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Letting Go of Anger

Image: David Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I felt like I really needed to write about this.  Not because I have it figured out, but because it is something I struggle with.

Most of us know we need to let go of anger but it is everywhere.  Family, work, siblings, and open up Facebook and there is anger everywhere… especially at the government.  But anger is anger.  Anger is bad.  Anger helps nothing.

I was reading a few weeks ago and this verse popped out at me:

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” — Ephesians 4:31

I think we could all agree this is a good idea but it sure isn’t easy.

As I have been thinking over the past few months, and dealing with a few bigger things that were making me mad, I realized that our anger is always over the fact that life isn’t fair – much like kindergarten kids.

She stole my toy is very close to

  • why did they treat me that way
  • they didn’t keep their end of the agreement
  • they shouldn’t get away with that
  • they aren’t doing their job
  • I am not getting what I should get … or they aren’t getting ‘what is coming’ to them

Somewhere in our heads we have a vision of the world being fair but we all know it isn’t.  This is silly right?

We spend physical and much more emotional energy, sleepless nights, hurtful words, and sometimes hurtful actions to somehow ‘make things fair’.  All the while knowing that life isn’t fair and that we really can’t fix anything.

Letting go of anger isn’t the same as forgiveness – though forgiveness is important.  

It isn’t admitting that someone is right

It doesn’t mean you won’t take steps to correct the problem.  

It doesn’t mean you need to do relationship, business, or friendship with them again.

What it is instead is allowing the knowledge of the unfairness of the world to let you accept the action.  It wasn’t right, it shouldn’t happen again, but it did happen and now is the time to move on.

Actions in the past can’t be undone.  Disputes cannot always be solved.  But dwelling on the past or actions beyond our control is a waste of energy and life.  Any energy spent in anger or revenge is energy directly taken from what can benefit our life and our future.

Some things are worth fighting for, but fighting for what is right can be a future focused thing and not fueled by anger.

… so have a cookie, and move forward. 

15 Comments

  1. anuradha anuradha

    Dear Lorilee, what wise words, and for me they have come at a right time, as I learn to move on and focus on the countless blessings of my present than relive hurt from the past. I’m also learning there is a difference from shying away from conflict altogether and bravely but peacefully opening up communication to try to improve a difficult situation.

    It also seems to me that when I take time to reflect on things, I find that maybe wrongdoings of people have in the long run actually helped make me a more compassionate human being, and it has also helped me to lean on God in forming my own behavior and this way I have become more peaceful and strong person.

  2. I struggle with this as well. After working on it, I get angry less, but I still sometimes find myself ranting about something unfair.

  3. I’ve also been thinking along these lines. http://www.Thishappymom.com is doing a 31 day series on anger. And I just recently read Love Is A Decision by Gary Smalley.
    I also listened to a sermon: Freedom from a Spirit of Anger. http://media.sermonindex.net/19/SID19913.mp3 by Dr. S.M. Davis’ <—"feel" how destructive anger is and strengthen desire 2 stop!

    Between those resources and my Hellomornings.net bible study group going thru Ephesians 4-5 right now… Um yeah. It's been hitting home. My take aways:

    1. Lamp=Me.
    Dark=Anger,bitter,irritable,ect.
    Light=Peace,joy,love.
    Electric cord=my thought life/focus.
    Outlet=God, only true source of Light.

    2. Anytime I get impatient/angry at my children/spouse, it is a *signal* that I'm trying to fill my emotional energy via people instead of God.

    3. How do I plug into God? By focusing on Him. By filling my thots,speech w Him. By singing.By giving thanks 2 God all the time.

    4. Anger is a raging flood, destroying everything in its path. Hint: Anger is a habit. Stop practicing!

    Wishing both of us luck in moving forward!

  4. “Disputes cannot always be solved.”
    THAT is a wonderfully, simple, true statement. A truth I wish I had grasped years ago.
    For years I thought that if you disagreed with someone , there needed to be dialog UNTIL one got the other to *see the truth*. Um…no :0). Okay, so it was a crazy way of thinking, right! But, it was where I *was*. Over time, I came to see that all I needed to do was search His word and ask Him to show me where he wanted *me* to be and if there was another opinion, thought, actions, etc. that was contrary to it by someone *else*…so what. That was between them and Hod…and of course, vice-versa!

    “Whatever you do in word or deed, do it ALL for the Lord Jesus” (though for the life of me I cannot recall the reference!).

    That is how the Lord spoke to me while reading your post. AWESOME! Thanks :).

  5. I too struggle with anger (who doesn’t?). You are right … it’s all about life not being fair (even if we know it never will be). I like your suggestion to “have a cookie,” then deal with the problem calmly (if it’s something you can change).

    Lately, I have been learning about mindfulness and meditation, both of which can help us control anger.

  6. elaine elaine

    How true. Disputes cannot always be solved. Sometimes, we just got to let it be. I am having a difficult time telling my mom to just let it be. She is angry with dad and thinks that dialogs with him will work. Deep down, we all know it is futile.

  7. I needed to hear this today. Thank you.

  8. I have started to visualize anger as “goo” that gets splatter on me by others. You mentioned several places were people express anger. These days when someone on Facebook starts splattering their goo, I just take a step back so I won’t get it on me. I wouldn’t step up to the counter if a cook was tossing red sauce so why would I do that on Facebook. Actually, if a cook was throwing red sauce would be, “You will be spending the rest of the afternoon cleaning that up…I am out of here.” Yes, sometime I am grumpy and life rubs me the wrong way but for the most part, anger is being spread by unhappy people and I don’t want their goo to ruin my good shirt. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  9. Montana atheist Montana atheist

    Thank you for this. I read it over and over, because I have often wondered how to let things go and move on. Very inspiring and appreciated.

  10. […] Forgive someone,and let them know that you forgive them.Read this post by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo: 6 Reasons Why Forgiveness is Best For You.I also recommend: Letting Go of Anger. […]

  11. patti patti

    As a seasoned surgical nurse; and as we step into our busiest season-I really enjoyed your words of wisdom regarding life not always being fair. Yes, events have happened in my life and in my business-many are contrary to the very same conduct rules we were just mandated to sign. But after putting in my fourth ten plus hour day without so much as a break-I decided not to be angry, but rather to exercise my right to say “no”. The admin will suck the very life from you if you allow them. Coworkers will do the same. There are very few thank-yous or understanding that, yes, even caregivers need to rest, be treated with respect and discover that work-life balance (one is told to discover it-but only when its convenient for the employer). Many kudos to my husband of over 20 years who said to me as he left for the dentist this morning “remember-you are not powerless”. Simple but profound. I can recognize empty promises, coworker gossip, freeloaders, enablers, and those that were born privileged.

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