Archive for the ‘anger’ Tag

FORGOT MY CHARGER   Leave a comment

Away for the weekend, I forgot the charger for my computer, so I’m behind, and squeezing in what I can while I’m still on battery. I’ll be back soon with my gratitude list, and thanks for the ones that have been posted. In the meantime, check out this related link.

Posted July 26, 2016 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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ALL’S SET IN AUSTRALIA: QUICK REPORT   8 comments

It’s been a long time since I told you about my granddaughter’s Australia difficulties. Today I’ve finally reached the point where I can report to you that all’s quiet on the Aussie front. It took understanding, forgiveness, and problem solving on the part of all three victims, but now peace, quiet, and good will prevail.

First was converting the anger over the situation into working together to share the pain and reduce the extent of it. All three sides made sacrifices. The landlord managed to find someone else to take on the balance of the lease; the young women sacrificed their initial bond; and each party accepted some loss.

Most of all, they gave up anger toward the cheater who caused the chaos as they focused on problem solving instead.

Now my granddaughter is looking to raise enough money to return to Australia for the balance of her work visa.

As for why I’ve been so slow in telling you this, I’ll let you in on the reason sometime in the next few days.

FORGIVING ONE PAGE AT A TIME and WHEN TO FORGIVE   13 comments

Last evening I finally got my DVD working and watched a program on Forgiveness. Unfortunately I was alone at home, so there was no one with whom to share my distress. So now you are it.

The problem with the topic of forgiveness is that people are talking about all kinds of things. Not just apples and oranges, but throw in some carrots and tomatoes too

So, here are some things that distressed me. One person thought that forgiving meant not getting angry. WRONG. Anger is the first step – well, maybe the second – in a long tough process of deciding whether to forgive, and if so, how.

Another person thought forgiving meant saying what the other person did was all right. WRONG. If you think the other person did nothing wrong, then there’s nothing to forgive. No, forgiveness happens, if you choose it, because the offender did something wrong.

Some seemed to think that forgiving means the lawbreaker will pay no price for the crime. WRONG. You are not the legal system, though these days you certainly do have an opportunity to influence it. You can forgive, relieving yourself of the negative effects of un-utilized anger, without preventing appropriate legal penalties.

And that brings me back to anger. What a gift! What a motivator! The issue is not to avoid or deny anger, but to harness it.

Some thought they couldn’t forgive unless the offender requested it and showed sufficient remorse. That may be the truth for some people, but it has its negative effects. Mainly the loss of power. As long as you are waiting for the person who hurt you in the first place to take action, you are powerless, stuck with your anger and pain.

One more thing I noticed. A couple of people said murder was unforgiveable because the person who was hurt is dead and therefore can’t act. But the truth is, the murder of one person has a wide-ranging effect on loved ones, fellow workers, the larger community. The killer has hurt each of those people. Each one has the right to forgive – or not.

There’s more, but I’ll stop here. My point is that the decision whether to forgive – and how – is a long, complicated personal process. And yes, I did say “whether” to forgive. That’s the point.

And as I see people wrestling with these problems, I can’t help wanting to make sure they are aware of my two books on forgiving. The point in both of them is to help readers make their own decisions. No speeches, just guidance through the options and considering the outcome of one’s choices.

I’ve got to find out how to put a PayPal button on my blog. In the meantime, Please reduce my stress and yours by checking out When to Forgive and Forgiving One Page at a Time

By the way, if you decide to buy “Forgiving One Page at a Time,” don’t choose the kindle edition. I tried to stop the publisher from turning it into a kindle book. It won’t work, because it really is fashioned as a diary with some points and questions on the left hand page and a place for your own entries on the right.

One last thing. If you have an opinion about either of the books, please do share it in the comment section.

Thanks

FORGIVENESS; FOREGO-NESS; CONTROL   10 comments

I’m back! I tried to stay in touch with you all while I was on vacation from this post, often with just a “like” to let you know I’m paying attention.

And now I have probably more to say than either of us would prefer, but I hope you’ll stay with me. As usual, my thoughts have been grinding away.

I just finished reading “All But My Life” by Gerda Weissmann Klein, the memoir of a young woman born in Poland in 1924 who endured and survived the brutality and slavery of the Nazi holocaust. Because she is such an excellent writer, one feels the abject misery and humiliation without her ever telling us what we should be feeling. Just the direct reporting of events is all that’s needed for a powerful reminder of the abomination of which “ordinary” people are capable. And an indicator of the stealth with which the reality of developing sadism creeps up on victims who have faith in the goodness and decency of humanity.

I read it on the heels of “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, a fictional portrayal of the gradual involvement of “innocent” people in supporting the Nazi terror. It would be difficult, I believe, for one to read this without heightening the awareness of the ever-present threat of horror built on indifference.

These observations lead me to the quote from Pastor Martin Niemöller, who, an outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler, spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

Both books I’ve mentioned remind me of the potential danger in avoiding awareness and confrontation. And both books offered much in the way of analysis of personal approaches to survival.

But my purpose here is more limited to the thoughts I’ve been having about forgiveness. The person who recommended Klein’s book to me suggested it was a story of forgiveness. But I realize something different – perhaps parallel to forgiveness –was going on. The author never focuses on her anger toward her tormentors, but rather on what she can do to survive. In other words, all her energy was directed toward staying alive.

I noticed that same phenomenon at the time of the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre. When the parents of a murdered child were asked by an interviewer whether they would be able to forgive the shooter, their response was, basically, “We can’t spend our time focused on him. We have a family to care for. We need to find a way to go on, and maybe even heal.”

I think we need a new word, something like “forego-ness.” While the point of forgiveness is that it starts with blaming the offender and experiencing our anger, the two examples above demonstrate foregoing any attention to the wrongdoer. Control rested in the hands of those parents, and in the charge of author Klein. They simply bypassed the anger, the first step in forgiveness, and went directly to focusing on taking care of themselves.

I have regularly defined “forgiveness” as the decision not to punish an offender and the relief that follows. I think I should describe that relief more specifically as removing power from the offender and taking back control over one’s own life. If refusing to forgive is like locking oneself in a cell and handing the keys to the offender. Then the result of deciding not to punish is equivalent to taking the keys back.

As always, I know I have to point out this doesn’t mean one decides the offender shouldn’t pay a price, but rather that the forgiver’s life can move on without being controlled by concern for the one who caused the pain.

The metaphor for “forego-ness” would have no image of keys or cells. One simply doesn’t lock oneself in the cell in the first place.

I do hope I’ll get some comments on these ideas. And I hope the commenter will be you.

And there’s still When to Forgive and Forgiving One Page at a Time for your perusal if you choose.

UNEASY BLESSINGS FOR THOSE WHO CARE   8 comments

I picked this up in church on Saturday evening, but I don’t think one has to be religious to recognize the challenge.

This blessing is known as the Franciscan Four Fold Blessing, a devotional discipline derived from the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) and St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

May God bless us with discomfort.  Discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger.  Anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears. Tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.

May God bless us with foolishness. Enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done..

 

 

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