Sunday, September 25, 2016

Anger Part 2

I guess tomorrow took a couple of days to arrive, huh? Anyway…where was I? O yeah…anger, and what to do with it?

Well, I still don’t know…but going back to that sermon by Pastor Doug several weeks ago, I think he is totally right. If I think about my anger, I could definitively trace it to either feeling hurt, frustrated or afraid (and sometimes all of them together at the same time). I know those emotions all too well. In my selection of emoticons or emojis or however you call them little faces that we are all so fond of on our phones, the three most used in my selection are precisely those that express some level of these three emotions!

Hurt, frustration and fear are, indeed, my constant companions. Therefore, there is no great mystery about why anger surfaces so often in my life.

Back to the original question: What to do?

I wish I knew!

In my notes from that sermon, however, I found something Pastor Doug said that was as intriguing that Sunday when I heard it as it is again now when I read it. He said: “release anger in an appropriate manner.” Hmm… That was kind of a new idea for me. I always thought anger had to be controlled, stopped, tamed or even swept under the rug. I guess I never heard the idea that anger has to be released.

Of course I’ve known that fact ever since my first fit. Bottled up anger only makes things worst. As you can imagine I abuse such concept and use it as an excuse or justification for my angry explosions. But I can’t remember ever actually hearing a Pastor say it aloud from the pulpit. Is there really an appropriate way to release this emotion?

The more I think about it, the more a couple of ideas circle back in my brain. As I put them in writing, they come out as the following steps:

Confess it: when I feel anger bubbling up inside of me, I need to recognize it and speak it, hoping that saying it aloud could hit the pause button (or better yet, the stop button) and help diffuse it. “I’m getting really angry here…” (Note to self: avoid saying: “You are making me angry!”)

Give yourself a time-out: Once I confess the state of my emotions aloud to the other party/parties involved, it is probably a good idea to remove myself from the scene for a while. “Can we not talk about this right now? I need a moment.” (Remember not to say anything like: “get away from me before I hurt you!” that won’t go well). After I calm down and rejoin the human race again, I can come back to the discussion. At least I got to express the fact that I was angry and the time out might serve the purpose of not only validating the emotion, but also may allow time to find creative ways towards a solution or an agreement.

And when I lose it, apologize: Inevitably, I will, upon occasions (yeah…like all the time) not be able to stop uncontrolled anger to escape, and my unleased tongue will go on the destroyer mode. On those instances, I just need to openly and sincerely offer my heartfelt apology and express my sorrow for the offense. No matter what the other person did, I cannot justify uncontrolled anger. I cannot justify anger that seeks to crush and destroy. “I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have…” (Important note on this step: resist the temptation to follow that statement with anything resembling: “but, you...”)

Finally, move to the beach! I don’t see how anybody could ever be angry while living by the ocean!

Well, I’m not sure if any of these could count as help to anyone. As for me, at least it helped me as an outlet of honesty. I’m a deeply flawed woman. The good news is, the Lord is not done with me yet.

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