Step 4: Refrain from speaking useless words and never give in to what they spawn—anger, your’s or anyone else’s!
Thomas S. Monson once said the two most useless words in the English language are “if only.” He’s right, I’m sure, but I would also add two more: “why me?”
Too many people experience adversity—illness, financial reverse, betrayal, a divorce, an unexpected death, even a natural disaster—from which they never recover, usually the result of focusing on “why me” and “if only,” which leads to anger and a downward spiral that goes on to ruin not only their lives, but the lives of others. I was determined NOT to let that same thing happen to me when my world fell apart!
I’d had a friend whose husband betrayed her and asked for a divorce, and instead of carrying on she indulged in the four most useless words, which fed her anger (which she also indulged) to the point that she never recovered. She has been miserable for 11 years now and counting, still angry over what her former husband did, and she has completely ruined not just her life but the lives of her children. Meanwhile, her husband had remarried, had more children, is very happy and has a good relationship with his older children as well.
On another occasion, I met a 50-year-old woman without a job, a place to live, a winter coat or even shoes (other than sandals) in the snowy climate of Colorado. As I drove her to purchase a coat and some winter shoes, I couldn’t help but ask how she had arrived at such desperate circumstances. She said her dad had died unexpectedly when she was a teenager and that the experience had been very difficult for her because she had really loved her dad! She continued, “Why me? If only that hadn’t happened…” In that moment I realized I had been blessed with the same life experience she had, at close to the same age. I believe the difference was in what we had each allowed ourselves to indulge in.
It is never productive and actually, can be very destructive in my experience, if you let yourself indulge in, and wallow in, feelings of anger, resentment and hatred. Hatred, anger and resentment are like acid—they only destroy the vessel in which they are stored. And it IS possible to do that when instead of indulging in those feelings, you choose to allow yourself to heal.
“Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” (Thomas More)