I will be the first one to tell you that I believe anger is a worthwhile emotion. Now, with that said, in my former marriage, it was my default emotion. I could be patient and kind with everyone else, but I was miserable and angry in my relationship and spent a lot of time in a place of negativity. It’s only in hindsight, that I can see the toll it had on my overall wellbeing.
Anger pretty much defined my day to day life, which was pretty much measured by just how angry I was. Some days I was just a little ticked off. Other days, I was fully enraged. Sometimes I would try not to be angry, which isn’t the same as living in joy. Anger was my normal. And to be honest, over the years, I have had plenty to be angry about. Plenty. Even after his death in June, I continued to discover things that were enough to make me angry and did. For a while. Except here’s the thing, I’ve grown tired of being angry.
While anger is a healthy emotion within a wide range of emotions, it is not healthy to remain in that state indefinitely. And, it is impossible to be happy and at peace with everyone else and in every area of your life, while continuing to be angry in one area or with one person. It takes a lot of energy to hold onto anger and compartmentalize your emotions. So, I have decided that, even though I have every right to be angry, I don’t have to be angry, whether the issues themselves are resolved or not. In fact, not all issues can be resolved. Sometimes we just have to let go and move on. Doing so is not giving up or backing down, as I think I once thought. I don’t have to fight to win. I don’t have to fight. It is a choice and that is empowering.
Is that forgiveness? Perhaps. I do know that it is choosing not to invoke the negative energy that comes with anger. This is not to say that I believe anger is something that we should not express. What this is about is ongoing anger, dwelling in that dark place, unproductive anger…
Unsent letters helped me get to this point because they gave me the opportunity to say everything I needed to say, until I realized I had nothing more to say. I was beginning to repeat myself. Thus, it was time to move emotionally move on. Are you holding onto anger because you think you deserve to be angry, because you have every right to be? You may. But you also have every right to live a life that is filled with joy.