Friday, January 7, 2011

I Am Angry

I once worked with/for a wise woman who told me that she could tell how intensely something was affecting her by how many times she felt the need to re-tell the incident.

Has that ever happened to you? You tell folks, "XYZ incident didn't really bother me, but..." and then you go on to tell the whole sordid story over and over to nearly anyone who will listen? This could have been one of those stories.

I. Am. Angry. Well, at least I was angry. And an hour into it I realized that it was my choice to either stay angry or let. it. go.

Ever had someone unexpectedly do something that lifted you up for the rest of the day? Awesome, isn't it! Maybe they said something that cracked you up, shared a cute video with you or even picked up the tab at lunch.

Ever had someone do the opposite? Someone 'wrong' you for no apparent reason? Cut you off in traffic? Had a doctor make you wait WAAAY beyond your appointment time and yet if you were late they'd charge?

It was made glaringly apparent to me that both the joyful and dreadful examples above present themselves for a "pay it forward (pif)" moment in life. In November, I focused on the positive side of doing something for someone else without any expectation of something nice in return. Good for the sake of good. The only hope was that they would be inspired to take action to do good for the sake of doing good for someone else.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it works in reverse too. Ever had a bad experience stay with you and bleed over into other parts of your life? Maybe a rude conversation leads to you writing a terse e-mail or cutting someone off in traffic yourself.

Chain reactions happen both ways.

I think the negative "pay it forward" takes a lot of power and self-determination to correct. It can easily become a boulder that just continues to pick up speed as it thunders down a mountain. To halt its tremendous speed and impact requires a serious act of strength. Emotionally it takes a serious heft of heart to get your "happy" back on.

Take charge of the days when boulders are being hurled down the hill. Step aside if you can and make the effort to stop those headed right at you from spiraling out of control.


  1. It does take a tremendous amount of energy to turn a negative experience around. I do believe it is a choice, but I have found that the more I can make the decision to be happy rather than angry, the easier it gets. Letting it go definitely takes practice.

  2. I've got to say, I think this is a great post. The old adage about telling 1 other person about a good experience and 100 people about a bad one is too true. I will personally make an effort this year to keep from letting the negatives snowball and get away from me.


  3. It is always easy to say than done. I believe everyone has their own way to turn a negative feeling or experiences to a good one. Now that i have a child on my own, i use to think of her cute face whenever i feel down to make me happy. :)


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