Resentment, anger, and forgiveness retreat
Giving a retreat this weekend on situations that from my experience affects everyone at different times in one's life.
There is no easy answer to these painful situations, yet, they have to be dealt with, or they will deal with me if I do not take some responsibility for the difficulties in relationships.
It is hard for me to take some blame in most of my difficulties, because of blind spots. The gateway out of destructive cycles starts with me, not with the one I am struggling with. Yet, I know that there are some situations that are impossible, and all one can do is to step back, not forward.
I do know that I am called to love those who cause me pain. This itself is difficult, and from my experience cannot be done without prayer and grace. To forgive is to let the offender go in love, praying for them, hoping that they are praying for me.
I have done things that cause resentment, and anger, in others. there are times when I do not know that I have been the cause. So knowing this can help me in dealing with those who have in some way brought me to the place where I am experiencing resentment and anger. Knowing of our common humanity, as well as lack of self-awareness can help to allow me to let go of what enchains me, my desire for revenge, or some form of justice.
Resentment, and anger, take away my freedom if I do not find some way to deal with it that is life-giving.
Some of my problems come from my inability to speak my mind in a manner that is not rooted in anger. You can put off dealing with a problem in life, but in the end, something will happen that will only make things worse.
Anger is good if it gives me the energy to speak my mind, but when it grows into a rage, it does the opposite since it is a form of attack on the other, seeking to blame and shame the offender.--Br.MD