One of the quotes I aim to live my life by is from Buddhism. It says, simply enough, something akin to:
Being angry with someone is like drinking poison and expecting them to die.
Anger poisons you, physically and mentally. Hold onto it long enough and it will kill you – but not before reducing your life to smouldering rubble.
So it’s only logical to say you should let go of your anger.
And the only way to do that is to forgive your transgressor.
That’s a tough lesson for most of us to hear. Ironically, many folk get angry when someone tells them that.
I get it.
But let me be clear on what I’m not saying.
I’m not saying you say to your transgressor that everything is fine. Or that you should welcome them back into your life and give you the means to hurt you again.
You can, and probably should, hate what they did to you.
With all that in mind, I’ll say it again:
You should let go of your anger by forgiving your transgressor.
It’s the ultimate revenge. If you hold onto your anger, you’ll never stop thinking about them. Release it and you’ll never have to think about them again.
But you don’t do it out of revenge. That makes it about them still.
You do it for you.
Letting go of anger makes everything else better. It clarifies your thinking, rebalances your mind and can even reverse some unfortunate illnesses.
(This isn’t medical advice and I’m not making any guarantees. But it’s been known to happen.)
That’s all talk about ‘why’. Let’s get to the ‘how’.
You’ll want some privacy and uninterrupted time for this. When you’re clearing out mental baggage, you don’t want to stop halfway.
Then you imagine your transgressor. In your mind, say to them everything you need to say. It’s your imagination, so they can’t talk back unless you want them to. Talk about how they hurt you. Go through what it means for you. Cover everything that needs covering.
This might make some practice. And you might need to pause here and there to gather yourself.
Then keep going til there’s nothing left to express.
The catharsis is strong with this one.
Then what helps for me is to take a page from ancient Stoic philosophers:
Remind yourself your transgressor is human. If they hurt you on purpose, then they carry deep pain of their own – whole folk don’t deliberately hurt others. If it was an accident through their carelessness or mistakes, then there’s probably a lot of pain around that too.
Your transgressor is suffering every day and will die someday.
The point is not to gloat – that’s true of all of us.
But to remind you they’re not a demon. They aren’t the walking personification of evil. They’re human – flesh, blood and pain.
You can pity them if you want.
So long as you let go of your anger.
Then never think about them again unless it’s useful to you.
You can begin that simple self-improvement technique now.
And enjoy its benefits for the rest of your life.
If you really want to take your mind to new places? To improve more you dreamed possible?
You might want to read about this mind training program: