Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another Bad Emotion

I spoke of hatred a few days ago. Now I wish to discuss another serious negative emotion that can have horrid consequences.

Anger.

Anger is built into us to help us serve a purpose and it is very useful when used properly. At its simplist it's an adrenaline rush that allows us to deal with a difficult situation and is very similar to fear. It should work like this: A situation causes us to get angry, we get angry, we deal with it, we get over the anger.

Or as the Apostle Paul said Get angry but do not sin and do not let the sun go down on your anger. (Ephesians 4: 26) or to paraphrase it If something is wrong and anger is appropriate do so, but don't do something stupid or wrong and then get over it.

When we don't get over it, it grows and grows until it consumes your entire soul. Even justified anger, if it is allowed to fester, can spiritually destroy you. That's part of the reason forgiveness is so important. We do not forgive only for their sake, but for our own as well, for it puts the wrong-doing completely behind us. When we truly forgive we let go of the anger.

I used to work with a woman who died of cancer a few years ago. No one in the plant liked her (including, I am sorry to say, me). She was always angry and bitter about everything. She was the end result of what happens when you allow your anger to control you until in the end it defines you.

I know another guy who used to be quite likable until Bush won in 2000 and he got the worst case of Bush Derangement Syndrome that I personally know of. His son told a friend of mine that he got a flat tire and blamed it on Bush being in the White House. Being angry at one point, rightly or wrongly, at one point was quite understandable, but he held on to his anger and let it grow and grow until it has now consumed him. His anger has poisoned every word and every thought.

Anger, justified or not, if it is allowed to grow will consume your soul until there is nothing that it does not effect.

How do you let anger go, especially when you feel you were genuinely wronged? It's not easy but it can be done.

I had to do it years ago.

6 Comments:

Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Well, anger is just another human emotion that we have to learn to deal with and control. BDS is another story. How do we define it? Is it the same as Bush-hatred?

12:17 AM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...

A lot of years ago I decided that anger was a pretty dangerous emotion - to my health. I was smoking over a couple of packs a day and was at the point I was going to quit - but that presented a problem. Smoking was my crutch in a high stress job - when I needed to stop and relax for a minute before I blew up, I'd light a cigarette. Or load, tamp and light my pipe. Or - for a long break - pull out a stogie.
The day I light a cigarette and put it in the ashtray, to find that I already had 3 going, was the day I quit.
I avoided bars and places where smoking was prevalent.
I changed my routine to try and limit the times I would have unconsciously grabbed a smoke.
I made a HUGE conscious effort to understand my reactions to stressful situations. I came to realize that, many times, I used anger to AVOID additional stress - and I therefore needed to find a better mechanism.
That mechanism was to eliminate stress.
Or, at least, my negative reaction to potentially stressful situations.
I realized that I could do nothing about the big bad world and the fact that the commies might drop a bomb at 6:06PM, or that Pierre Trudeau would continue to destroy Canada. So why stress over something so far out of your control.
And then I realized that the little things that were causing me stress were truly little things. I'd survived major onstacles and changes ... why little niggly stuff get my goat.
So, for the past 30 years, stress has been somewhat puzzling to me ... stress ijn other people, discussions of stress in general, etc. It's something I really don't feel.
That stressful job I had back in '76 when I quit smoking ... well, LOL, this one is an order of magnitude more stressful. At least to others. Me, I go home and don't think about the job again until I badge in the next morning.

The one thing that gets my wife's goat (like most women seem to, she holds anger in and nurtures it until it is the 1400 pound gorilla) is my vocalization while driving. I "talk to" the idiots around me, telling them what fools they are, how pitiful their driving skills are, etc. This serves to "vent" the steam before it builds any pressure at all.
Anger is only "bad" if you let it rule you ... as with the example of the ladt SR mentioned. Personally, we allow anger to be an excuse nowadays - and that isn't good.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

When we don't get over it, it grows and grows until it consumes your entire soul. Even justified anger, if it is allowed to fester, can spiritually destroy you. That's part of the reason forgiveness is so important. We do not forgive only for their sake, but for our own as well, for it puts the wrong-doing completely behind us. When we truly forgive we let go of the anger.

Well put, Shoprat.

I think forgiveness is one element our society proudly ignores, and that is (one reason) there is so much hatred.

If you look at a guy like the Apostle Paul, he had every "right" to hate lots of different people, as listed in 2 Corinthians 11... 5 times he received 39 lashes, 3 times beaten with rods, 1 time stoned, 3 times shipwrecked... imprisoned several times, on the run for his life several times...

Yet Paul readily forgave, and it not only helped him spiritually, it also yielded a lot of fruit (such as the Philippian jailer and his family).

3:19 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I had to get over it years ago too, Shoprat. It's either get over it or it backfires on you. What I'm having a hard time with now is Pelosi and Reid. They are making me very angry indeed! I heard on Fox News today that they scrubbed the John Doe Protection Amendment and I can't think of many things more stupid than that! GRRRR! But unlike that poor soul with BDS, I'll not let it get the best of me.

An aside to Pete in Midland, please don't steriotype women. We aren't all alike. I do not hide my anger until it builds up. I learned long ago that it would only eat me from the inside out. When something really ticks me off I verbalize it. If it's a really bad offense I'll blow up immediately, but then it's over. I'm quick to anger when justified, and even more quick to cool off. But then you may be right after all. Many people say I think more like a man than I do most women. I don't think so. I think we're all just individuals.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

You're right about the pros and cons of anger. If we ask God to help us defeat this problem, He will!

12:48 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

dd I think BDS is more properly a Political Derangement Syndrome that transcends party affiliation and candidates. While I despise Hillary's politics and beliefs I must force myself to remember there is a redeemable soul inside that person.

Pete Sometimes venting helps and sometimes it makes it worse. I'm not sure how that works.

jay Paul was probably the 2nd wisest man in history, behind only Jesus Himself.

Gayle As much as I dislike the positions of the Democratic Party (especially on cultural and defense issues), you've got to keep it impersonal otherwise you let it consume you.

bob Amen.

4:26 PM  

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