It can separate us from our better judgement, from each other and from God. In my early life, I was not allowed to express anger about much of anything. So I didn’t understand how to express myself and my frustrations in a healthy way. When my anger did come boiling out, it was ugly. As a consequence, I would suppress my anger out of fear.
People that know me now believe that I don’t really get angry. That I am not an angry person. However, I do struggle with anger. In my recovery, I have found that when I don’t express my anger appropriately, it turns into resentment. Yet another line on my 4th step inventory. And it clutters my heart with unnecessary nonsense that I could have easily dealt with in the moment if I had been thinking things through. I now have several filters that my anger passes through, to help me deal.
One, is this just a momentary frustration with something I can’t do anything about? Then lift it to God, now. No, don’t wait. Now. Next, is this a relationship issue? Is someone acting in a way that is dishonoring to me or to others? Do I have an action-item I can move on that is appropriate or do I need to work it out with my accountability folks that may include a healthy dose of self-examination? Make a plan and get going. Again, don’t wait.
Or, is this an issue that has involved an injury to my pride? Have I inadvertently caused something to happen and now there is a problem that I must take a hit on? Is this causing upset and anger? Well, best thing here is to step back and examine myself. An old recovery friend would say “ya better check yourself before you wreck yourself”. Is there validity of any sort? Do I owe amends to anyone? Do I need to talk it out with my sponsor or accountability partner?
In all these instances, the risk for non-action or just seething, is significant. If I refuse to address my anger, I have now placed my hurt feelings above my recovery and my relationship with God and other people. This will lead me toward the cliff of relapse. The longer I let it go, the harder my heart gets and the more comfortable my anger becomes. Pretty soon, I’m snapping at people for no reason, and anger has me with arms crossed, believing the world owes me an apology.
God’s word says “Be angry and do not sin;” EPH 4:26 so yeah, we get angry. But it’s where we go with it and how it’s expressed and dealt with that matters. Let’s not allow anger to trip us up.
Much Love. ❤