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I used to blow up over little things. I had a short fuse and was known to overreact. Back then, you might think I was a kind, funny and considerate person, especially if we just met. But people who knew me well painted a very different picture of me. Oh, I didn't explode over just anything in any setting. But certain people could set me off. Unexpected interruptions could set me off. I had a chip on my shoulder, and I didn't even fully know it.
I didn't realize how much resentment had built up over time.
Why were there such different "sides" of me? In the New Testament of the Bible, James, Chapter 1, talks about a double-minded man. To be double-minded is to attempt to live two lives at one time. James also says the double-minded man is unstable in all he does. One side (life) of me wanted to have healthy relationships and try to do better, while the other side (life) of me was mad as hell, didn't care and had given up on having healthy relationships. Like most people, I didn't realize how much resentment had built, over time. Nor did I realize the extent of my emotional exhaustion.
What caused my anger?
Every day we deal with situations that produce the normal God-given emotion of anger. Those situations include: When goals are blocked; When we experience injustice; When we feel threatened; When we feel guilty; When others do not honor our morals and values.
So, the question is not: "Will we experience situations that produce anger?" But rather; "How will we process the anger?"
I hated being angry, but didn't know how to not be angry! My problem with anger had several components: 1. I did not have the knowledge and skills to process anger properly; 2. Because I did not know how to process my anger properly, I never got closure. I only attempted containment, sometimes. 3. Forgiving anyone wasn't an option. 4. I did not ask God for help.
In another blog I'll explore the 5 options we have in processing anger.