Friday—October 23, 2015 My thoughts
In my opinion, anger is about “control” and control is about protecting “ownership.” However, not all situations are the same and each must be looked at and an appropriate response formulated. These are just some examples from my own life and, obviously, there are those instances when “my solutions” might not be the right response. Also, none of these are life-threatening or potentially physically-harming situations—those are a whole different ballgame.
Stranger/Public: I can remember becoming VERY angry at someone who was not driving in a safe way and could have caused harm to me—but, I could not control that person or change his/her behavior.
Acquaintance/Work: I can remember becoming VERY angry some years ago at a young lady who came into my work environment repeatedly and took over in a number of areas that I was responsible for—but, I could not control that person or change her behavior.
Family/Private-Public: I can remember becoming VERY angry in some family situations where one person pushed her selfish agenda ahead of considerations for and respect for other family members—but, I could not control that person or change her behavior.
There are many examples of my feeling angry, but the above kind of give some insight into the main pieces of my “angry pie”—someone in some situation I cannot control. Whether it is a total stranger, an acquaintance, or a family member, the common thread is “control” and the resulting frustration at not being able to “fix” the situation, so I bite into the “angry pie” again and again.
Currently, in the driving scene, you know you can’t try to fix it or express your frustration because the other person may have a gun and might use it.
My solution: I carry an “anger animal,” a small stuffed animal that I can pick up, shake hard and shout at without anyone being the wiser because I hold it in the hand on my center console so it can’t be seen. When I have finished my angry tirade, the cuteness of the animal overrides my negative emotions and I usually tell the”anger animal” that I’m sorry for letting my emotions get out of control . . . ah, much better, breathe, maybe laugh!
In the work scene, I finally stopped to ask myself some difficult questions . . . why was I trying to “protect” my projects? why was she inserting herself into that position?
My solution: “let go” and trust that God would continue to provide for me and consider that perhaps she was so insecure/unfulfilled, she felt she had to force her way in because she envied me and/or my situation.
In the family scene, the most difficult in my opinion, I spent many hours resenting the impact of this person’s choices including putting herself “up front” displacing and disrespecting older family members and “competing” with their contributions over the years, ultimately destroying the basic family – no relationships are the same and we only have memories of past fun times as a “family.”
My solution: I know it may sound like a cliche, but PRAYER was the only thing that brought me to a place where I could “forgive” this person and eventually change my focus to:
–I can trust that God can and will work in ALL things for my good,
–God’s plans often take years and work in ways I cannot understand, –God’s ways are always intended to result in benefits to ALL
I cannot possibly assess howw God has worked in this person’s heart over the years, but I can assess the positive impact in my own heart of releasing this to God and trusting His Love, wisdom, and power resulting in my peace.
SUMMARY: My anger arises most strongly when I feel the need to “protect” and when I feel unable to “control” another.
My most successful solution has been to turn my focus to examining my own heart (why am I so upset?) and looking at possible “excuses” for the behavior of the other person (what is missing in his/her life?) and then getting back to the basic Truth that God has promised to provide ALL I need and to protect me . . .
When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?
reading the story of Joseph always helps me refocus on WHO is in charge and how HIS plans are amazing as they unfold
My final solution: Trust God
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
And my God
will supply all your needs
according to His riches
in glory in Christ Jesus.
Now to our God and Father
be the glory forever and ever.
Amen. (Philippians 4:19-20)