Lesson 2: Letting Go of Anger

This guided workbook will be your companion to lesson two from Oprah's Lifeclass.


Some psychologists believe anger is a reaction that occurs to help us protect ourselves from the grief that may arise if we accept a loss or disappointment. Look within yourself for anything from rage to annoyance. What's the object of your anger?


Thinking about the anger you've just noted, see if the underlying cause of the anger is fear. For example, you may be angry about an ex-spouse because you're afraid you won't have enough money after the divorce. If you can find a fear, write it down.


Now, still thinking about the same subject, gently go deep into the anger to see if you are feeling sorrow or loss. If there 's something you lost—or never had—that has created a wound or sorrow, write it down.


If fear and sorrow were absent, there would be no anger. What act of courage might help you defeat your fear? Where can you go to experience your grief? This workbook is a safe space to solve the underlying problems that keep your anger burning.


Oprah tells us that forgiveness is giving up the hope that things will turn out other than they did and accepting that events occurred as they occurred. Are there things you can't accept that happened as they did? Write down what you still can't accept.


IN 50 WORDS OR LESS, explain why this event is unacceptable to you. What bad things have happened because it occurred? You may be tempted to write a novel here, but limit yourself to 50 words—if you want to learn how to free yourself from anger.


Write down at least 3 good things that happened because of the "unacceptable" event. For example, "Cancer... (1) made me find the beauty in life; (2) helped me lose my fear of death; and (3) showed me that nothing matters except love, peace and joy."


As you begin to acknowledge the good that came from your "unacceptable " past, you will find forgiveness arising. This is a way to "let go" of anger even if you feel that you're in a rage—that is, that you don't have anger so much as anger has you.