Some people believe there are only two emotions – love and fear – and that all others live within their worlds respectively: the positive from love and the negative from fear.
I personally believe that anger, though, is one tricky emotion to pin down into one of those worlds. For example, if we are afraid of love or losing love, anger is one of those emotions that naturally springs to life thanks to the mind's own built-in, self-defense mechanism – like the saying goes, “we fight more with the people we love the most”. The negative masking a positive.
For me, it went something like this:
What happens when a child who is extremely connected to both parents suddenly experiences a change in their relationship? As a kid, how do you not feel like separation is your fault? How do you not feel like something is wrong with you?
Growing up I couldn’t understand why my dad decided to no longer be in my life.
At one point I would see him on a consistent basis. During that time he showered me in love. We would play all day and he actually taught me things. He was being a dad.
As I got older, the visits decreased and eventually, they stopped. I wish it was just the visits, but he stopped acknowledging that I existed. No birthday cards, no birthday calls, no nothing. For years I had no idea where he lived.
I felt something had to be wrong with me. I must have screwed things up. There had to be something I did to receive the silent treatment. I started to believe that I am unloveable and that I am not wanted. These feelings of rejection made me angry, and the older I got the angrier I became.
All of this impacted my self-love and self-worth. I didn’t value myself and I would look for love in the wrong places. I just wanted to be wanted. I really just wanted to feel like his precious daughter again.
The anger built up and lived in my stomach. You could call it a burning fire that would go off on anyone if they approached me wrong.
This wasn’t fair. How could I continue to project my internal feelings outwardly? I eventually realized the anger was only hurting me. It was stopping me from living my life.
No matter how angry I got, my father couldn’t feel my wrath. He probably has no clue as to how angry I once was or why I was even angry.
Looking underneath the anger, all I find is immense sadness. Not being wanted is what hurts the most. Over time, I have had to come to terms with the fact that we won’t have a relationship and it is actually for the better. This journey of healing has helped me grow into the person I currently am. For that I will forever be thankful.
Here are some tips I would like to share with you in the hopes that they will help you overcome challenging relationships in your life and help you let go of anger.
How to let go and move on from the past
1. Acknowledge the darkness
Anger is simply a cover for fear – try to become aware of your angry feelings and the root cause. Then, work on figuring out what that fear really means. Once you acknowledge it, you can begin the process of dealing with it. In turn, the unintended goal is that this introspect on self-love and nurturing will hopefully allow this fear to rest.
2. Practice forgiveness
Many times people are unable to give you the closure you crave because they’re unwilling to admit out loud that they are wrong. Sometimes you may never get an actual apology or sentiment from them, and even though it may be difficult, try and reflect on what you need from them in order to forgive and stop feeling so angry. What are the words you need to hear to help you move forward?
Once you get crystal clear on this message, say the words to yourself or write them down. Give yourself closure, because you can, in fact, be the one person who provides the inner peace. You can let go of a conflict without even talking to the person you are in conflict with.
3. Focus on your self-awareness
Emotions will come in waves – somedays it will be easy to let go of the anger and others it may be all you feel. Every day, work to forgive because forgiveness is for you, and focus on the positives you have going on in your life. You want to forgive in order to be your best self, feel your best and live your best life.