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Anger is a punishment we give ourselves for someone else’s mistake.

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Anger is not a bad emotion. In fact, in some situations, anger is an incredible motivator. Sometimes letting anger drive the change you need to make in your life can be a good thing. Experiencing anger allows us to understand our true feelings about things. But what happens when we hold onto anger? What happens when we’ve held onto it so tightly, it changes us into this angry person we never wanted to be?

When we allow anger fester, it begins to erode us. It slowly etches away who we are, and we start to see things from a skewed, negative perspective. I know this because I’ve been there.

How do we end up getting to this horrible place? First of all, feeling anger is healthy and completely okay. But when we hold on to it because someone else hurt us, and we refuse to let it go, we end up focusing on the wrong things. We end up focusing on that person’s behavior, why they did what they did, how injured we feel, etc.

Instead we need to focus on how this really made us feel, besides anger. Feel the anger, and then release it. Holding onto anger can be a buffer we use to protect ourselves from what we are really feeling. Maybe what we are really feeling is hurt or betrayal or sadness. Addressing those feelings in a vulnerable state can make us feel scared. But we owe it to ourselves to be honest with ourselves.

Instead of asking why that person did something, ask yourself if you remove anger from the situation, how does it really make you feel? Does this change the nature of the relationship? Where do we go from here? Then we need to determine how we move forward.

Like the old proverb says, holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Don’t allow anger to erode you. The roots of anger, bitterness and resentment run deep and will imprison you. Free yourself from it.

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