Marianna
November 14, 2013 9:00 am

Working with small children is a daily reminder that I’ve come a long way since elementary school and so much has happened since then. I’ve made great friends, lost touch with some, and I’ve done a mix of good and bad things. Despite all of this, the one lesson that has so many facets and that I continue to learn a lot about is how to let love have a positive effect on how I respond to all good and bad things that happen.

It doesn’t happen instantly. Moving from hate to love is a difficult process that requires just one important strength, and that’s your ability to let go of the things that hurt you or to transform them into something less hazardous to your well-being.

1. Give Your Anger A Purpose

Anger isn’t necessarily a bad response, but it becomes disabling when it compels us to destroy good things. Your anger should be used to light a fire that fuels your passion to make positive change in others and yourself. This means that if you wish something would change, use rhetoric rooted in love, not hate and anger. How do you do that? Well, think about how you word your arguments. Instead of going on and on about what you hate, try words that express explicitly what would be better. Example: “I hate the way you dress” vs “Blue looks so great on you.”

2. Make Amends With Break-Ups

I’m not the only one who has gotten angry at the end of a long-term relationship. When you share the best parts of yourself for such a long time and that person finally decides that the relationship has an expiration date, it makes you furious. It makes you believe that everything you did together was a lie, but that isn’t true.

Our anger can unfortunately be very destructive after a break-up, sometimes leading some of us toward suicidal thoughts. But I’ve learned that it’s only a response, not a solution. Our emotions are responses to the confusion and massive disappointment because love is very powerful, and if you turn it upside down, you see what the inverse of it looks like, and it ain’t pretty.

After enough time has passed, you have to make amends with those relationships. If you walk away not being able to see that you have a great capacity for love, then you’re not allowing yourself to learn anything. And you cannot allow that heartache to make you skeptical of future relationships, just let it make you smarter. You can still love again. Hell, you have to. But if you want to see how anger can sour your future opportunities, go ahead and carry that baggage with you and see if anyone offers to help you with your bags on that trip.

3. Make Amends With Family

Not every family is perfect and some of us are probably carrying grudges daily without realizing it.. Your parents’ words are constantly on your mind, even the ones they haven’t even said aloud. What that means is that you hear their voices in your head and if the dialogue is negative, it keeps you from taking chances on things that you know would make you feel good. A disapproving parent’s voice might ring in your thoughts when you’re about to make a personal choice that you think might not gain approval. But is that real? If the person isn’t there, the disapproval isn’t real.

Thing is, you could end up angry with your parents if you always hold yourself back from doing what you want with your life solely because you think they won’t approve.

So what if they don’t? What’s the worst that can happen? They disown you? They stop funding your education? Just because someone pulls away support doesn’t mean every door slammed shut. If your parents wanted you to go to med school but you want to do something else with your life, then you’d better do it and enjoy it. As upset as they may become, they will always be your parents, but you owe it to yourself to do what makes you feel good. Unless you’re spiraling into some kind of dark drug habit, you have my blessing to pursue acting, writing, or whatever it is that makes you feel you’re living your best life.

4. Make Amends With Yourself

We get angry over things we think we can’t change, like the feeling that we are unsuccessful, unlovable or undate-able. These are things that are only true if you say they are true, but not because anyone else stated them as fact. And even if someone else said that about you, they’d be wrong for it.

A break-up isn’t good enough evidence that you are unlovable. It’s just a thing that happened for a variety of reasons, but you are not the 100% reason that it happened (unless you’re abusive, then yep it was you). There was someone else involved, right? They may have loved you for a while, but they wanted to go a different way with life and both you and that person deserve to walk away. We all deserve to choose what we want with our lives and through eyes blinded with tears, we have to let those people go.

Professionally, if we become complacent in jobs that don’t make us happy, we’ll start to find things to be angry about like never making enough money or not feeling like we’re going anywhere. But if you’re dependent on your current job in order to pay bills and just plain survive, you can start to make time for other things that fulfill you. This is why so many people join those big home-based business companies like Amway or Avon. These companies hold major events every year where people meet others in the business and get a huge dose of personal development workshops. As hokey as this seems, the events are actually very enlightening and provide you with tools for how to reconfigure your negative thinking.

5. Realize That Love Isn’t Just About Butterflies In Your Stomach Because LOVE IS HARD

The easiest thing to give up on when we are angry is love. I’ve come to learn that love doesn’t exclusively include bliss. Love is an emotional foundation that allows you to navigate your way around forgiveness, anger, disappointment, and other nasty feelings. Love is an emotion made strong by the combination of other emotions that work together to help you view your life with purpose. So, the more time you spend angry, the less you are able to see and enjoy good things like time well-spent with friends. Think about how much you miss out on when you hide away at home feeling awful and you turn down invitations to spend time with friends or family. If you’re going to spend time alone, it should at least be enjoyable. Keep yourself entertained with things you care about like reading, watching awesome movies, or crafting together cool projects. These are small exercises that prevent your mind from succumbing to a state of slight depression caused by an angering situation.

You’ve gotta nurture your talents as soon as possible after you feel anger trying to take you down.

Featured Image via ShutterStock

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