I was brought up in a home where anger was the abiding language. This left my mother, me and my two siblings scared and scarred. The ghosts of that time still slither around my mind and sometimes affect the way I deal with things.
My stepfather’s inner journey could only have been one of pain and suffering. I know that he had lots of reasons to be angry, and today I am able to empathise with what he was going through.
As a child, not so much. Empathy towards him was not a word that was in my lexicon. Fear, shame, guilt and anger were on my playing field.
Look What You Made Me Do
I still recall the words he used after an episode: “Now look what you’ve made me do.”
Those words imply that one is blaming outside circumstances for one’s behaviour.
By now, you already know that if you blame outside circumstances, you go straight into the victim zone. It means that you don’t have control and mastery over yourself and that you react based on a programme within you.
I used to get angry at situations that I thought caused me discomfort. My hair trigger temper sent out daggers of devastating words that destroyed all in their path.
The daggers came back as Cortisol and made me feel defeated, drained, anxious, guilty, and ashamed.
I quickly learned that anger was not helpful; I lost friends and myself.
At a practical level, anger is a useless emotion. Let’s say that your geyser bursts and messes up your home, and you lose the plot. There’s no point in getting angry because all it’s doing is making you ill. If people are watching you, it makes you appear as an ill-tempered, undisciplined brat who cannot control your emotions. It weakens you. And, after anger, the problem still remains. You still have to sort out the burst geyser. If I were channelling Yoda, I’d say something like, “After anger, problem still.”
Become aware that every time you get angry you are blaming an external situation for your woes. If you do that, you lose your power and become a victim of circumstance.
You and I are not ill-mannered children that react unconsciously; we’re adults with a level of maturity to be able to respond consciously and courteously. Let’s choose that because “After anger, problem still.”