Strong feelings are almost always the excuse used by those who behave inappropriately. The abusive mother who strikes her son across the face can always excuse herself, saying “I was angry”. Actually, she was angry at her husband, but she lacks the courage to confront him so she hits her son instead. It may be true that her anger was the source of the blow, but feeling angry and striking a child are not the same thing. The response is arbitrary. Feelings cannot be changed by force of will. How we respond to feelings, however, can be changed by force of will. Any response is learned. With time, effort, and practice we can unlearn negative responses. A father who is upset from a bad day at the office may cool his anger by jogging around the block. Enablers can avoid sabotaging themselves and their families by acknowledging feelings and accurately identifying their source. They are then free to decide on an appropriate response, rather than giving way to an automatic response which may be misplaced and destructive. From “The Enabler: When Helping Harms The Ones You Love” by Angelyn Miller
Anger makes you smaller,
while forgiveness forces you
to grow beyond what you are.
You must be logged in to post a comment.