On Being a Respant

I agree with Mark Twain who said that when you keep anger stored within you, it will eat away at you and destroy you. We know from studies that people who internalize their anger and try to please everyone are far more likely to develop cancer and other illnesses than those who express their feelings and do not internalize them to please others. He who seeks to save his life will lose it. When your life becomes what others desire and impose upon you, you are losing your life, but when you are willing to lose your life by eliminating not your life but the life which is killing you then you save your life. So eliminate what is killing you and not yourself. I try to teach this to teenagers so they don’t self-destruct but instead construct a new life they can be proud of and enjoy. And don’t wait for a life threatening illness to wake you up.

What I want people to become is not the submissive sufferer who never complains and tries to please everyone but a Respant, which I define as a responsible participantsomeone who speaks up and expresses themselves and takes responsibility for their life and actions. If you constantly store your emotions within you, your body will break down and get your attention. If you find healthy ways to express yourself than your body will also stay healthy. Anger and aggression can be expressed in healthy ways besides through the mouth. Exercise, sports, physical labor (think about hammering away all day to build something versus beating up the person you are angry at) all of these can let you come home and feel at peace within.

And when you cannot resolve whatever led to your anger with the other person don’t seek revenge which will just add guilt to your emotional issues. Let it go. In the past I discussed my anger when our hotel room was entered with a key and robbed. It took me a while to realize my continued anger at the robber, and I knew who it was, was now robbing me of my life’s time because of how much of the day I focused on the evil S.O.B. who did it. When I was able to visualize it all in a positive way—and even be compassionate towards the robber imagining his difficult life—and let go, and I was free again. The love warrior derives many benefits from the use of his weapon. So remember to love even those who do not treat you with respect while you tell them what you are upset about and don’t like about how they treated you. It will affect how they think and feel far more than you yelling at them and telling them you are right and they are wrong.

In conclusion, if you want to find a good doctor ask them if they are criticized by patients, family and nurses. The best doctors answer yes. They are learning from their mistakes and so people talk to them and share their feelings and experience. Those who don’t learn from their mistakes create anger and end the communication because people realize there is no point in talking to someone who just blames you or something else and never takes responsibility for their actions. Just remember, how you feel is up to you and not someone else. Concentration camp prisoner Jack Schwarz said, “Ich liebe dich”, which means “I love you”, to a German guard who was choosing where to send prisoners and it saved his life.

Peace, love and healing,

  1. Lucy Papandrea

    Thank you for this inspiring article!
    With love and admiration,