People often ask me how it is that I can be quite so ok. The wonder how it is that since the sudden and very painful break down of my marriage, my ex and I are still friends. They seem amazed that I don't harbor any hatred or anger towards what happened.
Here are my reasons.
Anger stops you from healing.
People often build a big thick layer of anger on top of their sadness. It works as a shield to stop them from having to feel the pain and the sorrow underneath it. Instead we just hate and blame and project the pain onto others.
The truth is you cannot heal unless you feel the sadness. Anger stops us from doing that. It's easier to feel anger, and so we get stuck there. You can't heal when you're stuck there. It's part of the process and its certainly ok to feel angry but its not healthy to STAY angry. I have had my moments when I have just been so mad and said really hurtful things, but then it passes and I just feel worse, because I know that I have acted outside of my values. It's a cycle that I don't want to get stuck in.
Anger becomes toxic.
I believe that when we hold on to too much anger for too long, it makes us sick. The unprocessed emotions underneath it just get toxic and eat us up. We distract ourselves with things that give us instant gratification and we become reliant on that to protect us. It means we never have to actually look at ourselves and make changes that can lead to us being more well and more whole. I would much rather focus on trying to make my own life better than to spew hatred all over others. Hatred is an emotion that brings no good to anybody. You never, ever, ever make your own life better by making someone else's worse.
Anger can't co-exist with harmony.
Anger can easily become rage, and rage is destructive. Harmony is something I value and my life can't be harmonious when there is anger and conflict in it. Some people can get a bit hooked on drama and conflict, and I feel bad for them, because I know that their anger is just a thick protective layer stopping them from feeling their sadness. Which means they have some way to go before they'll be able to heal. I bring harmony into my life by choosing not to allow anger to creep in to a point where it's detrimental and destructive.
No one deserves hatred.
Anger generally means that your boundaries have been broken. Anger is a sign that something needs to change to re-establish your boundaries. That might mean that a relationship ends, or you have a renewed awareness of where a person fits in your life. It does not mean that a person deserves to be hated. I truly believe this - everyone is just doing the best they can with what they've got. Some people are not equipped to be in a particular situation, even though they might have committed to it. That doesn't mean they are a bad person, it just means that something needs to change so that those boundaries can be protected.
My ex partner and I have new boundaries now. I no longer entrust him with my heart and my emotional wellbeing, even though he will always have an effect on both. What hasn't changed is that I care for him very much. Nothing he can ever do would warrant me withdrawing my care for him. You don't care for someone because they deserve it, you just care because you care. He is still the man I loved, he's just not the man I choose to be married to anymore. And that's ok. It hurts but it's ok.
We had a beautiful near-decade together and I wouldn't change it. Seeing it all though a screen of anger would diminish the beauty of what we had. The space between him and me is the space that our daughter lives in. I am choosing not to pollute that space with anger.
Carlie Maree is a writer, life coach, student and mum. She blogs on all things life and love over at More Than Mum.