“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha
Yeah, I know a lot about anger. My parents tell me I would get into “bad moods” which would last a month or more when I was a teenager, although I don’t remember it. You know what I remember? I remember being sexually abused by a neighbor when I was six. I remember being bullied because of my weight. I remember having to quit football—my greatest love—because of chronic back pain.
At 16 years of age.
I recall the darkness, the depression. THAT’S what I recall.
Everything built on each other, and then I carried all that fury into manhood.
Well, guess what, little man? CHILDHOOD IS OVER. Time to grow up and stop hurting those around me for what happened decades ago.
“Human anger is a futile exercise that will never produce God’s kind of justice in this world. (James 1:20)”
I have no excuse to be angry anymore. I’ll never get an apology from the boy who hurt me. I’ll never get an apology from the punks who bullied me, AND..this is the tough part…I can’t change what happened in the past. So I must let it go.
While I play out various scenarios in my head of me beating the tar out of them, it’ll never happen.
Moving on, it’s normal to experience anger from chronic pain, due to what it does to your body and your spirit, but this is also a futile exercise. It puts me in more pain than I already am, and it hurts those around me.
“While seeking revenge, dig two graves – one for yourself” — Douglas Horton
I get angry too quick, I know that. I hate what it does to me, and I hate what it does to my family. I mean, anger seems to be all the way to my bones sometimes, man. Seriously. I roll my eyes and sigh, I pop something hateful off in a flash, I wear my feelings of exhaustion and rage on my face.
“You can recognize fools by the way they give full vent to their rage and let their words fly! But the wise bite their tongue and hold back all they could say. (Proverbs 29:11)”
NO, it doesn’t happen every day, or even every week, but it does happen.
My prayer today is this: “Let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that (I) do. (I Corinthians 16:14)”
We also see in Ephesians 4:2, “Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.”
Let it begin in me, Lord.
“So turn from anger. Don’t rage, and don’t worry—these ways frame the doorway to evil. (Psalm 37:8)”
Personally, I think anger is like greasy junk food for your heart, whereas love is the Braum’s Grilled Chicken Salad.
Hey, gimme a break, I’m not a big fan of veggies, and that’s one of the few salads I can tolerate.
“Excessive anger also puts your physical wellbeing at risk. In the short term, anger can cause headaches, migraines, chest pains, aches and more. Over the long term, anger issues can further complicate pre-existing health conditions. It can also put you at risk for hypertension, high blood pressure, depression, and cardiovascular issues.” The National Domestic Abuse Hotline (http://www.thehotline.org)
The side-effects of anger on the physical body have been well documented. As harmful as it is to the rage-bearer themselves, however, it also paints a big, ugly, dark cloud over those closest to us.
Yup, if laughter is contagious, I think anger is even more so.
It’s not worth it, Lord. Help me give it up. Help me let it go. Take it away from me.
“When your heart overflows with understanding you’ll be very slow to get angry. But if you have a quick temper, your impatience will be quickly seen by all. (Proverbs 14:29)”
Since I am not a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist, I done a bit of research, and stumbled on the following:
As described in the WebMD article “How to Handle Anger” (https://www.webmd.com), Deborah Cox, PhD, a psychologist at Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, offers some tips regarding how to try and manage anger:
- Find a safe place to rage. This is difficult for me because I keep everything bottled up inside. Those who love me know I talk freely and often; it’s when I clam up and keep silent they have to wonder what I’m mad about.
- After settling down, approach the person with whom you’re angry. Another tough one. But, if done properly, extremely cathartic.
- Determine the motive behind the madness. This gets easier with wisdom and age. Stopping long enough to figure out the “why” of your rage can help you work through it.
- Seek out a way to physically release the anger. Jogging, boxing, dancing, etc. The list is endless, and different for everyone. My son is a drummer, and he’ll pound the skins hard and fast, for as long as it takes, in order to release his aggression.
- Breathe, deeply, slowly. Just breathe. Slow things down, and breathe. It really works.
I don’t wanna push people away, God, I want them to be drawn to me. Love does that; anger drives them away.
Take a few minutes and recognize the damage your anger is causing, to your body, your spirit, and those who love you the most. The world just keeps getting angrier every day, which is why we must be PURPOSEFUL about choosing love.
“My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love. (I John 3:18)”