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Martyr Mayhem: Playing with Fire

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When you’re angry and upset it’s easy to fall into the trap of fighting fire with fire. Honestly, it’s pretty tempting to be petty AF. But I’ve learned one thing. If you start playing with fire, you’ll end up getting burned. You can skip the anger management class, the key to personal growth and overcoming anger is understanding forgiveness and what it looks like when we let go of those grudges.

As someone with Martyr tendencies, I fell into this trap and constantly felt like the world was out to get me and there was a lot of victimization in that. My go-to saying back then was “WHY ME?! Why do things like this always happen to me?!!” It fueled my anger and resentment to the point that I lost sight of who I was at one point and only knew anger and resentment, which led to me carrying a LOT of grudges with me.

Letting Go of Grudges

Grudges: The Unseen Emotional Burdens We Carry

I held on to so many grudges throughout my life. And I would tell myself that I’d moved on and had let go of the grudges, but we all know that’s a lie. A lot of times I had forgiven on a mental or logical plane, but emotionally I was not there. It was easy to reason myself out of being upset still but I’d never actually dealt with the issue nor had I addressed it in a way that gave me the closure that I needed. I would forgive but not forget because I didn’t understand forgiveness at its core. I would constantly bring it up or repeatedly reference it internally. But how can we heal if we’re still holding on?

Understanding and Overcoming Anger: Lessons Learned

Overcoming my anger was something that took me a while to figure out. It’s kind of like that saying that anger is like giving yourself poison and expecting the other person to die. It doesn’t work that way. To fully release and absolve myself and others from that situation I had to examine how I was still holding that grudge. I considered the choices I made, how that event influenced my behavior, and the beliefs I upheld. This was a crucial step in my journey of overcoming anger.

Taking Ownership: Recognizing Our Role in Our Suffering

When I started to take back my power and notice my choices, that is what paved the way for my internal healing. When we are prone to suffering, we tend to tolerate and procrastinate. I’ve observed this trend often in vows of suffering. We just try to get through each day. Doing that builds up a lot of anger and resentment over time and then the resentment and anger that we never acted on need an outlet, so then enters the petty parade. That’s what I call it when we want them to suffer as much as they made us suffer. A hard pill to swallow for me was recognizing that I enabled it. I didn’t stand up for myself, I didn’t leave the situation, I didn’t end the relationship, I didn’t set boundaries, and I allowed them to continue to treat me in such a way. Through this recognition, I was able to start letting go of grudges.

Understanding Forgiveness: The Path to Healing and Letting Go

Forgiveness seemed like a fluke to me because I didn’t understand what true forgiveness was. I often rationalized my feelings and pretended everything was fine, even though it wasn’t. If you’re tempted to fight fire with fire out of anger, remember this. You’ll only get back what you gave. Sometimes fire is necessary to create a fire break, other times the smarter option is to remove its fuel source so that the flame can fully die out.

Taking ownership of my roles in those situations helped me find my power. I could stand up for myself, set boundaries, and walk away when no healthy option remained. It helped me truly own my beliefs and behaviors so the situations no longer impacted me. That is what true forgiveness looks like. This was a significant part of my personal growth and a step towards emotional healing.

Are you ready to stop fighting fire with fire and overcome your anger? Personal growth doesn’t happen overnight. It’s time to let go of grudges and anger that are holding you back. Skip the boring Anger Management class and join me on a 6-month transformative journey. Don’t postpone your happiness any longer – take the first step towards healing today and schedule a consultation call with me.

Read all about Confessions of a (recovering) Control Freak.

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