because it gives you control and power. That may be true, for now, but being angry is so exhausting.
Some of the things I am upset about, I brought on myself, others were wrongs done against me.
Either way, I’m sure we can all agree that being angry can cause us to do unthinkable things that we wouldn’t even imagine in a peaceful state of mind.
Some of us don’t act out on our anger it festers, others do, hence why they end up in court.
Doesn’t matter if we don’t act out on it, because once we internalized were acting out on it mentality every single day. Thus, allows us to fight an impossible battle.
Let’s set ourselves free and quit telling ourselves that someone owes us something.
No one owes you anything except yourself. You owe it to yourself to set yourself free. Whether that person owns up to it or not. Whether we receive an apology or not.
Ps, I told you it wasn’t that cheesy or cliche