Today we are going to talk about anger:
Despite our intentions to be loving, forgiving, non-judgmental, our human buttons can be pushed and we can react in angry ways.
For example, while we are driving someone cuts us off in traffic. Suddenly we feel angry and we want the driver who did it to suffer in some way. We may honk our horn, yell, or even give him or her a certain hand gesture.
There are times when life seems to treat us unfairly. We can lose our job, through no fault of our own. Loved ones can turn against us. Out of the blue, we can experience a severe life threatening illness. Marriages can end. Some have lost their homes. The list is long and goes on and on... from the simple fates to heavy difficulties.
It's very human to get angry and frustrated when these things happen in our lives. Sometimes our anger can turn into rage or aggressiveness. Sometimes we turn the anger on our self, usually making everything worse. This can take the form of depression, and other behaviors that can be unproductive and harmful to our self. Anger can lead to long standing resentments whereby we lose control of reason and actually engage in hurting other people.
What can we do with all this angst we may be feeling? First it is important to recognize what we are feeling and face the feeling. Then we need to start breathing. Long, deep breaths, until we feel our emotions are becoming under control. We could embrace an affirmation like "I am in control of my emotions and, I refuse to hurt myself or others".
Forgiveness is very powerful when dealing with anger. Forgiveness trumps anger every time. Why? Because God is all about forgiveness. God forgives through us. When we need help, we put our mind on God and say, "God forgives through me, and I forgive this situation, knowing God is my source and will provide for me always."
Granted, certain situations might appear unjustified and unforgivable. We're talking here about child abuse, war, some crime perpetrated against us or a loved one, even inexplicable natural disasters. At some point we feel angry with God. How can Spirit let these things happen?
He doesn't. People have free will. People make choices. A child abuser is making a choice to hurt a child; countries start wars for no apparent reason; crime comes into our lives without warning; natural disasters kill and displace people.
So, what is left for one to do in these situations? To the best of your ability turn all your burdens over the source of your faith. Remind yourself these terrible actions are not a punishment brought down upon you for some thing you have done. Look out and reach out in faith. Ask for guidance from your Inner Voice.
Maybe you will be the one with the boat who saves several people during the flood. Maybe you will be the one to start a protest against the war. Maybe you will be the one to turn in the child abuser. And, maybe, you will be the one who forgives the person who committed a crime against you. The Inner Voice will tell you what to do. Listen for it. Be ready for it. Then act. Don't wait for someone else to do the work; you are to be about your Father's business. You must act.
Susan and I realize that occasionally the pain, suffering, hurt, and anger is so great that one may not hear guidance from within. This is the time to reach out for help and lean on the strength and wisdom of spiritual leaders. therapists, counselors, doctors, or others in the healing professions. Not only is God within us, God works through others to help us get through this confusing and challenging world.
We can't promise you that you and those around you won't be angry at times, but we want to remind you that YOU have choices and YOU, with God's guidance, determine what happens in your life and how you handle your anger.
Please ponder these ideas
Try them out in your life
Tell us how it worked for you
In Light, Love, and Courage,
Gary and Susan Eby