The slow-burning anger, frustration, annoyance, exasperation, resentment and irritation that we frequently experience toward others is one of the most troublesome and common personal problems to be met and handled in our fast-moving and complicated modern life. Understand that we are all human; certain things and certain people get to us at times.
But let me ask you, “Who is it in your life that irritates you most? Who do you resent the most?” Before you come to a conclusion you had better look in a mirror, because basically we all are our own worst enemies, our own worst problems. After a lifetime of meeting and working with all sorts of people, Dwight L. Moody said, “In all my years the one person I have had the most trouble with is Dwight L. Moody.” That could well be said of each of us. So, it is in the conquest of self that we can conquer irritation and resentment.
In a recent Daily Word message, it points out that accumulating resentments is like picking up rocks and putting them in our pocket and if we collect rocks and hold on to them day after day and month after month, we feel the burden grow. When we refuse to let resentments go, we are weighed down by the hurt and anger we carry.
When things disturb us it is because we have vested these things, or persons, with the power to do so. Nothing by itself could have this power. When we seem irritable and vulnerable, it is because we are putting forward the wrong side of our nature; as it is often described we “got up on the wrong side of the bed.” Jesus put it this way, “If any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Though this advice is not easy for everyone to follow, it is a tremendous, never-fail formula for overcoming irritation and resentment.
We each have two levels of consciousness, the human and the divine. When we are feeling irritable or resentful it is because we are meeting life from a very human level with a very low vibration. We must turn the other cheek, as it were, to the other side of our nature, the divine side, where we can be non-resistant, loving and forgiving.
You can meet life as a sponge or as a light. Don’t be a sponge, soaking up all the mishaps and annoyances. Remember that life is lived from inside out; let your light shine and deal with the day’s happenings from the diviner side of your nature. You can bring to each day an attitude that is positive and constructive and it will attract to you more desirable happenings and experiences with those around you. Develop the knack of being dispassionate and objective so that when someone affronts you, you will say to yourself, “What emotional conflict does he have? What trouble is in her life? This is better than reacting with “Why did he do that to me?” Cut off the “to me” and wonder instead, “Why did she do that?” Be a mental blessing to your offender in this manner.
In Luke 21:19 we read, “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Another translation reads, “In your patience you possess your soul.”
Be sure that you possess your soul and make sure you are not possessed by a host of petty shortcomings and aggravations in the world around you. Jesus said, “Enter into the inner chamber and close the door.” Take time occasionally to go into that inner place to find that source of peace unreachable by the temporal problems of the world.
Another great teaching of the Bible, found in Romans 12:21, says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” If there is something that seems to be rubbing you the wrong way, cover it with the power of love and understanding. No matter what the other person does, enfold him or her in your blessing. There’s tremendous power in doing this, if, of course, you are sincere. Look beyond appearances to the diviner level of people’s nature and relate to it.
If you cannot bring yourself to forgive and lovingly permit an impersonal view of irritating people and matters, then face it; there is work to be done with yourself. You are irritated because you are irritable. So turn the other cheek; get into the other state of consciousness. Say to yourself, “Father, forgive me for expecting in the human that which is found only in the divine.”
Then let your light shine consistently, turning the other cheek when feeling offense; maintain an objective attitude toward people and things and seek to help them rather than taking their annoyances personally. In this way you possess your own soul and will be filled with tranquility, equanimity, and imperturbability, an attitude of mind that all the great of the world have developed. We can all work toward that development in ourselves.
God is Blessing You, Right Now!
Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham
Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham, a Unity minister for over thirty-eight years, invites you to subscribe to his free inspirational newsletter, Spiritual Solutions.
Please feel free to publish this article in your blog or newsletter or share it with a friend, as long as you include this resource box.
If you’d like to receive weekday inspirational quotes, you can subscribe at Rich Words.