Posted by: Judy | March 23, 2012

Chapter 11 review…

Anger is something I will work on for the rest of my life. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned. I hope to learn to use it sparingly, and let it go swiftly.

I’m learning from observing how others handle things that anger them. I’m learning from observing how others choose to stop responding with anger. I’m learning from observing how others allow themselves to be angry, and then let it go.

My anger was triggered by a lot of frustration. My general choice used to be fuming and stuffing food down my throat. On rare occasions, I’d throw a tantrum, including hitting walls and throwing things. Mind you, it was always done alone, so no one knew but me. I didn’t know how else to deal with it. The only option ever give to me was to stuff it.

I am learning healthier ways to deal with my anger. I’m exercising more. Music is a great calmer. I allow myself to lose myself in a book. Most importantly, I allow myself to feel it.

Sometimes, I would become angry with myself for being angry. For far too long, I bought into the idea that anger was bad. If I was angry, then I was evil. I was hurt and confused. If anger was bad, then why was Jesus angry about the moneychangers? Was Jesus bad? And what about all the stuff about the wrath of God? It didn’t make any sense. I went back to the source: The Bible.

God was never arbitrarily angry. He always had a specific reason, and demanded a specific change in behavior. Always, the change in behavior would ultimately benefit the person changing. Always.

Anger was used as a terrorizing tactic to frighten me into doing what was wanted, regardless of whether or not it might cause me harm. My life was threatened repeatedly. Whether or not the bully intended to carry out the threat is not relevant. A child lives in a very literal world. So, through my child eyes, I believed I was going to be killed for infractions, both real and imagined. A day didn’t go by that I wasn’t threatened with violence from several sources. Sometimes it was carried out; sometimes it wasn’t. There was no way to know which it would be.

I don’t want to live my whole life angry, but neither dare I drop the shield. I’ve found my anger to be the only thing that keeps some of the predators at bay. It isn’t any way to live, and I certainly don’t recommend it, but until I’m safe, the wall of fire is staying there. Hopefully, someday, I’ll be able to bank it down, for only occasional use, in case of emergency.

I will continue to work to be the master, instead of the mastered.

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