Give yourself the gift of anger

I found this in my online travels, and since I’m not much for the “traditional” Western Christian version of Christmas, I thought – here’s an actual useful lesson for the holiday that purports to be about lessons:

It’s okay to hold onto anger. You are not obligated to forgive. Not “because it’s family.” Not “because it’s Christmas.” Not EVER.

Said so beautifully by these users from what I think was probably a Tumblr post:

I’m not a fan of the idea that forgiveness is this ideal state we should all be moving toward. If forgiving will bring you peace, by all means, move toward it.

But for some of us, anger is protective. Anger is the thing that reminds us not to go back, not to give in, not to be fooled again. Anger can be a gift.

Emotional bubble wrap, if you will.

I find that this theme of anger, why we hold onto it, and when we let it go comes up in my writing a lot. It took me a long time to understand that anger wasn’t bad, and there was nothing wrong with me because I chose not to let all of my anger go.

And anger is what brought me to writing to begin with. Many years ago, a therapist suggested it as a way to process and work through everything that was building up inside of me. I had no constructive outlets and hadn’t learned healthy coping mechanisms. Writing was where I put a lot of that – and still is, to an extent. I’ve just gotten better at other elements of craft.

I hope people enjoy whatever holidays they celebrate, and don’t feel pressured to let go of any righteous, soul-protecting anger that they’ve accumulated in the name of religion, family, or sentimentality.

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