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How not to take someone’s anger personally

Posted by Gary on Sep 1st, 2016
The following is writing sent from a client as she works through the emotional drama in her relationship. In her writing you will find how she is practicing all Four Agreements.  She takes a solid inventory of what is her half and what is her husband's half.  She see's the lies of agreements as something separate from him, and from her.  She is a partner with her husband and the enemy is the emotionally wounded belief system they each carry.  She is detached from believing the words and beliefs while still being present with her emotions. Her path is to stay present with the truth, and not step into believing the lies from the voices in her head, or his. Some days she succeeds, and some days she doesn't, but each day she gets better and stronger. In this assignment, she writes about her experience and emotions from a third person perspective so that she can practice being a neutral observer of her agreements and the voices in her head.  This technique is part of the Self Mastery Course teachings.  When her husband got very angry and yelled at Theresa, she felt afraid, then angry, then sad, then hopeless. This time, when he yelled at her through the phone, Theresa held the phone away from her ear and did not listen to his rage monster/judge spewing poison at her. She knew that everything he was saying wasn't true. They were just his judge's words. The words the judge was getting from the Big Liar's book of law for his life. All lies. So she figured, "why listen to the words? They aren't true anyway and they will just tempt me to take them personally and then I'll feel sad, depressed, etc." She felt better for not hearing the actual words but she still felt hurt and afraid because she could hear the anger in his voice. She felt rejected. She felt like she felt when her mother was angry with her when she was a child. She followed that thinking and realized that when someone she loves expresses anger, especially in an aggressive way, she felt afraid, which usually turned into fear and defensive behavior followed rapidly by quilt, desperation and an obsessive need to get approval from the angry person as quickly as possible, even if that meant sacrificing her need. She remembered that her needs never seemed to be important to her parents. They were almost considered a nuisance. She felt ashamed remembering how she felt in the face of her parents' anger toward her: ashamed, not good enough, like she was a bad girl and didn't even have the right to exist, that she was seriously flawed, something was missing when she was made, she lacked whatever it is that makes people precious and valuable to others, she lacked whatever it was that made people express love and inclusion instead of anger and pushing away. She knew these messages to be lies from her personal Book of Knowledge. She knew them to be lies from her Big Liar. She realized that the Big Liar told her that she couldn't live without her parents and since their anger at her meant to her that she was being rejected by them, she felt that her life was in danger. She felt the same way when her husband wasn't happy with her - whether he was giving his time and attention to another woman, or whether he was expressing his frustration and anger toward her - she realized she felt again that it was actually threat to her physical life. 1.) She decided to break the agreements that she needed another person's love to be a valuable person. She is valuable because she is part of the perfection of creation just because God created her as perfect as every other creature and thing that he created. 2.) She broke the agreement that someone's anger means that she's bad, or broken or not quite right, or somehow ‘off.’ She realized another person's anger is their own Liar's voice possessing them, it has nothing to do with her and she chose to not take it personally. She also realized that her anger is her own Big Liar and has nothing to do with the person she’s expressing to and that person doesn’t have to take it personally either. 3.) She realized that she felt dependent on her husband for all of her life needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing as well as other, non-essentials like fun and vacations. She thought that the underlying agreement was that she can't take care of herself or her kids without an income-earning husband. She decided to break the agreement that a she can't take care of herself. She remembered that she is capable of having a job, making money, paying bills, on her own. She thought that she didn't have to rely on someone else for all those things. She remembered that she and her husband decided together after their first child was born that she would stay home with the kids because her income earning potential was less than his. They decided this together so she realized that she did not have to feel guilty about not working and supporting the family. They had decided together that it was his responsibility to be the primary bread winner and that it was primarily her responsibility to stay home and raise the kids, take care of the house, etc. She thought about today's argument. Her husband brought up that he was picking his vacation weeks today for the coming year. She asked if he could take a week off during Spring Break so that the family could take a warm weather vacation. This request struck a nerve in him and he became irate, slammed the car door and headed to work. She decided her tone of voice and demeanor were calm, albeit a little annoyed, and realized she could have done better so she called him and apologized for handling it badly and then asked the question about Spring Break again calmly and as a request for him to consider taking off a week during Spring Break if it was possible at all. This triggered a firestorm of uncontrolled ranting in him that lasted for minutes and ended with him hanging up on her. While he was expressing his anger, she had stayed calm and tried on a few occasions to apologize for making him angry and suggest they end the conversation but he talked over her, didn't calm down and hung up on her instead. She tried her best to not make an assumption about why he couldn't take Spring Break week of and instead ask him if it was or wasn’t a possibility, not to take his anger personally and to do her best and to not use her word against herself. So, she didn't listen to the Big Liar (his and her own) who tried to make her feel guilt, shame, fear, etc. She used the circumstances instead, to break the above agreements - or at least start to. She suspects that the agreement about needing a husband will take time to break and believe the new agreement - that she doesn't need a husband for survival, she wants one to share her love with She decided to do the sun meditation where she draws energy from the sun into her body, remembers the fight with herself supporting herself and gently blowing all the Big Liar's words back at it and then infusing the entire situation with love, just to try and heal herself and her husband. She also realized how hurtful angry words - the word used incorrectly, for death - can be and she resolved to try her best to never do that to her husband, or to anyone else that she loved, again. She is doing her best, and is patient with herself and her husband as they work through their emotional drama. Some days this is the journey for a spiritual warrior.  

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