I’m participating in a leadership program through work and one of the things that we do is meet in groups regularly to discuss leadership related tips and issues. In a recent meeting, we discussed being mad or dealing with people who are mad, and someone said, “Someone can’t make you mad, you allow yourself to be mad.”
It’s true. And, it’s the same for many emotions. It made me stop and think about all the times I have been mad or hurt. I allowed myself to feel that way and I allow those feelings to return.
Worse still, I allow some painful experiences (or groups of experiences) reside in my head rent free. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of bad feelings, but I’m finding that every time I remind myself that I’m the one who’s allowing myself to feel that way, it’s easier to let it go and move on.
Not to say that you aren’t allowed, or deserve, to feel hurt and angry. Sometimes you just need to let yourself be mad and you need to work with and work through those feelings. You just need to remember that eventually you need to let it go and leave room inside for more positive things.