Saturday, May 15, 2010
How Anger Rears its Ugly Head - In Me, At Least
I hit my head on the laundry room cupboard this morning. I was crouched down attempting to re-insert the hotair foil-coil-tube-thing back into the drying, while the dryer was running. The smart thing to do would have been to turn it off. But, dang-it, I wanted to get the foil-coil-tube-thing back in and fast. Hot air was escaping into the room, making the room hotter and I was experiencing another warm flash (not quite a full-on hot flash). The hot air pushed the foil-coil-tube thing out again. It wouldn't stay put and I was getting more and more frustrated.
"Just stand up and turn the dang thing off!"
No, I was going to do this despite common sense and physics. So I ran into the bedroom to retrieve a shoebox. Ingeniously I knew the shoebox would hold the foil-coil-thing-tube in place. It did! Triumph, victory. Standing up to take my bow I hit the back of my head on the cupboard. Dang wasn't the first word out of my mouth.
Now I'm mad. Angry. And a bit embarrassed. So determined to solve the problem in my own illogical way, yet gleefully proud of my resourcefulness, my focus settled on me. My anger was really a result of my stubbornness. But I chose to project.
The phone then rang - once, then twice and my rage that (it seems) no one can answer the phone in this house except me, I screamed, "Can someone answer that?" (I'll let you envision the tone.) And wouldn't you know it, the call was for me. I'm not in the mood to talk, to anyone. I'm mad and I hurt. I try to answer the questions on the other end with little to know revelation regarding my true current spiritual state, remaining polite. I hang up and go into the living room to place the phone back. What do I find --- mess, mess, mess. Dog hair all over the floor (summer approaching, the dogs are shedding), cereal bowls on the table (when they should be in the kitchen), kids watching Saturday morning cartoons (while I was struggling to solve the problems of world peace and hunger and the foil-coil-tube-thing on the dryer). How insensitive of my family to not be a part of my sacrificial work ethic!
Quick prayer of confession and supplication for grace
My anger was really about me, about my stubbornness. My anger was about my obstinance to do something my myopic way which led to my head injury which triggered more anger. It wasn't about the kids. It wasn't about the dogs. It was about me.
The older I get the more I see this as a pattern in my life. When I am mad if I take the time to anatomize that anger I see 9 time out of 10 it leads back to my issue, not the other person. The time it takes me to resolve my emotions is getting shorter. That's God's grace. I suppose it's part of look at the plank in my own eye before complaining about the speck in another's eye. It's about looking to others and not yourself yet looking at yourself before you look at others.
Painting: the scream by Edvard Munch