Stuffing Legitimate Anger in the Name of Love?

by Joan C Webb on August 30, 2011

Anger is a normal human response to a real or perceived wrong, inequity, or injustice. Yet for most of my life, I believed that if I loved unselfishly I would never get angry. So I consistently refused to be upset. Of course, I was angry when someone treated me (or someone I love) poorly, but I called it by another name such as oversensitivity and pushed it down.

Consequently, it was incredibly challenging for me to even admit my anger. (Well, that’s an understatement!)

Yet when anger is stuffed in the name of love and spirituality, it usually leads to resentment. Resentment left to seethe inside is self-destructive. Anger often signals a hidden hurt. When recovering from my burnout, to initially deal with my resentment I chose to talk with a safe and caring person to release some of the hurt.

Eventually I confronted the person who I felt was at the root of my anger. It took courage. God helped me to value the constructive role that an honest look at anger would have in my relationship with Him and others. He wanted me to be free from energy-draining resentment.

CURRENTLY, I’m reminding myself of this. I think I might have some squashed down anger in a corner of my soul. I want to “un-squash” it, let it out, and set that part of my soul free. So I’m asking myself (and God) what my next step is.

What have you done to set yourself free from your legitimate anger? Perhaps what you share will help me–and others?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucille Zimmerman August 31, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I like this Joan. When anger is stuffed it leads to resentment. Boy, is that ever true.

One thing I hard and try to remember is that anger is the protest. It is the line in the sand that says, “No more!”

Of course there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of expressing it…

I think anger and grief are critical pieces I offer to my clients in the counseilng office. Once they work through both of those, moving to a forgiving space seems to follow naturally.

Joan C. Webb September 2, 2011 at 5:08 am

Ah, I’m sure you offer your clients space and freedom to acknowledge, admit and express their anger and grief. That is such a gift, Lucille. Oh, how I wish that this permission was granted more freely to all of us human beings.

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