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ASK MERRILY/Anger First, then Forgiveness

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Dec 22,2009
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,

Photo by John Arundel/Local Kicks
Photo by John Arundel/Local Kicks


I need your help to let go of my anger.  My neighbor’s daughter and my son were in the same kindergarten class last year and became best friends.  My neighbor decided their close relationship was not healthy for her daughter and at the end of the year requested that they not be in the same class.  I was hurt by her decision, especially when I saw that the entire kindergarten class, except my son, had moved to first grade together.  Now those kids and families are close, whereas our family is outside the group.  My son is ok but misses his friend.  I am furious and hurt that she excludes me, too, when she has get-togethers with "friends" from school.  For my own health I need to release this anger and forgive.  Help.

Dear Furious,

Releasing anger and forgiving are essential for your health.  But anger must be dealt with first.

What was the dynamic in the children’s relationship that your friend perceived as unhealthy?

Why did the school move your child instead of the one requesting the separation?  

Your losses are painful.  Underneath lie exclusion, betrayal, helplessness.  Are there echoes of past trauma for you in this situation?

Have you avoided talking about this with your friend?  It’s not too late to invite discussion.  If she accepts, listen quietly with an open heart, holding a loving space for her to express her feelings.  

Her openness for you to share could come immediately, later, or not at all.  If you share, admit to your anger, hurt, and losses.

In the midst of a painful situation, we cannot see the big picture – the opportunity that life has created.  Your son is ok and has made new friends.  Maybe his teacher’s style or the classroom atmosphere is just right for him.  Maybe you are ready to resolve an old anger/forgiveness issue.

It is not possible to let go of anger until it has been honestly faced.  When anger’s work is done, a door naturally opens, and forgiveness enters.  Forgiveness releases the hold a situation had over us.

“Forgiveness liberates the soul.  That’s why it’s such a powerful weapon.”  Mandella

Please keep in touch.

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks. Email questions to, or use online form at

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