People often ask me how it is that I can be quite so ok, how it is that since the sudden and very painful breakdown of my marriage, my ex and I are still friends. They wonder why I don’t seem to harbour any hatred or anger about what happened.
Well here are my reasons:
1. Anger stops you from healing.
People often build a big thick layer of anger on top of their sadness. It works as a shield to stop you from having to feel the pain and the sorrow underneath it. Instead we just hate and blame and project it all onto those around us. Something I have learnt is that you cannot heal unless you access the emotions and process the pain. Anger stops us from doing that. It’s easier to feel anger, and so we get stuck there. You can’t heal when you’re stuck there. It’s part of the process and it’s definitely ok to feel angry but it’s not healthy to STAY angry. I have had my moments when I have just been so mad and said really hurtful things, but then when it passes and I’m back in my sadness I just feel worse, because I know that I have acted outside of my values. It’s a cycle that I don’t want to get stuck in.
2. Anger becomes toxic.
I believe that when we hold on to too much anger for too long, it makes us sick. The unprocessed emotions underneath it just get toxic and eat us alive. We feel sadness for a reason. It enables us to release. But so often we distract ourselves with surface level bullshit (drugs, gambling, revenge plots, whatever) and we become really reliant on that to protect us. It delays us having to actually see the lessons and look at ourselves and make changes that may lead to us being more well and more whole. I would much rather focus on trying to make my own life better than to spew hatred all over others. Hatred is an emotion that brings no good to anybody. You never, ever, ever make your own life better by making someone else’s worse.
3. Anger cannot exist within harmony.
Anger can easily become rage, and rage is destructive. Harmony is something I value, and things in my life cannot be harmonious when there is anger and conflict in it. I have been learning of late that there are people who are a bit hooked on drama and conflict, and though I have been personally affected by their behaviour I also feel bad for them, because I know that the anger is just an extraordinarily thick protective layer stopping them from feeling their sadness. Which means they have some way to go before they’ll be able to release it and heal. I am able to bring harmony into my life because I am choosing not to allow anger in to a point where it’s destructive.
4. No one deserves hatred.
Anger generally means that your boundaries have been broken. It’s a sign that something needs to change to re-establish and fortify your boundaries. That might mean that a relationship ends, or you have a renewed awareness of where a person fits in your life. It does not mean that a person deserves to be hated. I truly believe this – everyone is just doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Some people are not equipped to be in a particular situation, even though they might have committed to be in it. That doesn’t mean they are a bad person, it just means that something needs to happen or change so that your boundaries are safe.
My ex partner and I have new boundaries now. I no longer entrust him with my heart and my emotional wellbeing, even though he will always have some level of affect on both. What hasn’t changed is that I care about him. Nothing he can ever do would warrant me withdrawing my care for him. You don’t care for someone because they deserve it, you just care because you care. He is still the man I loved, he’s just not the man I choose to be married to anymore. And that’s ok. It hurts but it’s ok.
We had a beautiful near-decade together and seeing it all through a screen of anger would diminish the beauty of what we had. The space between him and me is the space that our daughter lives in. I am choosing not to pollute that space with anger.
If you are stuck in a place of anger then please know that you have the power to get past it and heal. Reach out to the right people, look for the lessons, focus on yourself and seek out what it is that you need in order to move in a positive direction. Radical self-care is a must. And if you need to, get in touch with me. I’m here.