Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Anger

I learned last night that Emotions are a trigger... Anger, Sadness, excitement... They all tell you how you are feeling about a certain situation. So, in regards to that, I need to step back and take a look at my feelings. Why am I feeling frustrated?? I am going through a situation at the moment, I don't think that now is a good time to give any details, but I find myself becoming very angry and frustrated. At first I thought that I was in the wrong for feeling those emotions, so initially I stuffed them. Last night I had another Ah-Ha moment and discovered my problem!! Now I know that my feelings are telling me something, I am going to voice them so that they are heard, instead of resenting people who are involved.

Consider this
'Anger has a unique way of controlling our lives-even when we say we don't get angry. When uncontrolled anger erupts, it will be expressed either in an aggressive, hostile or toxic way or it will be expressed in a destructive passive way. We will express that anger outward toward other people or inward at ourselves. Expressed anger ranges from physical and verbal explosions to the more passive hurtful way like religion and sexual addictions, affairs in and out of the family, compulsivity, codependency and depression. If anger controls us, we will tend to be extreme when it erupts.
We have a right to disagree and be angry with someone we love. What we don't have a right to do is to be abusive or neglectful (passive-aggressive) when we express that anger. If we use silence and do not talk, we are abusive. If we explode, swear and rage, we are abusive. Neither extreme is healthy. Both are power. Both are a misuse of our power. Silence isn't golden; it's power. If you use silence you know how powerful it is. Proverbs 15:1 says: "A gentle answer [not silence] turns away wrath." For the rageaholic, Proverbs 15:1 says: "...but a harsh word stirs up anger." And Proverbs 19:19 says: "A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." (NIV)
The lack of (or the crossing of our) boundaries is one of the significant reasons for anger to erupt. Boundary violations cause us to feel fear, hurt, shame and anger to only name a few negative emotions. I had a client who experienced it vividly. The husband was very excited about retiring. The day after his retirement he quickly pursued his interest in "helping his wife." So after breakfast he stayed in the kitchen and started to "organize" all the pots, pans, pantry, shelves, everything. When he completed the task he was all smiles and expected his wife to also be happy. However, she wasn't. He had crossed her boundary. His nephew came over after school that day, as they had planned, excited about going fishing with him. Immediately after being invited indoors his nephew was shown his "handiwork". He commented about his frustration and hurt that the nephew's aunt "was not pleased." The nephew quickly understood the problem and said, "Oh! I've forgot that I had a lot of homework and papers to do this week. I won't be able to go fishing for a few days." And he quickly left. For two more days the spouse didn't cook anything for her husband. Finally at 5 p.m. on the third day, he stepped into the kitchen and began "rearranging the kitchen to the best that he could remember" it being three days earlier. When he was about half through, his wife stepped into the kitchen and began making them supper.
Boundaries are sometimes clearly spoken and negotiated. However, we frequently cross boundaries because we "really didn't know" that a boundary existed, or we do something because we're "just trying to help", or we think that we can do it better and intentionally try to improve and "help". When someone has a boundary, either spoken or unspoken, we need to respect it. Furthermore, when someone says "No!" we have the responsibility and privilege to respect it.
"No!" is a complete sentence. (1) And "No" is an honest and desirous attempt to set a boundary, make a decision or a choice, or an attempt to be assertive. Sometimes a "No!" is quietly said or expressed; other times it might be firm. But even Christians need to understand that "No!" is a complete sentence. When we do, I believe that we will experience a less hostile and angry environment in our homes, businesses and churches.'

Bob Davidson, Director of Family Institute.

We all have our views about anger, typically people perceive it as being harsh, harmful and destructive, but it isn't necessarily that way (it can be but that is our choice), it is all about how we choose to express our anger. Anger is not a 'Bad' emotion, it is healthy and it helps us to work through issues that we have. When people stuff anger, like ME!, it tends to do a negative effect, it eventually comes out as explosive, which I am guilty of. I think that I have been trained to believe that anger is a bad thing, so I stuff it, and when it comes out it isn't pretty. So, I am learning to work through it as it comes that way it won't be destructive when it comes, instead it can be constructive!

What would I do without Boundaries? Where would I be? I am so thankful that God has put Bev in my life to speak the truth to me, and also be so loving and accepting of me through all of my bad choices!

Yes, maybe everyone is sick of this whole boundaries talk, but I LOVE it!

2 comments:

Rebekah said...

Keep going, girl! Don't stop!

Diane said...

I've found that the people who get tired of hearing about boundaries are the ones who either don't understand them, don't have them or don't want anybody else to have them! You're on a great track - continue to run well.