Today I woke up to:
“Resentment, anger, and impatience, Megan, all have their place. Actually, they’re absolutely priceless, revealing to those who feel them that there are still a few pieces of life’s puzzle they’ve overlooked.”
A few days ago, I caught myself getting irritated and angry with someone over something I’d already forgiven. It was frustrating as hell since it’s done and over, I’m not still worried about it, and grudges are dead weight.
So why are these nasty feelings bubbling up?
My message from the universe asked me to stop, drop, and take a closer look at what’s really going on.
Our anger often acts as shield. Usually against fear. Fear of inadequacy, abandonment, loss of control, blah, blah, blah… all the usual suspects. Anger shifts the blame, and protects us from feelings we don’t want to admit, aren’t ready to come to terms with, or don’t realize, understand, and know how to process. (These aren’t great things, but still a hard truth.)
Anger tells us when our needs aren’t being met. Think about it. Roughly 85-95% of the time I’m feeling like an asshole, I’m either tired, hungry, or lonely.
So for a really long time, I’ve thought that if I had truly forgiven is situation than I’d forget about it. Or at least feel neutral. If I got angry about past events, it probably meant that I was still “holding on.”
But what if residual anger serves a positive purpose too? Similar to the conditioned responses we learn when we touch a hot stove. OUCH! Those little zaps of pissed off-ness can be warning bells when one of our boundaries are about to be crossed. A safety flare when there’s potential danger.
So here I am. With anger that occasionally bubbles up over something that I’ve pardoned. I’m pretty sure it’s to remind me that forgiveness isn’t the same as reconciliation. Like the time my best friend punched me in the face. I’ve forgiven her. I wish her well. But I don’t want to be friends or stay connected in any way. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m holding onto the past, I’m holding onto healthy boundaries.