I came across a statement recently that said ‘being angry is punishing yourself for other people’s mistakes or foolishness’.
I am not sure whether I completely agree with that statement, but it mostly sure makes sense.
I mean I still believe that I can be rightly angry about genocide, or the abuse of others, or other forms of injustice done against others.
However, most acts of anger are often connected with the ego.
They do not respect me.
They ignore me.
They do not appreciate me.
Why do they not dry the dishes?
Why do they leave a mess all over the house?
The list can go on and on.
Of course, first of all we do not suppress the feeling of anger. Suppression is unhealthy, it is a denial of what I truly feel.
However, I can choose how I react to my anger. I may not always be able to control first reactions, but I can make choices of how I continue to react after that.
Habitually putting a balance on my anger can also affect the frequency and length of first reactions.
I do have some choice as to how I react to anger and other emotions and feelings.
Just saying that ‘that is how I am’ is not always a mature or good reaction.
When we inbuild reflection as part of our everyday life we can become more self-aware.
We are not powerless in how we react to situations. We have choice.
Having basic principles to guide me in my choices and coming out of my core beliefs, helps me to react to life with integrity.
The Gospels, the other Scriptures, the teachings of the Church are all good guides forming my core beliefs.
A life of integrity, a Christian way of life, is about acting out of what is right, out of what is most loving.
I am not alone; Christ is my energy and strength.