|Like a raging fire, anger burning within destroys|
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Anger! It's been a part of my life for a long time. It served me well for many-a-years. Many-a-circumstance.
As a kid it pushed me to be better, be what others said I couldn't be. As a teen it helped me graduate with honors in the top portion of my class, despite skepticism from others. It catapulted me to succeed in college when a guidance counselor hinted at the fact I didn't “have what it took” to make it at Miami University. When a relative told others, “I give her 6 months and she'll be home and pregnant.”
I'm grateful that through that, I did have parents that believed in me and encouraged me. Friends that supported me and helped temper the 'mad' in me.
However, I still had a lot of anger. Learning early on to use it to my advantage. I was bold, brash at times – anger. I was confident and overly assertive – anger. I was confrontational and belligerent – anger.
Granted, this anger 'helped' me.
Proving others wrong. Showing that I could do what they said I couldn't. Being more than anyone thought I could be. I relied on and relished the power such anger afforded me. I was a force to be reckoned with. I am woman, hear me roar. Sometimes quite literally.
Upon meeting Techno-genius, I saw something different. He's gentle. A meek-spirt. Now, don't read that to mean mousy doormat. That does not define the man I married. He is just kind and loving, slow to anger. Quite the opposite of what I tended to be. He used to joke that I was going to cause him to get into fights b/c someone was going to hit me from my 'angry' outbursts; thrusting my shoulder into the 6 ft 5in man who bumped me while pressing through a crowd or other similar antics.
Once we were married and I grew to know Jesus in my life, I realized anger wasn't an asset. Sure, it had served it's purpose. It had helped me succeed in many areas of life. But now? God's Word tells me in Proverbs that anger isn't a good thing. Wrath brings sorrow, pain. Yep. I can attest to that. When you are angry all the time, you tend to rub people the wrong way. You burn bridges. You tear down relationships. You build walls.
Over the years, my anger has tempered. I can't say I've overcome it. I still lose my temper. I still yell at my kids. In fits of impatience I still mentally or verbally assault the driver that cut me off. I still vent to Techno-genius or God. But... I'm not so much an 'angry person' anymore as much as a person who struggles with 'getting angry' on occasion.
Through God's grace I'm learning my anger is really just a symptom of a bigger problem. PRIDE. MY PRIDE!!! Hmmmmm.... how did I not see that before? When I'm angry what is the root? Usually my pride being hurt. My feelings of entitlement being thwarted or undermined. Feeling like I was wronged.
I've learned to say “I'm sorry” to my kids and hubby when I do 'lose it'. Asking for their forgiveness. Giving them permission to alert me when they see the signs of 'mama's gonna blow'. Granted, when they see those signs, they are a bit fearful to bring it up. They've been on the other end of my verbal tirades before.
But, each day God gives me grace. Thankfully my kids and Techno-genius do the same. I'm learning – though slowly – to give myself grace too; because I still fall short.
I'm making progress. I yell a bit less. I don't slam doors too very often. I no longer slam the dish washer door breaking dishes. I haven't thrown anything in a while. I purposely try NOT to give the silent treatment. I haven't punched any walls since college.
When I do slip up – usually by yelling or slamming things down a bit zealously – I first ask for forgiveness from God, then also from the one who was on the receiving end of my wrath.
My goal is to ask God for strength BEFORE I allow the 'outburst' to occur. To remind myself of the pride that's behind my feelings. To show my children that anger is not the first, best, easiest reaction to frustrating situations.
Through God's grace and faith I've learned it's not me – my anger – that helps me succeed and be 'all I can be'. It's GOD! His mercy. His grace. His gift. I also know he'll help me – as I'm willing – to overcome this detriment in my life; this anger.