A recovering addict wrote to me: Anger is a clear and abrupt signal that something is wrong. I’m learning to respond to my anger by:
1) Not reacting in the moment. When I feel “hot,” let it sit – like a baking tray coming out of the oven.
2) Examining the anger when I’ve cooled down. What about it caused me to respond so negatively? What role did I play in the situation? What insight does my sponsor and support group have?
3) Taking action. How can I respond in a wise and constructive way to the problem?
My reflection: Anger is a normal response and one that can be healthy if it causes us to take good action. However, anger can also overwhelm and blind us from making smart choices. For me, I’ve learned that anger is usually a kind of fire blanket that covers up my deeper emotions of insecurity, fear or hurt.
Today’s Promise to consider: When I feel angry, I’ll stop and examine what is causing the reaction. What am I feeling under the rage? Am I afraid, depressed or shamed? Today, I won’t give in to the anger, but I will pause, think and pray for clarity about the path forward.
Anger is so difficult to suppress. When I feel anger inside, I feel like I can explode. So, when I feel the anger, I take in a deep breath and I say a little prayer. The prayer goes something like this:
– Dear Heavenly Father, please stifle this emotion from me so that I may think clearly, say the right thing, and above all, keep your spirit with me always.
Remember, we are all human. We all get angry. It’s ok to get angry, but when the anger becomes a rage, it can be debilitating. So, praying really helps me not get to that stage of anger.
Number 2) in this week’s meditation – examining the anger when you’ve cooled down must really be therapeutic, and I shall practice that.
Thanks Libby, for another meaningful message.
Barbara, what a beautiful prayer!
Thank you as always for your words.
I’ve felt a lot of anger and rage over the years, and quite recently when my son relapsed.
But I didn’t confront or express the anger ( I did do a stomping walk for two hours) but we waited ( and waited) and when our son told us what we already knew –we were able to act with understanding. And support him. This blog and community has a lot to do with that.
Libby is so right– my anger almost always came from fear or maybe even a survival instinct — a fight against sadness. It’s said anger turned inwards is depression. I’ve had a lot of that, too.
Right now ,I am so grateful rage or depression is not at the centre of my being. I am working hard at the worry and anxiety and trying to be in the present. Letting go of old habits of worry.
I do cherish where our family is in “active healing recovery’ — with all its challenges, bumps ,detours and fragility.
As my son said once— anger is hurtful but the worst kind of hangover is an anger hangover. How it leaves everyone. More hurt, more pain.
And I’d like to share this.Anger. Angel. There is only one letter difference. My late brother made stained glass angels and gave them away. He said making them helped him with this anger and whenever anyone looked at one of his angels, for sure, all anger dissolved. He was right. He left us such a gift.
I know angels are not everyone’s cuppa tea.
But for those who think it might help– find or make yourself and your loved ones an “anger” angel. One that dissolves and helps us with anger. Hang it somewhere and breathe in peace when you see it. Sometimes little. visible things help. So much healing happens in the space where anger is released.
I love the “anger angel” symbolic metaphor. I happen to love angels and am going to buy several, so that I can hang one in every room :).
I love to read your posts. You inspire me, and always make me feel good. Thank you so much for sharing.
My love to you,
Love to you,too Barbara- my inspiration and yes to placing angels that dissolve anger everywhere. (:
I agree: Barbara, you are our inspiration. I love the idea of placing angels to dissolve anger. I’ll do it!!!!!!
Love you all,