Anger-What to do?

imageAnger-what to do? This is something I struggle with personally. When I get angry or see anger, I immediately want to make it go away. I don’t necessarily want to fix it. I just want it to stop. For others anger entices them to jump into battle and defend to the end their position. Others of us stuff the anger.  Oh, it shows in our eyes and body language, but we work really hard to stuff it down.

Anger-What to do? The truth is we don’t know what to do with our anger. Anger brings up fear and anxiety within me. I fear relationships being permanently damaged or broken. Harriet Lerner in her book, The Dance of Anger, tells us that anger is worth listening to (2005). It is a message that warns us that we are being hurt, something is wrong or not right and it can be a signal that we are doing more than we are comfortable with. Anger is a warning signal we need to acknowledge without running away, stuffing it down or engaging in battle.

What to do? 5 Steps:

  1. Speak up around important issues.
  2. Let yourself cool down and think through options.
  3. Try to see other perspectives.
  4. Do avoid speaking through a third-party.
  5. Compassion: Forgive, forgive, forgive.

In Isaiah, God talks about being angry. It says He left us but only for a moment. Commentaries agree that brief is so brief that we wouldn’t recognize His absence. He comes back with enormous compassion to care for us.

7-8 Your Redeemer God says:
“I left you, but only for a moment.
Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back.
In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you—
but only for a moment.
It’s with lasting love
that I’m tenderly caring for you. (Isaiah 54: 7-8 MSG).

Compassion and forgiveness are the most important along with the hardest of the five steps. As soon as I start to look at a situation with compassion, the entire dynamic changes. I begin to see more clearly others perspectives. I begin to see solutions rather than problems. My anger dissipates to peace which opens the door for resolution.

Anger-What to do? We start by acknowledging it and move towards compassion. It’s not easy. It takes intention. It won’t happen on its own. It takes practice and then more practice. It will get easier.

Will  you join me in practicing? Will you listen to your internal signals and try responding differently? Will you practice compassion? Share y our experiences here and we can encourage each other.

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