Life isn’t fair. Throughout history, this fact has been demonstrated over and over again. Terrorist attacks, the plague, famines, the Holocaust, Bernie Madoff- there are so many examples of unfairness that we can forget that it is an aspect of life that every one of us has to deal with at some point. You may not be able to control what happened to you, but what you can control is your attitude, your behaviors, and your thoughts.
After facing unfairness, you become powerless when you perpetuate the feelings of anger, resentment, and frustration. It may feel powerful to walk around angry and vengeful, but all that does is actually dis-empower you. What do you do with all of that anger you carry around? It begins to define who you are as a person, and it can even affect those around you. For example, have you ever encountered an angry ex-spouse who was cheated on? Whoo! You hear their story and you feel their pain but years later they are still defining their lives by what was done to them. They are radiating anger and resentment long after the act of unfairness has passed. The ex has long moved on, but they are stuck in a cauldron of misery. Who does this serve?
There are better avenues to channel your dis-empowering thoughts and feelings. Your anger cannot get back what was done to you, but that passion and intensity can be focused in more positive ways. It is natural to feel anger just as it is to feel happiness. Emotions – all of them – are part of the human experience. The more intense emotions, like joy and anger, are fleeting – we are not meant to stay in a constant intense emotional state like that. If you find yourself holding onto anger because something was unfairly done or said to you, find a way to process it in a healthy manner. It only hurts you in the long run – and those around you – if you continue to hold onto unprocessed anger.
One way to process anger is to see a therapist who will provide a safe environment to help you let go of the pain you’ve been feeling. A great way I learned to let go of my anger was to scream into my pillow. Say those things you’ve always wanted to say but feel like you can’t and say them into the pillow. Lie on the floor and kick and pound with your fists just like you are having a temper tantrum. Really let it out! You may feel silly, but it feels so good afterward! Really!
We all have faced, at one time or another, times of unfairness. For example, how about the police officer who pulls you over but the person in front of you was going even faster? Or, being accused and punished for something that you didn’t do. I have had many experiences in my life that are unfair. Just like you, I am justified in feeling angry about what has been done to me, but I do not want to be a victim. I am powerful and 100% responsible for my thoughts and actions. I do not want people to feel sorry for me; I do not want revenge on those who have hurt me. I forgive them. I want peace in my heart. When I feel peaceful that feeling emanates outward and affects those around me. I don’t feel peaceful when I am holding onto anger.
I have recently been active in the Parental Alienation arena and the stories I have heard from some really hurting people are incredulous! How can you not feel angry about what has been done? Money, time, and effort spent on attempting to get back a child with an oftentimes inept court system. An ex who manipulates not just the legal professionals and therapists, but the child as well – can you imagine losing a child to an ex who literally programs a child to hate the other parent? And divorce – the cheating and the lying – how can you not feel angry about the lack of remorse and the callousness in today’s marriages? It’s disheartening to learn that commitments, honesty, honor, and character do not mean anything anymore to a large part of our society.
When it comes to unfairness, you can define yourself as a victim, or as a survivor. A survivor takes the anger and redirects it toward something good. A victim remains stuck instead of moving forward in life. I don’t want to be a victim. I can’t imagine anyone truly wants to be one. Maybe what they are waiting for is an apology or explanation, or to be rescued but that doesn’t happen most of the time. Maybe they are waiting for someone to say “That’s not fair.” Okay, I’ll say it: “It isn’t fair – I hear you”. Sometimes life is not fair. Now what? What do you do with that? Where do you go with that? It might not be fair, but it is no excuse to stop life and remain stagnant and angry. You can define your life by what happened to you or you can define your life by how you became a better person because of it. Unfairness happens, it’s how you deal with it that makes you a victim or a survivor. Which one are you?

Author's Bio: 

Nicole Nenninger is the author of "Transforming Divorce - How to Get Back on Track and Create a Life You Love" and the "Transforming Divorce Workbook - How to Make Divorce the Best Thing that Ever Happened to You." Nicole has a Master's degree in psychology and has a coaching practice in NY. She loves writing books and is currently writing a book about Parental Alienation. She is the founder of and co-founder of and, and contributes to She and her new husband reside in New York with their four children.