…….and then on it goes….in the person’s own life….and then passed to the children…..who pass this to their children…….
I have been thinking lately about the destructive consequences of intense, abiding anger. Here is a new thought for me: When people are very angry, that anger becomes a barrier to even considering forgiving…..even to a little degree. In other words, upon hearing the word “forgiveness,” the person’s anger kicks in so that any exploration of what forgiveness is or whether it is worth a try is shut down.
The anger, in other words, acts as a barrier to healing the anger itself. As an analogy, it is as if a person has a bacterial infection and every time the person holds an antibiotic in his or her hand, the bacteria themselves reach up and snatch the medicine out of the hand, preventing healing.
I think there are many barriers that anger presents. First, as mentioned above, it prevents thinking about forgiving. Then I think the
anger leads to anger against the messenger, the one who brought up forgiveness in the first place.
Finally, I think the anger stimulates thinking such as this: There…I showed that person! He cannot get away with
discussing forgiveness in my presence!
The anger justifies keeping forgiveness away and the messenger away.
Perhaps a way out of this is calm reflection on this question: Am I now so angry that the anger is working against my own healing and against my interactions with those who can aid that healing?