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Posts Tagged ‘anger management’

Photo by Victoria Potter

Anger is not a disease, it’s a choice that eventually builds into a habit. I should know, I’m really good at it. I’m getting better at the outside version of anger but it’s a cover up for what’s happening inside.

James 1:19b-20
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s [and woman’s] anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

I think of anger as a bus because it’s always taking me somewhere, and rarely if ever, does it take me where I want to go or where I should be. It’s not always a bus; I also ride the anger subway, the anger jet and the anger canoe. Each one goes a different speed, but the results are the same.

And most of those trips leave a wake or trail of damage that takes much longer to repair than it does to destroy.

When I lived in New York, I took the subway a lot. At first, it was confusing and I’d have to watch the map and keep checking the walls for the name of the stop. But pretty soon, I got so accustomed to the subway that I knew where I was just by the look of the station.

Just because anger is familiar doesn’t make it a good thing. I know that intellectually.

I know that “anger management” talks about transforming feelings of anger into healthy expressions, like assertiveness or redirecting it into some kind of constructive behavior, or intentionally and rationally calming oneself down. I’m sure these are all good mechanisms and I should look into them.

But I would like to get better at catching the moment BEFORE I get on the bus. What is it that makes me want to jump. One of my previous pastors said it was “fear” and I can certainly agree with that in many cases: fear of loss, self-esteem, worth, value, control, etc. I think there are other moments too that are driven by something else than fear. Maybe it’s disappointment.

I have written and talked about the power of disappointment before, particularly in women. It’s wrapped up in expectations and hopes and dreams and when that disappointment comes, particularly repetitive disappointment, I think it mutates into anger: displaced, misplaced, and often illogical in appearance.

No easy solution, but certainly, the advice from James is sound: be slow to speak. Maybe, just maybe, if I could slow the process down, just a little, I could recognize my triggers.

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