Not a direct challenge from my mom, but something she has been challenging me to do since I was young—now I’m passing it on. Whenever I was angry at someone, my mom would always tell me to be compassionate, to pretend I was in their shoes, to let go of the anger, blah blah blah. All I wanted was for her to listen to me be pissed, to be mad with me. I would get so frustrated with her ability to be understanding of whoever was in my line of fire, while being totally unable to be understanding of me anger. Sure, her approach was probably healthier, but sometimes it feels good to yell and bitch and just be pissed. So here is a two part challenge.
Challenge #11, January 11, 2011: If someone has made you angry lately, let yourself be mad today. If you are illogically sad about something, allow yourself that sadness. Be unhealthy, add to the stress in your life, let that anger crawl into your lungs and erupt. Yell, complain, punch (a wall, not a person). Recognize the emotions and live them for today. (If you have nothing to be mad or sad about—then lucky you.)
Challenge #12, January 12, 2011: Follow my mother’s advice. Be compassionate towards whoever pissed you off. Accept their apology, even if you never received one. Being angry is not worth the energy it takes to sustain the emotion. It is draining, and exhausting. You let yourself dwell on it yesterday, use today to let go.
(Yes, I know, similar to rule #6. But not the same, and just as important.)