“If successful, anger breeds arrogance,
if foiled, resentment….
When fortune removes its adversary,
it turns its teeth on itself.”
~ Seneca, On Anger
If I can hold on to anger and resentment, I can avoid admitting that I might also be in the wrong.
Forgiveness is for those who forgive, not for those who offend.
It does not preclude taking precautions to avoid further offense,
but it frees us to think coherently instead of clouding our minds
with the hatred that prompts good people to do hateful things.
We see a lot of people in early recovery who are angry — angry at their parents, their bosses, the world, and often at themselves. Anger can be a useful tool. Nearly always a result of fear, whether obvious or hidden, anger prepares us to deal with challenges that demand forging on against whatever odds. In many cases, the alternative would be cowering in a corner and waiting for the wolf to have its way with us.
When we are facing an obvious opponent, with obvious action to be taken, our anger can be used and often discharged. But when the situation is such that we can’t strike back, through social position (say, at an employer) or size (a parent, bully or other), or simply because we have no recourse, anger can be a problem that far surpasses the cause. Continue reading
There’s a D’n’D just up the street from my wife’s workplace that often causes a traffic backup in the right lane. I’ve gotten in the habit of staying in the left lane, then changing lanes ahead of the cars turning into the drive-though.
This morning I was just getting ready to make my lane change, and the “asshole” in the right lane didn’t turn into Dunkin’ Donuts. Boy, was I pissed! And then I thought, “Who’s the asshole here, anyway?”
I’m not really patient with other drivers. Continue reading