COMPASSION

Traditional wisdom would tell us that the most effective way of dealing with rage
or resentment is a course in anger management. Mental health professionals
dealing exclusively in anger management are everywhere.

Now, think about the term “anger management”. Why would you want to
manage anger?  “I’m resentful. I’m in a rage half the time. Let me just manage
it.”  
We need a course in anger resolution! It can be done, by utilizing the
sixth decision that will determine your personal success from my book,
The
Traveler’s Gift
:
“I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.”

Forgiveness is the ultimate course in anger resolution. I couldn’t
find anywhere, in any book I ever read, including the Bible, that
said in order to forgive somebody, they had to ask for it or that
they had to deserve it. Everything I read said, “Forgive. Let it go.”
Forgiving is the ultimate gift to me. Forgiving someone is the
ultimate gift to ourselves because, it effects us much more than
it affects them.  Forgiveness IS anger resolution! Forgiveness is
the gift that you can give yourself.

“I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.”

What if someone is angry with us? You must work anger
resolution from this side. Sometimes it can be tough to humbly
ask someone’s forgiveness. But it works! If they’re a human being,
if they’re a person that’s on this planet with you, they matter. To
courageously say, “I owe you an apology and I want to ask your
forgiveness,” is hard. But you’ll forge a new area of friendship that will resolve the anger.  
Forgiveness is resolution, not management.  It doesn’t put the irritant over into a corner where we
keep an eye on it. It erases it. It gets rid of it.

So, what will un-forgiveness do to us? Have you ever experienced the mental illusion that life
literally has you cornered, boxed-in, or discouraged? When I feel that way, I’ve determined that
there is generally someone that I haven’t forgiven, or someone from whom I haven’t asked
forgiveness. That person’s name is subconsciously tapping me on the shoulder taking my focus
from the things that my focus needs to be on.

I sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and ask myself questions. As I answer the questions, I
jot names that come to mind. When I’m through, I ask, “Is this a person I need to forgive or
someone from whom I should ask forgiveness?” You can come up with your own questions, but
remember that the quality of your answers is going to be determined by the quality of your
questions.

Here are the ones I use:

  • “What one decision would I make if I knew it would not fail?”
  • “What one thing should I eliminate from my life because it holds
    me back from reaching my full potential?”
  • “Am I on the path of something absolutely fantastic or something
    absolutely average?”
  • “Am I running from something or to something?”
  • “What can I do to make better use of my time?”
  • “What impossible thing am I believing right now and planning for?”
  • “What is my most prevailing thought?”
  • “What good thing have I previously committed myself to do that I’
    ve quit doing?”
  • “Of the people I respect the most, what is it about them that earn
    my respect?”
  • “What would a truly creative person do in my situation?”
  • “What outside influences are causing me to be better or worse?”
  • “What gifts, talents, or strengths do I have?”
  • “I know I don’t know the answer right now, but if I knew the
    answer, what would I say?”
  • “What is one thing I can do for someone else who has no
    opportunity to repay me?”
  • “Who do I need to forgive?”

An old Indian man told his grandson about his internal fight between two wolves. One wolf was
evil and contained anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride and ego. The other wolf was a good wolf that contained forgiveness.
The grandson and then asked, “Which wolf wins?”

The old man replied, “The one I feed.”

It’s time to begin anew. For far too long, you’ve been dragging around these lead weights and
year after year, you’ve added to the load. It’s about to crush you. All the things that you said you
were going to do, but didn’t is too much for one person to bear.The guilt has turned into
resentment and the resentment has turned to anger. Anger has taken over your life.

When you disappoint yourself, you respond with an action and become more disappointed. It is
impossible to fight an enemy living in your head. Forgive yourself and erase the doubts and the
fears. From this day forward, your history needs to cease controlling your destiny. Your life has
just begun.  Become the person you want to be! Your forgiveness has value only when you give it
away. You’ll create in yourself a new heart—a new beginning.

Everything will start anew with your forgiving spirit!
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The New York Times
calls Andy Andrews
a "modern-day
Will Rogers who has
quietly become one of
the most influential
people in America."

His books, including
the bestselling
phenomenon,
The
Traveler’s Gift: Seven
Decisions that Determine
Personal Success
and
Island of Saints, have
sold millions of copies
worldwide.

He is internationally
known as a speaker and
storyteller, has spoken
at the request of four
different United States
presidents, and his two-
hour special on the
Public Broadcasting
System,
Andy Andrews:
The Seven Decisions
,
has been a blockbuster
success.
All Photos by
Peter Nash

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