Are You Using Old Wounds To Vent?

Wounds cry out for attention. If they are physical they cry out with physical pain. If they are psychological they cry out with mental anguish. During the healing process your pain is going to linger as long as it needs to. Even so, there is a difference between noticing your pain and dwelling on it.

We all know people who will use any excuse to draw attention to themselves, including a fixation on their current woes. The danger is that if you identify with your hurt, if you use it as your calling card, if you think it makes you more sympathetic, all these factors retard healing.

One of the most insidious aspects of anger is that it is so much easier to feel than other emotions. I donít just mean positive emotions like compassion but even negative ones like fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and self-doubt. Anger is also socially acceptable. Athletes use it to motivate themselves, for instance, and sometimes a football victory seems more like a battle won than the outcome of a game.

The way of peace asks you to make a fine distinction. Be aware of your hurt and pay attention to it. But do not fixate on it. This can be a difficult distinction to honor. There will always be moments when you canít tell if you are letting go of a hurt by expressing it, or just venting.

The difference comes down to intention. If you vent anger with the object of spreading your toxic feelings, the result will have nothing to do with healing. Your anger is your weapon. On the other hand, if you release anger the way youíd expel a rock from your shoe, your intention clearly has healing behind it.

Once the anger starts flowing, both of these alternatives might feel the same. Anger is anger. But if you have a healing intention, two things will happen: you will feel more peaceful after your anger has been released, and you will feel like an old, fixed belief in enemies and injustice has started to move.

Adapted from: Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).

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107 comments

Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 years ago

Journaling Helps. Thanks for sharing.

Nadine H.
Nadine H.3 years ago

good article. ty.

Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

sometimes

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby3 years ago

thanks

Heidi H.
Past Member 3 years ago

This is a wonderful concept.

Lenee K.
Lenee K.3 years ago

Its true - how one deals with anger is how anger deals back. We've to be totally aware how to deal with our emotions, the outcome, the intention and probably the circumstances, period.

Ann B.
Ann B.3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer3 years ago

The phrase "sins of the fathers" is about recognition of the ripples spreading out of an event which bring home to us the extent of the unforeseen repercussions that must constantly be addressed before open ended access is allowed to other outcomes. .Symbolically seven is the number of Saturn demanding transformation and transcendence, the mastery of the challenges presented and the use of the ensuing gifts.

Mary Mattarelli
Mary Mattarelli3 years ago

thank you

Ron Grubner
Ron Grubner3 years ago

I agree basically with what Deepak Chopra is saying here.I also agree with what Brian M and Dot A say about PTSD. PTSD is an issue which is much more deeply ingrained because it has seared the spirit. The Saying..."Sins of the Fathers " is largely to blame in many cases for it is a learned pattern which the children inherit and passed on to society in general.The society we live in today accepts many things which translate into bigger issues and continues to do so.But the outcome is we are placed in situations which should never be and creates uneeded stress .They can be more than we can handle alone.They strike at the very core of the family and therefore society itself The feelings of anger.extreme hurt,terror and helplessness resulting from them often generate feelings of suicide.i believe they also reflect the great increase in the crime rate. We know we have to let go of the issue which holds us back...but how? Dot says.." I believe this is a wake up call for all of us to find a better way to live in this world" . The answer is there as it always has been..and He says..." come unto me and I will give you rest" He tells us we don't have to do it alone.This forum's accent is on spiritual issues which is precisely the subject of PTSD.If the spirit is yearning,the body/mind will suffer.