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Hanging on to anger? It’s your choice

Choice: noun

  • an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. "the choice between good and evil"

Us human beings are clever things aren’t we? We’ve mastered the delicate and complex skill of being able to make choices. 

Wait, we have? 

If I'm honest with myself, it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. I can be terrible at making decisions if I’m presented with a choice. I simply don’t find choices always easy to make. I definitely don’t always make good ones.

But given we have this human skill, it makes sense that we can apply choice to how we view and handle various situations. 

So let's look at the issue of choosing to hold on to anger - if we find ourselves holding on to anger we are making a choice to hold this perspective even if it doesn't feel good.

Anger puts us in a “box” and usually leads us to want to justify our behavior or thinking. It’s only when we realize just how justified we think we need to be , that we can step out of the box and find a heart at peace not at war. * Anatomy of Peace - the Arbinger Institute.

The question then becomes: why choose to hang on to anger if it doesn’t serve you any longer?

Here's 4 things to think about conscious choice and anger :

1. Consciously choosing doesn’t come easily to most of us; it takes time and attention to develop. 

​​2. Choosing to let go of anger might not always feel good, but conscious choice will make it meaningful no matter how difficult it might feel.

3. Consciously choosing to let go of anger means taking conscious actions rather than reverting to your usual negative default or habitual actions. As Helen Kimsey - House, Co-Founder of the Co-Active Training Institute says:

“ …while we may not be able to choose our circumstances, we can powerfully choose the experience and the story we create. From the self acceptance and the self authority of the Leader Within, we can look at our circumstances from many points of view and consciously choose the point of view that will carry us forward with presence, power and purpose.”

4. Choice requires action. To be conscious, intentional and proactive, your actions need to be in line with your values. Identifying specific actions that you can take to let go of that anger, and committing to those actions, will set you free.

There’s a lot here so over the next few weeks we’ll unpack this a bit more…look out for the blogs!

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