July 29, 2011
Growing up I learned that whoever spoke the loudest and kept better score won most arguments. Confrontation was often used to get over whatever problem was at hand and never really deal with the cause.
It was so easy to get angry, have a screaming match and then go on with our lives. That’s what I used to do with my spouse. However, he was raised to avoid conflict and to squash any negative feelings, not a very good combination.
I thought that if people were not confronted with their behavior, there was no way they would change. People were afraid of making me angry because they knew I wouldn’t think twice about shaming them in public.
And I didn’t care if people feared me. I thought my rage was justified if somebody dared to go against my plans.
But I got tired of trying to control people, places and things. I got tired of always being right and defending my right to be right all the time. I got tired of having to know it all. It was exhausting!
I thought I couldn’t change. I thought that my short temper defined me. What I’ve realized is that anger gave me a sense of power. It protected me for a long time from all the emotional abuse I grew up with. It was my shield.
I have a new shield and I call it God. But not the god I knew from childhood. Not the one who loved me based on how well I behaved or what I did. Not the one who stuck around just in case I got in serious trouble.
My God today is one who listens to me; one who I talk to every day, morning, night and in between. I believe that my God loves me unconditionally for who I am, no matter what I do. He doesn’t punish me, I do that very well on my own.
How do I communicate my frustration and anger now? I guess you’ll have to read my next post to find out.