Letting Go of Anger

Had a fairly good weekend.

Last night, had some friends over for card games (specifically Anomia and The Pit). This morning, I read a couple of chapters of The Game of Thrones, caught up with last week’s episode of Girls and completed two yoga classes on Cody. Nibbled on some fair-trade mint chocolate, sipping on gingerbread tea and flipped through Instagram. Then I spent the bulk of the afternoon researching for an upcoming trip and then made dinner.

I felt calm. And I felt that things were good. Life was normal.

So I did something rather unusual.

Now there have been some rather tumultuous events in the last 5 years of my life. I never predicted to be working up north. I never predicted that I would be far away from my family and friends. I didn’t expect to live on an Aboriginal reserve in another province.

But aside from all that, what I thought I would still have, a lot of my good friends. Sadly, some of these relationships eventually dissipated or turned sour. It’s not unusual, when you hit your late 20s or early 30s, to start trimming your friends. I axed a number of friendships, some of those whom I saw as lifelong friends. But things got bad.

The worst of it was a nasty break-up nearly three years ago, with a man I had dated for nearly four years. It ended when I was sexually assaulted at a party where my boyfriend-at-that-time was not present. He dumped me the next day when I told him; he accused me of cheating and said that I was to be blamed for being unfaithful. I didn’t see myself as a victim for a while. I tried to hang on to my shattered relationship. It wasn’t until my friends and family helped me come around, slapped me silly and told me to break it off – it took nearly 7 weeks – that I realized I had been slut-shamed (a word that was not in my vocabulary at the time).

And for a long time, when I finally came to my senses and moved on, I had a lot of anger that I carried around with me. It was poisonous and awful.

I would imagine myself bumping into him on the subway in Toronto. I would glare at him. I’d approach him on the crowded train and scream profanities. I’d air all the details of our break-up to shame him publicly, I’d spit in his face and shout his name over and over again. This horrific fantasy would manifest itself in the same scenario, unexpectedly when I was at home. There were nights I lost several hours of sleep and I’d find myself seething and crying quietly in bed. This didn’t occur regularly, but it was unhealthy and it wasn’t suppose to keep happening. I knew that.

Realizing that I hadn’t found closure yet, I needed something to help me let go of my anger. One day, a few months ago, I referred back to a strategy from The Charisma Myth and did a small exercise. I won’t disclose exactly what the process entailed, but what mattered is that the strategy may have done the trick.

Tonight, I went on Facebook and unblocked a handful of ex-friends that I cut off, including my ex-boyfriend. When I looked at each of their names, or their photos, or posts, I felt no anger. I felt no resentment. I remember happy times that we had together. I remembered how they were good friends and I was reminded of their positive attributes. I envisioned bumping into each of them and smiling, asking them how they were and hoping for happy news. I felt calm and yet elated to think of each person and the impact that they had on my worldview and my life.

It was cathartic, but most of all, I felt at peace.

Am I sad that I lost these people in my life?

To be absolutely honest, no. Am I heartless? No, I wouldn’t say that either. Each person was important to me at a particular time. Unfortunately, our relationship didn’t continue further than that. Could it rekindle in the future? Perhaps, but there is no sense in pursuing or wishing for it. The thought itself is odd enough to me and I would rather leave our relationship in the past than revive it.

And with that, I feel a lot calmer. I feel a lot better. I feel that I am growing and starting to change as a person. Could I say that I feel morally superior? Maybe a bit, but all I want is peace. All I seek is peace. I don’t need anything else.

That is all.

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3 thoughts on “Letting Go of Anger

    • It’s not an easy thing to do.

      You should definitely take a look at the book. It’s helped me immensely in other parts of my life.

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