I can remember all too well when my boss lost his temper, yelled and said: “How can you be so stupid?”
Actually I was wondering the same thing. I messed up. The project I had been given had not gone as we all hoped, taking more time and money than planned. I had done my best, but it wasn’t good enough. How hurt I felt!
I also remember another tough time, going on spring break during graduate school. When I came back, my part-time job was given to someone else. No explanation. I was out. That was just as painful.
When I get hurt, many times I get angry – either at them or me – sometimes both. Justified or not, when I get used, abused and/or refused, it is tough to generate a genuinely positive attitude.
Forget What Lies Behind
“Forgetting what lies behind” means accepting the loss of something you either had or had hoped for. Whether you lost your job, or you are in a job that you wish you could lose, you will find the freedom to move to the future if you admit, understand and grieve the loss, no matter how minor or major it may be.
You can expect to experience one or more of the following feelings at some level of intensity––maybe a little, maybe a lot. Do you ever hear yourself making any of these statements?
|This can’t be. I don’t believe it!||Denial <–> Shock|
|What do I do? How do I handle this?||Distraction <–> Panic|
|They can’t do that to me! I will get them!||Irritation <–> Anger|
|I’m tired and don’t feel like doing anything.||Feeling Down <–> Depression|
|I have a headache/upset stomach/don’t feel good!||Stress <–> Physical Illness|
As you admit your feelings about your situation, you may feel that you have been used, abused and refused. Maybe you are blaming others; your boss, a coworker, someone else – maybe even yourself.
To help you process, write about your situation and your feelings in a private journal. You can talk about it with people you trust, people who care about you: your spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend or business associate, someone from church, a minister or a counselor.
The real key to overcoming anger, however, is to exercise forgiveness toward everyone involved – not for their benefit – but for yours. As you write or talk about your situation, visualize every person you are blaming, and make a conscious decision to begin forgiving each one every day. So remember …
Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:26
Let go of the past, so the past can let go of you. Only then can you reach toward the future.