We’ve been taught that anger is bad. We should be kind to all, get along, and work for peace. But some things are worth getting angry about.
Just ask Kailash Satyarthi whose inspiring TED Talk you can watch here. He saw a caste system in India that defined some, simply by circumstance of birth, as the “untouchables” and he became angry. He saw systematic denial of education to children in India and he got angry.
You may be angry that the person you married wasn’t who you thought s/he was. You might be angry at your sister or brother for making decisions about your aging mother with which you disagree. You may be angry at what your former spouse is sharing with the children (media access of which you don’t approve, introduction of a new romantic interest, or a diet which you feel is unhealthy). You may be angry that your spouse will not get serious about estate planning. You may be angry at the proposal your spouse put forward for settling your divorce.
I get angry too. I get angry when I see children who are nervous wrecks at their little league games because mom is on one end of the bleachers and dad is on the other and they don’t know which one to go to when they come off the field.
I get angry when I see fear on an aging parent’s face as he listens to his adult children argue over him.
I get angry when a mom calls me and tells me that her ex-husband is telling their small children that “mommy is going to hell” (true story).
But it’s all in what we do with our anger. Meghan and I took that anger and chose to litigate as a problem-solvers first. And we chose to offer options other than litigation, such as mediation and collaborative law, for families processing through divorce or estate planning or elder care issues.
You can choose to fuel the anger toward your children’s other parent or your siblings or your spouse. Or you can funnel that anger into resolutions which give peace a chance. You can refuse to allow your conflicts to spill over into anything–little league games included–which affects your children. We have worked with hundreds of couples who feel deep anger and hurt but who are incredible co-parents regardless. We have met with siblings who are willing to listen to one another and allow for a new level of cooperation to emerge around caring for elderly parents. We have eased many people on to the path of step-by-step prenuptial agreement drafting or estate planning. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
What makes you angry? What are you going to do about it?
Wishing you wisdom,
PS. Don’t forget to take advantage of “Gloria’s Gift” this Spring. For a limited time, we will custom-tailor and draft your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care at no charge. Learn more here. Make sure that your desires are honored if you are hospitalized.