Anger is the most common cause of human unhappiness and poor health. Whether it takes the form of rage or resentment, whether it is expressed aloud or thought silently to oneself, whether it is conscious or unconscious, it is anger that sickens the greatest number of people. Anger is the most ignored cause of physical disease and the least successfully treated of psychological symptoms.
Anger cannot be eliminated by instruction, expression, compensation or repression. These are the usual ways which we try to escape anger’s discomfort.
The transformation of anger into love is the only cure.
Working with this principle must be the bedrock of the practice of healing, as so many psychological and physical symptoms are derived from anger, whether the causative event is recent or long past.
This is a difficult topic to write about, as there are no words in the English language that describe the process of transforming negative feelings into love. The word “forgive” approaches this, but in conventional usage this word is lost in a mire of legalism and the belief that either finding another guilty or declaring him free of responsibility is somehow significant. It is not. Neither the life of the judged nor that of those who judge is improved by engaging in that process.
The word “forgive” is conventionally used to mean that, in spite of the other’s wrongdoing against us, we release him from accountability. This will not improve health or happiness.
Forgiving is not letting the other person off the hook; it is letting oneself off the hook (of anger).
To forgive is to transform anger into love; this is the only useful definition.
In my next post, we will begin to explore how to forgive.
These resources will also help guide you: