“The Devil is a Relative”

October 11, 2017 Beth Duncan

As I’ve said many times before, words are powerful!  They can make us deliriously happy or send us into the depths of despair!  We often replay the meanings of words (both good and bad) of what was said or describe actions—not only those words and actions of others, but our own words and deeds.

If we have negative thoughts and feelings, it is healthy to get them out of our minds.  One way is to write.  Poetry no longer needs to rhyme.  It’s ok if you do or don’t.  It doesn’t even have to follow a special form.  Your writing can even be in the form of a letter, each sentence being a separate line of your poem.    Getting these feelings out, where you can see the words on paper, relieves the stress of keeping them inside of you.

Let me give you a good example.  One day a relative made me so angry, my blood pressure shot up over 200 (normal is 120-140).  I couldn’t keep my anger inside, causing these negative feelings to damage my body.  So I sat down and wrote the following poem:


The Devil is a Relative

Rage strong enough to kill

Is a nurtured and cultivated skill

Produced by cunning and pressure

Needled and twisted by someone’s pleasure.


This person is surely not a stranger

Not one you’d associate with danger

Nor a friend who wishes you well

More than likely someone from hell.

Beware the two faces of kin

Smiling while plunging the knife in

Someone we’re taught to tolerate

Can with years of abuse

Transform love into hate!

                                                                                                                         Beth Duncan © 2000

Once I expressed my feelings, put my feelings into words on paper, I felt relief.  My blood pressure returned to a normal range.  This is just one example of the connection between the mind and the body!  Use the words that express what you feel, putting the emotions into words.  Once these words are on paper—out of your body onto the paper—imagine putting distance between you and the paper.  The paper, holding your negative emotional words, is away from your body!  Feel the relief.  Take several deep breaths.  Relax.

Professor James Pennebaker from the University of Texas has researched and studied the connection between writing and healing for many years.  Two of his books I highly recommend:  Expressive Writing Words That Heal and Opening It Up By Writing It Down.

None of this changes the situation.  The aim of doing this exercise is to change your reaction to the situation!  I once read somewhere:  By holding the emotional pain inside, it’s like drinking poison and expecting someone else (the one with whom you are angry) to die from your drinking the poison!

You may not have the power to change the situation.  You may no longer even want to be a part of the situation.  You do, however, have the power to change your reactions to the situation without the use of drugs (legal or illegal).  You can learn to use the power of your mind to control the emotional reactions that affect your body.  If you are not successful at first, keep trying.  Don’t let your anger control you.  Make the effort to control the anger!  You are stronger than you think.  If necessary, go look into your eyes in a mirror.  Say to yourself:

I can, and I will, control my own anger.”

Be determined to succeed.  Your goal is to become the master of your own mind!