Forgive Yourself and Anger Disappears

I recently discovered a possible source of anger – the need to forgive.

Feeling anger toward my soon-to-be step daughters’ biological father (Let’s call him Jim), I say things to myself, like, “If he valued me, he’d respond to my texts,” and “He’s simply handicapped socially,” and “He resents me because I get to spend more time with the girls than he does.” While these thoughts may have some elements of truth, they don’t do me any good. I stay angry.

I am in a personal development seminar right now, and one of the questions the leader asks is, “What aren’t you being 100% responsible for?” She asks this question inside the context of being 100% responsible for every circumstance and every relationship in one’s life. This is not necessarily the truth, but a powerful place to stand. 100% responsibility is not a burden, but a new opportunity to be in action in life, causing whatever we’re out to cause.

I applied this question to my anger, and I saw that I want what Jim has.

I want the magic of his relationship with his daughters. With envy in the way, I look for every opportunity to put him down and make him wrong.

This insight alleviated my anger somewhat, but not entirely, so I meditated for 10 minutes. I saw that I was angry with MYSELF for not having biological children. This is something I had always wanted at a deep and carnal level.

Why didn’t I have biological children? I spent most of my adult life discovering who I was, and what I really wanted.

I struggled with my sexuality, my gender, my purpose in life, my parents’ divorce, my career, etc. It never occurred to me that I had it “together” enough to meet the right person, and raise a family.

And by the time I accepted myself and what I wanted in life, I met an extraordinary woman and her two daughters, who were 4 and 6 at the time, and I fell deeply in love. I was 47 years-old. This woman is now my fiance, and we definitely considered having a baby together. We considered it thoughtfully. We looked at our ages, our finances, and what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives.

This alleviated my anger even more, but I wasn’t totally clear.

I meditated for another 10 minutes, and I focused on forgiving myself. Noticing all of the “shoulds” and “if only’s” of my past, I spoke to myself with compassion: “The struggles were real. You weren’t ready. You did the best you could.” I noticed how resistant I was to my own coaching. I noticed how familiar it had become to beat up on myself.

My ten minutes were nearly up, and I finally accepted that I’ll never have what Jim has, and this is O.K. I got the absurdity and the impact of wanting something I’ll never have. I also accepted that I’ll never have biological children, and this is O.K. too. And, I forgave myself for failing at something that I really wanted.

Now, when I find myself angry with Jim, I will check in and see if the root of the anger is this old thought pattern, this absurd and dead-end desire to have something that I know I’ll never have.

Forgive yourself and others, and set yourself free.
To forgive is to set oneself free.
I am reminded that we human beings are SO hard on ourselves, especially when we fail at something we really want.

If we don’t truly examine the impact of these failures, and if we don’t forgive ourselves, they will play themselves out in our lives eventually. I like to say, “They’ll come out sideways sooner or later.”

The truth is that I profoundly appreciate who Jim is, and his role in the girls’ lives. Without him, I never would have met my fiance, and I wouldn’t get to enjoy being a parent. I wouldn’t get to witness the beauty of watching the girls grow – their new words and phrases, their humor, their affection, their playfulness, and their love for me. Also, he has the girls half-time, which gives my fiance and me time for our own adventures. Without Jim, in a way, I don’t get to be who I am.

I don’t pretend to know the source of all anger in human beings, but I have discovered that one of them is an unfilled desire, a failure, that I never acknowledged, accepted, and forgave.

Meet the Coach, Culum Walsh

What’s Life Coaching?

Coaching Packages and Rates

About Human by Human, Coaching for Life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *