NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 31, 2012

Dealing with and healing anger

As we suggested in a recent article on dealing with anger, it's an important first guideline to realize that there are times when a person legitimately and justifiably needs to express anger that the person may be feeling strongly from within. But a second guideline is this: If we do not ever attempt to resolve the anger that we are unjustifiably and illegitimately feeling at a particular time regarding a particular subject, it may well eventually take a big bite out of our personality and character. This may cause others to say about us at that time, "He/she is just not himself/herself today."

Sometime ago, I heard about two unmarried sisters who had jointly inherited the old family homestead when their parents died. They lived together amicably in a comfortable and compatible arrangement for several years, but one day, they had a major disagreement that led to a heated, and ongoing, dispute, one so sharp that they ended up not even speaking to each other for a long time.

But even this barrier of silence did not satisfy them. With the help of a third party, they decided to build a dividing wall right through the middle of their house. Each sister already had her own separate bedroom, but the living room, dining room and kitchen became divided in half by that wall, which created something of a problem in the kitchen because a pump was on one side of the wall and the stove was on the other.

But even this predicament didn't soften them up any. The sister with the stove thought nothing of walking several hundred feet to a neighbor's house for water, while the sister with the pump cooked her meals on a little charcoal burner. Then, one day, tragedy struck their home. One of the sisters had a stroke that left her paralyzed and speechless. She had no way of summoning help from her sister who, though she was technically only a few feet away, was on the other side of the wall. And so it happened that within a few hours, the stricken sister died. The living sister, realizing that her stubbornness had contributed to her sister's death, was so conscience-stricken that within a few weeks, she also died from excessively high blood pressure.

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