Thursday, March 27, 2014

Angels Watching Over Me

The angels told me this morning: “Your actions have consequences.”

I had been thinking of something that happened the day before. I had to do something that I had agreed upon and yet I was tired and grumpy. So I got angry. I didn’t show it externally. I didn’t express it physically. But I knew I was angry and I immediately regretted it.

Actually, I did more than regret it—I felt guilty about it. Then there was the self-talk: “How can you deserve this relationship when you’re so bad? Anne, you are so selfish.” Fortunately I’m getting more aware of self-judgment, so I sat with it yesterday—this anger and my reaction to it.

When the angels told me this morning that my actions have consequences it all fell into place. When I get angry and take it out on another there are consequences I can take responsibility for—or not. When I blame myself, I’m not taking responsibility. I’m either judging myself, or expecting you to punish me—withdraw your love or shame me. Either way digs me a deeper hole.

When I was young and went to Confession my most common sin was: “I got angry at my mother four times.” I was always angry at my mother. Today I thought: Wow, wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the priest had responded: “And for your penance go talk to your mother about how you feel.” Instead he said: “Say two Hail Marys and one Our Father.” Afterwards I was still angry at my mom.

If my actions have consequences (and they always do!) let me look at those results. Let me take responsibility for those results. The judging and the blaming and the guilt and the shame are reactions to the actions. Owning the consequences by apologizing or forgiving or learning by choosing another action moves me, changes me and gives me a lot of hope.

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