Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Life constantly presents us with difficult situations and I am constantly thinking about how I can better deal with them and not become embroiled in a vicious circle of angst, fear, and hurt and therefore ultimately extending the amount of suffering I subject myself and others to – because it’s just not very nice and I get sick of lying awake at night going over and over things in my mind, with no obvious resolution in sight, very often because there isn’t one.
So, what is it that we can do when faced with seemingly unfair, hurtful, and insensitive events/circumstances, over which it feels like we have absolutely no control and are often blind-sided by them in the first place?
The first thing I’ve decided to try and do is not to take it personally. When we come up against negative circumstances, comments, or actions, we generally assume it is because of something we have done or said, or it is because we believe there is something wrong or lacking in us.
The reality is often quite the opposite. The actions we are encountering are generally about the person or environment that they are coming from – fear, angst, pain, which is ultimately being passed on to others because there is neither the awareness or availability of emotional tools, to deal with the root causes which have driven the situation in the first place – which is hardly surprising, as an emotional education is sadly lacking in our modern-day society.
Secondly, I have decided not to respond in the moment but to step back and force myself to pause, to reflect, and to sleep on it, because if not it will be my ego, my fear, and my pain that responds and two wrongs have never made a right.
Thirdly, I have decided that sometimes life is just unfair, sh*tty and people and circumstances can feel terribly unkind, but that does not mean that I have to be too. Therefore sometimes we just have to sit with this uncomfortable truth and feel uncomfortable about it – interestingly, I have found that after a while that discomfort does become more bearable and more irrelevant to my everyday existence.
And fourthly and finally, for now, I have decided to simply accept whatever it is that is beyond my control, let it go and move on. My days of pushing boulders up hills are over, I simply do not have the motivation nor energy.
Now, that may bring sadness and grief as I let go of my expectations or my relationship with something or someone, but again it does become more bearable with the passing of time, whereas staying in the moment of suffering and constantly replaying the hurt, rejection, and unfairness of it, simply means that I re-live the same pain, time and time again.
And that is the most damaging thing of all, because not only do we then choose to constantly carry our own pain, but we also choose to carry another’s too.
Life is just too short, just let it go and move on.