Anger: A Catalyst for Positive Change
Anger is a challenging emotion, which can lead us to take action in order to make changes in our lives. These feelings are not strange or unusual, and they can actually serve as catalysts for positive growth and development when situations in our lives become too extreme to tolerate.
She's Normally Calm
Recently a neighbor of mine came into my house, and she was normally a very calm and almost child-like person, but today she was so angry and distraught that her fists were clenched and shaking as she spoke. Her speech was abrupt as she stammered to tell me what had happened that morning, and the pain of what she had been dealing with was clear. The best thing that I could do for her at this time was to listen attentively as she explained that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man while being mother to two boys who were still toddlers. She was a very hard-working woman, and she was staying in an apartment in our neighborhood with her fiancé and the two kids. Balancing work, motherhood, and an intimate relationship was challenging, so she prepared meals based upon a fixed schedule, and she wore a watch to precisely time everything that needed to get done throughout the day. She was a focused and driven woman.
The Home Situation
Meanwhile, her fiancé was a freelancer and so his income was sporadic and unreliable, which led him to rely upon this typically kind and gentle woman in order to assure his survival. However much he depended upon her, he kept hurting her. The thing that made the whole thing so challenging was the fact that she loved this man, but he also had a drinking problem. He would often spend the night out and come back late into the morning. Although they fought about this, her finance would not change his behavior. By the looks of things, she was advancing in her career while her fiancé seemed to be regressing in a downward spiral. This morning she was so upset that she couldn’t even manage to verbalize what was happening – She just packed-up, took the children, and left.
This provided with her fiancé with the time he needed to be alone in the house and reflect upon his behavior – There were many times when he took her for granted, but once she was gone, she was gone. Since the separation she has explained that has been able to enjoy the things that she has always loved to do but couldn’t while she was in that toxic relationship. She was able to watch her favorite movies and laugh, she was calm again, and generally returned to her ordinary demeanor.
During this time she recognized that adversity is a part of life – One can be fortunate and happy at one moment and broken-hearted in the next. Although it’s important to cultivate faith and remember that “This too shall pass” in order to avoid an emotional disruption as we face life’s challenges, there are times when abusive and toxic relationships need to end. This is what she did. Through the support system of family and a group of friends who encouraged her little by little, they helped to resolve some of her inner pain.
Over time they came to forgive each-other, and they now live in separate apartments on good terms. They have since become friends and have engaged in exercises where they list the things that they appreciate about life such as friendship, health, material possessions, etc. The basic conclusion of this situation was positive, and reflecting upon the day when she walked into my apartment in a state of absolute fury, I believe that the anger was pointing to a deep pain that was only remedied through changing the terms of the relationship and shifting into a more positive dynamic.
- Anonymous Contributor
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