Anger and Grief Reflection

When working with anger, a common emotion that comes up alongside it is sadness. Grief or sadness can emerge regarding something once experienced that has been lost or over something that one wished for, but never had. Anger over betrayal often involves grief over the loss of the belief in eternal romantic partnership, for instance, or the loss of the belief that someone had your best interests in mind.

Stop for a moment of reflection to do a “grief check-in.” Ask yourself the following questions and write down and perhaps draw symbols of your responses.

 v     What do I feel I lose by letting go of anger?

 v     How do I typically experience sadness?

 v     Have I allowed myself to be aware of sadness?

 v     Have I blamed others or blamed and judged myself (or called myself weak) for feeling sad?

 v     Can I see how I may have fed my anger even more by not allowing myself to grieve over something?

Often a non-forgiving attitude toward oneself or another involves harsh judgment about loss. As you write down/draw these reflections, contemplate that the next time you begin to feel overcome by an angry attitude, you might remind yourself that you actually may be grieving over something.

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