Befriending Anger and Goodness
During times of crisis, our stress and anxiety levels may increase. So many uncertain variables and scenarios may run through our minds and hearts. I have heard people struggling with finances, marriage, substance abuse, or pandemic fatigue.
One thing is for certain: stress and anxiety are uncomfortable and real dynamics we have to face.
For some personality types, anger is the primary reaction to their stress and anxiety. This is manifested in constant criticism of others or low level irritation with what seems like everything. They can find the negative, broken aspect of something. Just give them a moment in a room and they’ll point out everything that is wrong.
Yet this reaction, if not tempered with wisdom and patience, can cripple the person’s decision making processes and relationships. The stress and anxiety the person is feeling triggers episodes of anger, which then gets transmitted to those around them, especially loved ones.
While feeling anger isn’t wrong (it is actually trying to point to a deeper reality and need), allowing ourselves to become hostile and resentful will end up causing more stress and anxiety.
For those that struggle with anger, one critical inner voice message they may be hearing is, “you have to fix this…if you were only (_______________), you could fix this”. For this person, they shoulder the weight of responsibility for what isn’t working. They internalize their need to have order and control. It’s a way to self-protect and avoid pain and suffering. They criticize others because they have such a high standard for themselves!
If you find yourself more angry and irritable these days, take heart. You’re not alone. The anger is trying to tell you that you’re stressed and anxious. Turn anxiety into action. Be gracious to yourself and find the goodness in yourself and those around you. Find the goodness in your circumstances and let it remind you that there is wholeness and beauty within and around you.