Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Not choosing anger

Never seen the movie but like the phrase.
Anger management has never been a forte of mine, but I never really thought it was a big deal. I thought I had a healthy way of dealing with it, like deep cleaning my closet or finally doing that mound of dishes. The problem was I kept letting myself get angry, and I liked it. My anger would fester, and I liked the adrenaline and the power. It gave me motivation to do things I had struggled getting around to. I didn't mind it and accepted it as part of my personality.

I didn't see my anger as a necessary fix until I had kids. Sometimes you can walk away from situations and cool off, but more often than not you need to be present because you can't correct young children ten minutes after they've done something wrong. They need to be instructed in the act. I can't just walk away when my son hits his sister for the umpteenth time. That being said, I can't explode in the moment either. It isn't right to force my kids to handle my anger for me.

My son thought it was hilarious the day I screamed into a pillow. I didn't know what to do about my anger. I don't want my kids see it, but it gets to that point more times than I care to admit. I never understood how people (such as my husband) seemed to always keep their cool, and I didn't believe for a second that it was a choice. But you know what? It is.

It wasn't until I read this blog post about anger that I finally got it. Just like all our emotions, we choose to feel them. I choose to love my husband. Yes, I'm naturally drawn to him, but it's my choice to act on it. Anger is something I'm also naturally drawn to, but I still have the freedom to choose it. Just because it's natural, doesn't mean it's healthy.
Saying anger is healthy is like saying infections are healthy.  
The fact is, dealing with infections is healthy, treating infections is healthy, preventing infection is healthy, eliminating infectious material is healthy.
-"Isn't Anger Healthy?" A Blog About Love
I was once a believer of healthy anger, but if you feed it by venting or violence, it will never go away and will actually escalate. (Read more about venting here.) I think sometimes we confuse venting with healing, as if dwelling long enough on the emotion will purge us of it, but it's only kindling to the flame.

I want my children to listen to me, not fear. There are hard moments every day, but I am the one who chooses to make them bad or good.

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