NOTE: Be sure to read Part #1 before you read this. Click here!
When we disagree, our relationship can often become ‘temporarily out of order.’ Arguments that bring anger to the boiling point are most destructive. Restoration is a process. It requires patience, understanding, acceptance and much love. Discuss with an intention to resolve the conflict. Give up being right. Arguments create negative distance. We must move through conflict as quickly as we can. Life is too short to maintain negative distance between love partners for lengthy periods of time.
It is never appropriate to suppress anger or to disregard how we really feel about it. When we feel anger, it is a very real feeling; at that moment, we have an intimate relationship with it. Anger is difficult to contain. When we are angry, we often feel a need to demonstrate it, talk about it and let people know that we are indeed angry. Only and always talking about it is not enough. Talking about it helps only if your intention is to seek to understand it or to find a way through it, not to justify it or hold on to it.
The psychological importance of working through painful resentments must not be underestimated. When old patterns are broken, a whole new world of possibility is born. Not to release and rise above suppressed feelings of hurt and anger is to remain imprisoned by them. Hanging on to anger, resentment, etc., is an energy drain. Life is too short.
Resentment, anger and issues left hanging can keep the wedge driven deeply. You cannot be irresistibly approachable with unresolved issues and all the emotions that go with them. Talking about them – in loving ways – brings them out into the open. The tension begins to ease. What you can’t talk about owns you!
Always do your best to avoid, at all costs, the necessity of experiencing the negative results of anger. The healthy release of anger must be presented in a way that empowers the relationship; anger expressed without blame, without pointing fingers. To avoid unnecessary pain, it is important to learn that anger must be expressed with an attitude of acknowledgment; acknowledgment for the responsibility you have for your equal share of the upset.
It is always possible for you to direct the energy of anger in another completely different direction, even though it may not seem so at the time. The same energy you expend on anger, when re-directed, can be put to use in a much more useful direction. Think about it. If you choose to shorten your attention span on what makes you angry, you can immediately put that same energy to use by focusing on the solution to the upset that caused the anger in the first place.
It’s okay to feel angry. It is not okay to be consumed with anger. Anger is not something to be contained; it is something to be released. Express it with this caveat: consider the consequences of its power. Anger is something that can hurt if expressed with the intention to get even. Often we inflict our feelings of anger on the ones we love the most. Not a good idea. Everyone feels angry occasionally and everyone in the relationship feels its effect.
“Anger cannot thrive without an object or person to blame for its presence, but if you begin to understand that your anger towards others can’t take place without you first having misperceived either that person’s nature — or the nature of your relationship with them — then you would stop looking in the direction your anger says is its cause, and start seeing that the problem really lies in the shallowness of your present self-understanding. This reversal of where you place your attention is the seed of a new struggle whose gradually ripening fruit is freedom from all negative states.” ~ Guy Finley
When in the heat of the battle, always remember: a warm hug cools a slow burn. It may be better to temporarily put aside feelings of anger during misunderstandings and express your love in a silent, close embrace.
It is at times like these, when tempers are flaring, that words can not only fan the flames, they can be like a flash fire; once the fire rages through, there is not much of anything left.
A hug at that moment, would be a shining example of unconditional love. Being angry doesn’t mean you are no longer loved or lovable, or that you do not love your love partner.
Love stands on its own. It only needs your constant attention if you want it to grow. While it may be difficult to express love in the middle of no agreement, it is possible.
Imagine a relationship where love partners, in the midst of a disagreement, can agree to a truce long enough to again call attention to the single thing that keeps them together. . . love. Hold one another, if only for a moment. When things cool down, have a warm and loving conversation that again gives birth to the possibility of agreement.
If you can imagine it, you can bring it to pass. What an exciting possibility! Love more quickly heals a slow burn.
This is the solitary virtue of anger: “We become empowered by anger when we view it as something that brings to our awareness those parts of us that need healing.” There are other benefits worthy of discovery; only one virtue.
In reality, anger is a derivative of and an expression of fear. To transcend or master fear, we must turn our back on it; exercise courage. Love cannot exist in the presence of fear. It is impossible for opposites to co-exist. They cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So. . . we drift. Back and forth. Love. Fear. Love. Fear.
We must learn to express love to ourselves and to others in the midst of upsets. Releasing anger in healthy ways proves we are capable of creative acts of wholeness. Healing is always around the corner. It shows up when we have the courage to let go of the anger and fully embrace love.
When we are angry our feelings change from moment to moment. Anger produces feelings that are unreliable. Our feelings often rise and fall as our energy is drawn from the unstable emotions present when anger is being expressed. In those moments our feelings may not be the most reliable source of information to help us move past it. Before you blow up, cool down.
Anger hurts most whoever is angry. Choosing to be angry is choosing to suffer. Suffering is always optional. Only express your anger to get it out, not to win.
As anger, stress, anxiety, fear, and worry live less and less in our heart – clarity, stillness, and a sharp mind become our new and constant companions. In a healthy love relationship, expressions of anger are always followed by expressions of love.
Mel Gibson is certainly NOT a role model when it comes to anger. To see Dr. Dale Archer‘s take on Mel Gibson watch the video below.
NOTE: If you missed “Quick to Blow Your Top? Put a Lid on it! – Part #1, click here!
Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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