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rachel15

Advice for how to deal with anger or resentment or bitterness?

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I haven't been very good at processing these emotions since I had to suppress how I felt a lot of the time with my family of origin.   I was making lots of effort to  try to forgive people (some very crappy things happened) and then ask Jesus to take the 'bad feeling' away but I've felt rather stuck for so long and now that I'm questioning everything and faith has been unravelling, I realise that a fresh approach is long overdue !     Does anyone have any tips for how to deal with these feelings over past situations or things people have said or done?    I wondered if this had been much of an issue for others and am also open to hearing ideas from other spiritual perspectives too .

 

(I do write a little, but it doesn't always help me to let go of the negative and I did see a counsellor at one point but we didn't get as far as discussing this because I was still hanging on to the idea of forgiveness being the ultimate cure all.)

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A book really helped me.  It's called "When Anger Hurts".  Written by Matthew McKay, Peter Rogers and Judith McKay.  I highly recommend it.

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The religious realm isn't reality.  It's a make believe world that requires blocking out the real world. The Bible, which is a collection of fictional stories with fictional characters,  says believers must forgive everyone of everything they do, but God doesn't issue blank forgiveness to anyone. God, supposedly, only forgives when there is genuine repentance and a request for forgiveness accompanied by a change in behavior.  Something Christians conveniently seem to forget or they just ignore the stuff they don't like.

 

If it's possible to either ignore these people or change your environment & get them out of your life that is something to consider. If possible get away from religious people, at least as much as possible, and meet new people that think & believe like you do. Religious people don't change, so don't expect that to happen. Your best alternative is to get out of their world, if that's possible. 

 

If not then you will have to find a way to block that religious nonsense out of your mind and keep it at arms length as much as you possibly can with the hope of eventually being able to get out of that environment. 

 

I hope you you can find a workable solution. 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for your reply @Geezer.   I've actually realised a relationship with one parent has been toxic to my health too,  so it looks like I need to implement some changes quite quickly in order to get to know new people socially.  

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Anger is a very real feeling and I think it's important to remember that you can't think yourself out of a feeling. You can tell yourself "It would be nice if I wasn't this angry all the time", which, although a true thought, doesn't actually quell the anger. There are all sorts of ways of channeling the feeling so it doesn't come out in a more destructive way. Maybe punch a pillow? Maybe use it to fuel an exercise routine? Someone very wise once told me that anger is like a fart ; you want to sneak it out a little bit at a time and quietly and hopefully no one notices. It's ok to be a little irritable or snappy sometimes if you don't overindulge in it (growing up in christian families we're so often asked to meet such impossible standards of conduct and attitude). If you try too hard to hold it in it can erupt in an embarrassing outburst. 

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My advice: tell yourself your feelings are valid. Because they are. If religion took anything away from you, it was the ability to be able to process your emotions in a healthy manner, particularly the "unchristian" ones, which you are experiencing now, and which are very normal with deconversion. I was angry, and bitter, for a good long time, and I still have periods of that. Talking about it with a therapist really helps. You're allowed to have feelings, it's part of being human. There's a big difference between processing those and taking them out on other people in an unhealthy manner. We're a bit too stuck in this realm of positive thinking today (just look at it, its a whole movement), acting as if the negative emotions aren't valid or part of being human. Most of all, just give it time. It gets better. I can also give you some reading advice I've given to a lot of people on here, the book Leaving the Fold by psychologist Marlene Winell, partially deals with this issue.

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On 11/02/2018 at 2:05 AM, rachel15 said:

I haven't been very good at processing these emotions since I had to suppress how I felt a lot of the time with my family of origin.   I was making lots of effort to  try to forgive people (some very crappy things happened) and then ask Jesus to take the 'bad feeling' away but I've felt rather stuck for so long and now that I'm questioning everything and faith has been unravelling, I realise that a fresh approach is long overdue !     Does anyone have any tips for how to deal with these feelings over past situations or things people have said or done?    I wondered if this had been much of an issue for others and am also open to hearing ideas from other spiritual perspectives too .

 

(I do write a little, but it doesn't always help me to let go of the negative and I did see a counsellor at one point but we didn't get as far as discussing this because I was still hanging on to the idea of forgiveness being the ultimate cure all.)

You were trapped in a sickness (A belief virus) You couldn't see how unwell you became. Just accept that while you were in the grip of this virus your freewill was diminished.

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I vent it, no holds barred. As one can see from my other postings

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