I recently saw a church sign that stated: “He who angers you controls you.”
That’s so true. I’ve spent the majority of my life being tough, building a strong exterior shell. My older brother taught me this technique as a means of protection for when I found myself without one of my older siblings around. As a result, it’s hard to break me.
I came to realize there was only one other person in this whole world who had the power to control me: the same brother who taught me how to be tough. I could be in a room having a blast with the kids, when in walks this person and my entire mood would change without warning. It was hard to smile whenever he was around. I couldn’t even pretend like he didn’t faze me.
He did. And because we are so much alike, I’m sure he could sense it. Hell, sometimes I think he showed up just to alter my mood! Yes, it is a typical “get under your skin” move he would do with pride. But, I also believe that I had an affect on him, as well. His conscience was/is working on him; logically, everyone, with any degree of sense, know right is right and wrong is wrong. He is no exception.
I really wanted to forgive him for the incident that occured between us. I consulted people whose opinions I really respected, and gained solid advice. Well, it’s one thing to say, “I forgive him,” it’s a whole ‘nother to actually see that forgiveness through. Oftentimes, I thought forgiving him was more than I could stomach, literally. However, I knew that I had to do it.
Life is short! If for no other reason, that alone was good enough for me. I recalled when we lost my eldest brother, he and I agreed to never take life/family for granted. We both failed, apparently. Yet, I’m willing to retrack my steps and devote myself to that doctrine once again.
I did what I had to do: I went to him and offered my hand in an effort of reconciliation. He denied me even the slightest handshake. Yes, I walked away as the tears welled up in my eyes. Although the tears threatened to fall, I still had my pride and would not give him the satisfaction of watching me wallow in self-pity. It was like the wound opened up all over again. I broke an essential rule to the game: I left myself wide open, vulnerable. I allowed him to hurt me all over again. And, boy, did it hurt something awful!
Nevertheless, I knew I had did what I was supposed to do (and, I proved everyone wrong who said all it took was for one of us to take an initiative). So, I prayed; I forced myself to make eye contact with him when he appeared; I forced myself to allow/listen to others when they wanted to speak about him, and I accepted that he was/is not ready to put the past behind him.
Thankfully, today I can say he no longer angers me nor controls me. Yes, he can anger me by doing something new, something petty and childish just because. But this particular incident that I allowed to consume me no longer has any charge over me. He cannot change my mood by just showing up. I rebuilt my heart, with no help from him. I also accepted that even family grow a part sometimes–and family, especially, can hurt you worse than any stranger.
What’s ironic though is that knowing all of this, and learning all of these lessons, I would not change one particle of our history. I am grateful for our good times. I loved him best, and that is all the comfort I need!
So I want to ask YOU: Who controls you? Whose mere presence sparks anger in your heart? Take back your control, don’t allow someone else to have such power over you. Forgive yourself and forgive them; forget whether they deserve it, do it because YOU deserve it!
~Peace, Blessings, and Prosperity~ [and Merry Christmas to your family, from the Intellectual Sistah]
- Forgiveness…Even Without An Apology? (heatherdawkins.com)
- The Season of Family Feud (carolynpriesterjones.org)
- 10 Bible Verses About Forgiveness (thesalvationtimes.wordpress.com)
- Principles of Forgiveness (nocturnetales.com)
- Forgiving and Forgetting. (aprillaugh.wordpress.com)
- To forgive takes strength to set aside what is often justifiable anger. (joannewellington.wordpress.com)