Posts Tagged ‘anger’

What Are You Afraid Of?

March 2, 2013

angry-womanMore than once, friends have confided in me that they are angry with their spouse or family members. My response is the same: “Anger is always a manifestation of fear. What are you afraid of?” The question catches them off guard but I see the light go on in their eyes. After pausing to reflect, they are soon able to articulate a thoughtful response.

For example, a man who allowed his wife to push his buttons acknowledged that he feared a loss of status as “the man” in the relationship. He was trying to avoid losing respect not only in his own eyes but in hers. Perhaps that realization will lead to a productive discussion between them about power dynamics in their marriage.

A female friend of mine who was angry at her mother and sisters admitted that she feared feeling (more…)

Meeting Eva Kor, One of My Personal Heroes

September 20, 2012

My daughter Erin and I were privileged to meet Eva Kor after her talk at St. Cloud State University

Two years ago, I interviewed Eva Kor for my blog. Eva had been sent to Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of ten, where she and her sister Miriam were experimented on by the brutal Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele.

Tonight, I finally got to meet Eva in person. She lectured on her life and philosophy to a packed auditorium at St. Cloud State University. Afterward, she signed copies of her books for dozens and dozens of people who waited patiently in line. Many also wanted photos and a few had personal questions for her. I was amazed by Eva’s energy and capacity for joy. She gave each person a friendly smile and as much time as they wanted. It was after eleven o’clock by the time she put down her pen.

It is Eva’s stance on forgiveness that has made her an iconic and controversial figure all over the world. On January 27, 1995, in a public ceremony marking the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops, Kor declared her forgiveness toward the Nazis who murdered her parents and two older sisters. Standing by the ruins of (more…)

Try a Little Tenderness

July 4, 2012

In church this last Sunday, the minister told two stories about a senior monk he knew who modeled a wonderful approach to engaging with angry people.

When the minister was a young monk himself, he was doing yard work at the ashram under the watchful eye of the senior monk when a truck driver pulled up. The driver was extremely upset and spewing foul language because he had been driving around the winding roads in the area for an hour trying to find the ashram. The senior monk sympathized with the truck driver and said, “l can see why you’re so upset. You must be worried about staying on schedule. Here, let (more…)

The Name of the Boat

January 31, 2012

Are you having trouble reconciling past experiences in which you either behaved poorly or others behaved poorly toward you? Are you weighed down with so much guilt, regret, anger or emotional pain that you’re having trouble moving on with your life? If so, this simple exercise may help.

Close your eyes and replay the incident in your mind, except this time watch it as an objective observer. While you watch events unfolding, bathe everyone involved as well as the situation itself in love, as if you were a parent sending unconditional love to your child.

If sending love to someone or something so hurtful is difficult for you, know this: You cannot (more…)

Days Away

December 1, 2011

We often read of family members or friends who have been in conflict for years only to reconcile their differences when one of them is days away from leaving this world. So the question is, if we can forgive and heal at the end of life, why can’t we forgive and heal right now, today?

Imagine your final moments with someone whom you have clashed with for years. Would you remain hiding behind a brick wall of resentment with clenched fists and clenched heart, or would you step out into (more…)