Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Anger and Forgiveness

Yesterday I read this article by Harriet Brown, and was moved. 
Like Harriet, I have been angry for a while, and didn’t know what to do to get my joy back. I tried talking to the husband about it, but we always ended up in a huge brawl. I talked to my mum about it, she advised to ask for the “fruits of the spirit”. The church echoed the same thing.
This article really helped me.  I now see things in a different perspective.  I am a lover of Christ, a bible believer, I believe God answers prayers, BUT in the case of anger and forgiveness, I now realize that praying for the hurt to “disappear” is foolish, ignoring the pain is harmful.  I have to embrace the hurt, and CHOOSE my response to it.
In the article, the following stood out for me:
1.       Forgiveness is at heart a choice, one that any of us can make at any time, no matter the "content" we're wrestling with.
2.       “Forgiveness doesn't mean rationalizing or condoning abuse. And forgiveness doesn't mean a sudden case of amnesia.”

3.       "Forgiving enabled me to realize I could create my own path," she says. "I wasn't just plopped down on this cruddy path I had to walk the rest of my life. I was in control."

4.        “Forgiveness, I begin to see, is not about pretending you don't feel angry or hurt. It's about responding out of kindness rather than rage. It's about letting yourself feel the full spectrum of emotions—grief and anger and hurt, but also kindness and compassion. Even toward someone who's hurt you deeply.”

5.       "Forgiveness is giving up the hope that things will turn out other than they did. Is there any place in your inner life where you can't accept that things happened as they did?”

Today I admit that I have been angry and bitter for a long time. Angry at:
1.       Myself for spending so much time “waiting to be married” after dating the same guy for 7 yrs,
2.       Myself for embracing the notion that a woman is incomplete without a man,

3.       Myself for being caught in the deceptive cultural web of marriage being the next step in a woman’s life after college education,

4.       Myself for not being courageous enough to break the relationship long before it got to this point,

5.       Myself for allowing me to be so consumed by a bad relationship, unmet expectations, and all that come with it,

6.       The society (Nigerians especially, including me) for making unmarried women feel like they are defective,

7.       Myself for expecting so much from marriage (such as being loved, taken care of, e.t.c) thus being incapable of accepting the unpleasant reality,

8.       Myself for compromising in areas I should never have,

9.       Myself for spending so much time being  angry,

10.   The church for not offering practical help to issues like this, rather asking me to pray so the spirit of anger is “taken away”.

I am happy:
1.       To have found this article,

2.       To learn that it’s not just me, many people experience this raw emotion called anger,

3.       To learn that the fact that this anger has not “disappeared” after all the prayers and deliverance sessions, does not mean I am severely “possessed” by the devil,

4.       To feel hopeful again,

5.       To learn that is ok to be angry (does NOT mean it’s ok to do evil just because I am angry), it’s okay to grieve, it’s ok to cry, it’s ok not to have forgotten events of the past,

6.       To learn that forgiveness is about MY RESPONSE to things that hurt.  I am in charge here.
I am very hopeful. I feel like I have taken a first step in the right direction. This is the best article I have read in a long time!! Thank you Oprah! Thank you Harriet!


Yankeenaijababe said...

this post was so deep and really spoke volumes about women and life in general, not one person is perfect including myself, there are some people that can be so annoying that you just don't want to forgive them but the bible wants us to in order to move forward in life.I really needed to read about healing and forgiveness. May God give you the strength as you have decided to forgive & move forward.

sugarspring said...


Vickii said...

Sorry to read about your anger and your hurt. I can't claim to understand what you're going through but what stood out for me about this post is that of all the things you are angry about and at, a lot of it is directed at yourself. Fair enough, it's liberating that you're able to look at yourself honestly enough but in the same way you're making a concerted effort to forgive others, I hope you're making a concerted effort to forgive yourself too.
Sure you've made mistakes - we ALL have - but you need to learn from them (sounds like you have), forgive yourself and move on. What will you do about your life now? The issues you're dealing with now?

All the best and I'm glad you have God to guide you through because His way is the only one that really makes sense in this crazy life of ours :)

Cake and Socks said...

Thanks all for all the comments.

@Vickii You are so right God's way is everything! I would have been more than LOST without him. I am now learning to live like each day was my last. I refuse to let anger take over and instead focus on the many things i am thankful for. There will always be issues, but instead of dwelling on them, i try (really hard) to do the best i can and look beyond what i can't change. i am craving chocolate cake Vickii! I wish you were near :)

Ozoz said...

Wow....Wow....Wow. Thank you. You have captured my thoughts and feelings and to be honest too, I think I've been angry too! Its amazing how you've crystallised it all, but also the courage with which you've shared it. Thank you. And now I need to read the article!

desperatehousewife said...

this post blew me away, never have i seen such raw honesty that i can relate with. very true that our society makes u feel inferior when you are single. ladies do really spend a lot of energy looking for love instead of investing this energy into something useful.I confess to living with anger for a whole year then decided to either move out or move on. It takes time dear but like u said the choice is yours. all d best dear