Ever said a half-hearted “sorry” but felt anything but? It happens. When you’ve been wronged, it’s only natural to feel hurt. Anger is valid, but it is not productive to hold onto.
What then? Our natural inclination is to spout forgiveness as the end-all to anger. Yet despite our image of forgiveness as a gratifying, one-time deal, it can be anything but. Forgiveness can be a learning curve. Forgiveness can look like taking a day for yourself or a carefully thought-through conversation starter. It is a conscious choice to acknowledge that something or someone has affected us but letting it go anyway. We forgive, not necessarily to forget, but because the rage that once protected us no longer serves our needs.
There’s no right or wrong way to move on. In many ways, dealing with anger comes hand-in-hand with forgiving. Perhaps you paint away family-related distress. Perhaps you walk out the day’s frustrations; perhaps you simply sit with yourself. Whatever your whims, channel your time and space into something for you. You may not get the resolution you want from your troubles, but you will know what to do for yourself. Not what you couldn’t be for others.
You won’t be sorry for that, at least.