(If you are in a physically abusive relationship you should seek safe refuge and assistance.)
Often times in relationships people loose their cool and get upset, they get angry. There is a difference between being righteously angry and having unjustified anger. But, before we dig into the rage that sometimes controls us, we need to understand that we are human and we have been wired with emotions. We all have feelings and we are going to have emotional responses to a wide variety of issues, both negative and positive. These reactions to our current circumstances, for instance, may provoke anger, stimulate passion, overwhelm us, or raise our spirits. Regardless of the emotions, we need to make efforts to be wise and to be in control of ourselves, (self control).
How do we do that? Controlling anger begins by becoming informed about anger and what it’s source is, so we can realize it’s position within us when we are angry. However, we need to first understand that emotions are not good at thinking for us. The best place for our thought processes to occur is in our brains, the brain is far better equipped to rationalize than our emotions are. Our emotions are actually quite poor at doing any kind of intelligent reasoning. If we use our brains, instead of allowing emotional responses to dictate our choices, we will be far better off when making any significant decisions. We all have brains, let’s use them!
Now we need to recognize and understand that the information we store up in our brains is going to be what we access at any given time. If we do not seek out wisdom, for the purposes of gaining understanding, we are not going to be prepared to respond adequately to the situations we are faced with. Consider your computer, it stores up much data and information, it then accesses that information on a needed basis. However, if it does not have the correct information, it will have difficulty processing the requested data. You might need to consider the things that you are storing in your database for future access. If the knowledge that you are gathering is corrupt, it’s going to be of no use to you. Think about that while you are watching television, about the content of the books you are reading, and then consider seeking out sound context to collect for your knowledge reservoir.
Let us now focus in on anger and hopefully gather some information that we will access when we need it. This should help us to analyze our own anger and the angry responses of others. Anger is a secondary emotion, it’s not the primary emotion. We get angry due to our hurts, frustrations, and or our fears. We become encompassed by our own pain bondage. So we need to deal with our anger by understanding that anger requires a response. Our response, or our choice is either pain or peace. If we stuff our anger, it implodes down and festers like a volcano preparing to erupt. You ever wonder why it appears that some people are never going to be nice? It may be because they are carrying previous fears, hurts, and frustrations with them like luggage sacks. There are those who are stuck in their own stuckness. There is hope though, the pain at the core is the place where the healing arrives.
Our solution to our anger is to first reflect on it, instead of allowing it to control us, we reflect instead of react. For this we shall be required to use our brains. If you have been paying attention, you know that anger is a secondary emotion to our hurts, frustrations, and fears and that information should now be stored in your brains database. So we do not deny our anger, we delay it. We stop and cool down and consider what is the true source of our anger. Are we frustrated? Are we hurt? Or are we afraid? What feeling has caused this reaction within us? We need to define why we are angry, what is beneath the surface? With this procedure we can begin to defuse our anger, we are now in the process of controlling our emotions. Hey, we got some self control going on, and we can now begin to dance because we have overcome that which was previously overcoming us! This brings us to the final stage of dealing with our emotional responses, we need to let it go. We need to be free of that emotional stuckness, who wants to be in a self imposed prison?
Time to let it go! If you feel that someone else has caused you the frustration or the hurt, you need to accept the fact that nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. In order to LOVE you need to be able to forgive others, forgiveness is a prerequisite to love. Besides at this point, it’s not the other person carrying the pain around, it is you. It’s your pain, you are it’s owner. Forgiveness will set you free of your own luggage. How do you really know when you have forgiven? You have forgiven when you are no longer talking about the thing or person that you feel caused you the pain.
That leaves us with fear, we are all human and we all have had unhealthy fear experiences in our lives. Those fears have adhered themselves at a level below our conscious awareness. Initially, rather than allowing the fear to take control of you, feel the fear and let it pass through. Repeat this for future brain access, feel the fear and let it pass through. In fear you will have the feeling of apprehension, increased heart rate, and then the behavioral response to fear, which is usually fight or flight. Disconnect the components of fear, resist the behavioral response to fear. Don’t let it rule you, let it pass through you. Allowing fear to take root inside you may allow doubt, worry, anxiety, stress, confusion, and even depression to set up camp within you. Avoid allowing those things to take up residence in your head or in your heart. Learn to let your negative emotions take you where you want to go, not where they want to take you. Persistence plus fear equals courage. Process your pain in a method that will work for you.
There is no fear in love (dread does not exist) but full-grown (complete) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and (so) he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love (is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection). —1 John 4:18
Patience is better than strength. Controlling your temper is better than capturing a city. —Proverbs 16:32
Use your head, control your emotions, do not allow your emotions to control you.