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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Further (practical) thoughts on anger

Recently I posted about anger and how to deal with it. I found an excellent response to my posting at TrueGrit titled "Anger in its place". I really liked what ilona had to say about anger and how to deal with it. She describes anger like this:
Anger is a contagion. Some of us have been subjected to anger throughout our formative years, or for long periods of time from others. It has created wounds of hurt that result in our own damaging hostilities. Sometimes along with taking it to God for help, one needs healing for the wounds, as well. God once described these to me as unseen bruises and wounds which when other people bumped against created responses all out of proportion to what the other might have expected. They didn't know that was a deeply hurt place. No one could have. Except God. And God is the one able to heal all those bruises. Christ was wounded for those bruises.
Her image of wounds reminds me of how easily it is that we do not recognize that we have emotinal wounds that need healing. Just as our physical wounds need proper treatment and environment to heal, so do our emotional wounds. But, often, we close up the emotional wounds too quickly, and just as if we do so in our physical wounds, these will fester and cause pain and other complications under the surface. Often the complications re-surface in the form of our anger flare-ups.

She goes on to offer a few excellent tips on dealing with anger issues:
And I hope it helps to take care of my rising blood pressure as well! Which allows for a little addendum here. Mild exercise is one way to deal with angry emotions, and while it is not spiritual sounding, it is one thing to try. And getting enough rest isn't a bad idea either.
Another thing to add is to realize that your natural resistance is down when you are tired and hungry as well. This is especially so when you have to deal with children and their demands (or dysfunctional bosses and other adults!). Learn how to keep quiet and not be reactive but practice the peace of God that passes all understanding. (He tells himself).