Saturday, April 14, 2012

Free to Flee

A journalist that I met at a recent meeting offered this: 

Prayer to Help Relinquish Anger

"Anger is perhaps the most destructive of emotions. It not only sends negative thoughts in the world, but it can raise our blood pressure, harden our hearts, and lead to illness or even death. Teachers of the Kabbalah, the ancient book of Jewish mysticism, suggest that before retiring for the night, the following blessing be recited:

"May I forgive anyone who has hurt me, on purpose or by accident, in this lifetime or in any other lifetime. May I forgive (name) and release my anger at this time."


"May (name) be blessed."


"May (name) receive God's healing grace."

Blessing someone at whom we are angry is not easy, especially at first. At the same time, it is unwise to force ourselves to forgive another person when we are not truly ready to do so. For this reason, a suggested alternative might be:

"Although I cannot do so now, I pray to be able to relinquish my anger towards (name) in the future."

With daily practice, the act of blessing those who have hurt us will become more natural. Remember that the purpose of these blessings is not to become friends with the person, or involve him or her in our daily life. Its primary goal is to help us relinquish anger towards them, thus allowing ourselves the inner healing and peace that results."

But how should we protect ourselves and those who are vulnerable from injustice if we give up even the healthy anger that keeps us on alert to evil? I do believe that it is possible to be angry with someone's actions without necessarily continuing to be angry with the perpetrator. I don't think it's healthy or wise to give up all anger. Though anger does cause stress, it is necessary in the struggle to overcome injustice. 

Many of us continue to invest needless energy into a cycle of empty anger. When I am free to change my circumstances, continuing to operate in an arena that encourages anger seems senseless. I must always remember that there are those who will not ever be positive influences in my life. I should reserve my anger for their actions, not for who they are. I should also feel free, once our incompatibility has been established, to exercise my right to walk away.

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