For the first time in a long time, I got angry on Tuesday.
|"Angry" as in "Throw-the-tantrum-of-a-5-year-old Angry"|
Though I was too angry at the time to actively acknowledge it or do anything about it, I knew that I was the problem with the entire picture. However, I was too angry to accept that my attitude needed to change...and I had to try really hard to soften my hardened heart and calm anger. You see, when I get angry, I simply refuse to stop being angry even though I hate every ounce of my anger. In truth, I had no right to be angry to begin with. It really all started with a series of small, seemingly insignificant events that piled up into one of the worst commute days I've had to date. I did not have a particular person that I was angry at because there were more than a few people that had bothered me in some way throughout the commute. Yet, by the time my sister picked me up from the train station, I was tired, annoyed, hungry (probably a big factor here), and cross...and there was nothing she could do to cheer me up.
I don't like anger. I don't like being angry, even if I have a good reason to be angry. You see, anger is a very sneaky emotion. It leads to bad decisions and, in my case, an unreasonably cruel outlook on life and other people in general. In my case, anger leads to more self-pity than it does empathy. It makes me want to push people out of the way instead of help them. Anger makes me ignore God's call to be a better person and listen to temptation a lot more often than I should. Anger makes me feel sorry for myself and temporarily severs my relationship with God. When I am angry, I am unable to listen to God. I am unable to follow His words...I am unable to love as I am called to love. As a result, I find myself better able to ignore or defy God...and better able to listen to temptation.
When I get as angry as I did this Tuesday, I really have to push myself to stop being angry. I am normally able to do this by finding some sort of distraction...but there is only so much you can do to distract yourself when you're waiting on a street corner for someone to pick you up. Believe me when I say that I had NOTHING to keep me distracted....so I had to find other means to calm down. This past Tuesday, I did something that I never really did in my younger years...that I am trying to do more frequently...I turned to God. However, this past Tuesday I did it wrong.
Turning to God in a moment of anger has, in the past year or so, prevented me from hurting others with my words as well as my fists (which is great because I couldn't fight my way out of a paper bag). I have held my tongue quite a few times in the past few months...and it has prevented me from saying things that would hurt others...things I would eventually regret. It has worked wonders for me in the past year or so and has taught me to be more patient, more loving, and more merciful. This past year, I have sought to overcome my anger for the sake of others rather than my own sake...and, as a result, I have become become a better person. I am not the best person I can be quite yet...but I am better than what I have been.
This Tuesday, however, I turned to God...with the wrong intentions in my heart. I asked God to help me with my anger for selfish reasons...not because I wanted to love my neighbor. Essentially, I made myself out to be a victim in order to make myself out to be some sort of martyr. I wanted pity that I did not deserve. Even worse, I angrily offered my "suffering" at the hands of these "stupid people" to God. Yes, my angry self had the audacity to tell God that these people were stupid...that's how angry I was. I tried to talk it all out with God by explaining my situation from a very selfish, biased viewpoint. My conversation with God was all "ME, ME, ME." Not once did I try to listen to God. Not once did I try to see past my own wants. Not once did I sincerely ask Him for forgiveness. Not once did I sympathize with all those other people I was sore about.
Instead, I found myself simply complaining to God...accusing these other people and blaming all of my problems on them. God understood my heart and He had the wisdom to make me see that I was in the wrong. As a result, my anger did not resolve itself until I saw that I was not the victim I wanted to be. My anger only dissipated after I made the terrible realization that I had been the source of it all...the anger, the crankiness, the unwarranted accusations. The experience was humbling and showed me just how much I have to work on my patience, my humility, my love for my fellow man... my ability to forgive my fellow man...and my ability to forgive myself. I realized this Tuesday, that I can absolutely stink at being the person that God wants me to be.
|Congratulations "Angry Tuesday Barbara" on winning the Catholic Facepalm Award....|