Back in the day I was a very angry person. I'm talking the seeing red, totally loosing control, scream, shout, rant & rave kind of anger. It would come out of nowhere & completely overtake me. In the midst of full-blown rage I would sometimes feel as if I were out of my body watching this total train wreck, but completely incapable of stopping what was going on right in front of me. Sadly, I was totally married to that anger. It was an anger that I hated, but could not seem to control. It was a scary kind of anger. Scary to be lashing out in such a negative, hurtful way. Anger was my power.
I did not want to be that person. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. There was a lot of anger in my childhood home. A lot of anger. The same anger in which I could loose myself. I hated who I was when the anger took over. Hated that I could not control the outbursts. As I began to better understand myself, I began to get a handle on the anger. Once I understood where the anger was coming from, once I acknowledged my pain, I was able to begin to control the ugliness.
I had always thought if I forgave people for their short-comings, their indiscretions, the pain I had been caused that I would somehow forget & continue to allow people to take advantage, hurt me, treat me as less than a valuable person. That in forgiving I would give others a power over me. Hey, I forgive you. Color me a fool.
As Maya Angelou says "When we know better, we do better." Well, I learned better. Forgiveness had absolutely nothing to do with the other person & everything to do with me. My well-being, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, & even physically depended on forgiveness. I had to forgive everyone & I had to forgive myself. The day I sat down & actually said the words out loud "I forgive you", I was FREE. Free of all the anger, free of resentment, free to breathe, free to live fully. Most of those people have no idea that I have forgiven them. It wasn't about them, it was about me. It was hard. It is never easy to let go of feelings, even the negative ones. But I do know this. Forgiveness allowed me to continue to grow as a person, allowed me to find my Path & follow the Road I am meant to travel. Forgiveness allowed me to know myself honestly, to find my authentic self, my voice. Forgiveness allowed me to be happy. Forgiveness allowed me to learn to live within my own skin. Forgiveness allowed me to see that I could take a stand in a positive manner, voicing my feelings truthfully, & not being afraid to do so. Forgiveness freed me to accept not only myself, but others as the flawed individuals we all are. Forgiveness has allowed me to understand why some people are who they are. It has given me compassion for the Journey of others.
The anger is gone. No more outbursts. Oh, I may state emphatically something I feel strongly about, but I am now so confident in myself that there is no need to scream & shout, rant & rave. I state my feelings, my beliefs, my opinions then I move onward in my Journey. If you abuse or mistreat me, I will let you know & I will probably cut you out of my life if I see that this behavior is going to be harmful to my well-being. But I will forgive you, the wound will not fester in my Spirit. I will find the lesson in the moment & I will move forward. That's what forgiveness is...it allows us to move forward in our Journey stronger & wiser with our Spirit healed.