Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Anger and Letting Go of the Past

I've felt so stressed out and taken advantage of lately (right about now, my bestie is probably thinking "you're too nice, Jane Bennet") that I've been getting crankier than usual. I usually have patience to spare and can let things go but that superpower seems to have left me in the past couple of days. The easiest thing would be for me to get angry and sulk. Of course, being me, I have to do things the hard way... which means dealing with the crankiness and trying to defuse it before it gets out of control. I prefer to stay out of the confessional for as long as I possibly can so I need to remind myself to: "cease from anger, and leave rage; have no emulation to do evil." (Psalm 37:8) Anger/wrath is, after all, a deadly sin.

First, I have to remind myself of how terrible anger actually is for you. Not only does it eat at you and is likely to make you think of really unhealthy (read: dumb) things to do, but it actually destroys the better emotion, which is love. I actually kept reminding myself yesterday after being interrupted when praying... after I told this person to please not interrupt me while I was praying -- pet peeve of mine. I kept repeating "defeat it with love, defeat it with love." Do any of you remember (that is credited to Buddha) that I posted on my Facebook and Twitter, saying: "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die"? Yeah, anger is exactly like that.

My approach to anger is to usually walk away from the situation (most of the time, literally walk away) but since I couldn't, I stayed quiet. I know that I have a sharp tongue when pushed beyond my limit so choose to hold it in until I can release it in a more healthy way. This means I lose myself in something solitary (such as reading, listening to music through headphones, writing out what's bothering me, etc.) or exercise (such as walking, cleaning, dancing, etc.) I think that's why the house is so clean (haha, jk!; I just don't like it being dirty). Yesterday I had a chance to let off steam by working hard on cleaning my dad's tomb stone, cutting the grass around it, pulling weeds, and focusing on that.

You know my avoidance of social networks as of late? It's helped take a lot of the stress away from my life. If you get upset with people's comments, why not try to limit the amount of socializing? I am giving myself a total of 2 hours per day to comment and chat. Also, I'm keeping myself out of arguments. It's just not worth it.

I've been hit with the Spring Cleaning bug (both online and off) and have been emptying out my inbox. I have some really old emails (we're talking at least 5-6 years old), many of which bring back unpleasant memories. Over the weekend I found some old emails exchanged with the last young man I was "serious" about. I didn't think I had any left but, sure enough, they were there. While I confess that I didn't immediately delete them, I did eventually do it a few minutes later. I know many gals have keepsakes of old relationships but I don't like to. I'm pretty sure my future husband would appreciate me not worrying about past relationships. Let it go. Let it all go.

And speaking of letting go, I still have a lot of things from my CINO college alma mater (I can't believe it's been almost a year since I graduated). I'm going through my files and desk and shredding the papers that I don't need. I am keeping some things for evidence (never know when I'll need proof that they were teaching liberation theology) but anything that isn't necessary is getting chucked.

If you're holding onto anger or have things that bring bad memories, this is the perfect time to let go. We're still in Eastertide. It's a time for new, better, hopeful beginnings. Don't wait until the New Year to make changes and improve something. Do it now. Let go of anything that causes you unhappiness or that keeps you from God. Fight anger wth love. Let go of the negative. To quote one of my favorite songs, "let yourself go, relax." (Link is to the Gene Kelly version).

You know what would be a good idea? Praying the Rosary when angry (or on the verge of becoming angry) or praying a Hail Mary when you're throwing away or deleting things that need to be out of your life. For every unpleasant memory you have of someone, say a prayer for them. Thank God for where you are at the moment; you no longer have to deal with whatever it was that made you upset. :)

Anyway, just wanted to write this out because apparently I'm not the only one dealing with crankiness these days. :)

I'll leave you all with Fred and Ginger dancing along to the instrumental version of "Let Yourself Go" from the 1936 movie Follow the Fleet. Yes, this is an example of the kind of movies I'm most fond of. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

1 comment:

Joe Potillor said...

As humans forgetting tends to be a relatively difficult task. Further proof that we need God to really get over things, because it's by grace that we're able to move on from these things. You of all people know of my various anger issues....timely post.

As always my prayers are with you....:D