Tag Archives: anger

Fear, Anger, and Dying a Slow Death

angerIt feels wrong to complain. With all the horrific things going on in the world, I am really and truly grateful, way down deep.

But times like this tend to transport me to days in the not so distant past where I was existing on the dregs of yesterday’s coffee and whatever sugary treat I had baked for “the kids”. Juggling three children along with the denial of my pent up anger, my feelings of never-quite-doing-it-all-good-enough, and my fear of the unknown was wreaking havoc on me.  I was exhausted.

Rolling out of bed in the morning was an act of sheer will.

I knew I wasn’t supposed to complain. To rock the boat. My marriage was not ideal, but I said vows, and I didn’t believe in quitting, so tough luck. My middle daughter had special needs that I was continually struggling to understand, but I had suffered the loss of her older brother, so I would suck this up too.

The result was a slow death of who I was because I could not reconcile the pain I endured, building walls around it to try protect myself from further damage.

Desperately afraid of the next wallop that I could not predict or control.

Maybe it would be an accident involving either my oldest or youngest daughter.

Maybe a freak natural disaster, like a tornado, would flatten our house and we’d be left homeless.

Maybe there’d be a fire and I would survive, but barely.

Or an intruder, or a stalker, or a drunk driver, or a wild cat prowling too close to our home, or, or, or…

Fear is debilitating. It sucks the very life out of you, leaving no room for anything else. And it got free reign in my little world because I couldn’t trust that God was good. To me.  You know, beyond sending Jesus to die and give me a ticket to eternity if I wanted it.

As a result, anger was the go-to emotion for years, fueled by my fear of … everything.

What a way to live.

I was completely at a loss as to how to stop the continual anger until I was able to reconcile that fear was at the root of it all. Fear was the reason I was dying a slow, uncomfortable death.

So what now?

Well, interestingly enough, it’s right around this particular time of enlightenment when God began to woo me. Began to teach me that He is good, and that He can bring good out of my pain. I would have preferred no pain at all, but since we were past that point I found myself drawn to know more. And as I drew closer to Him, He came closer to me, just like He promises. He taught me to trust Him in various ways, and spoke to my heart so softly, so firmly, that I slowly learned to live again. To breathe again.

Rediscovering who Sheavaun is has been a bit of an adventure, but I am grateful that I did not remain in a charred heap, never to experience the full life I was promised.

I am not a particularly “special” project for God. It’s not just for me, this change from a slow death to new life. It’s for you too. All it takes is a first step, and the willingness to hear Him, to rant and rave in His presence, and allow Him to persuade your heart to trust Him.

I hope you do.

So on days like today where I feel frustrated with my circumstances, and feel tired of waiting for things to turn around, I know I can lay it all out with this God who loves me and has made an unnecessary effort to convince me that He is trustworthy. And I can rest.

Living life is good.

– love,

Shev

Shameful Little Secrets

embarrassment       Sharp intake of breath. Right hand rubs my forehead, covering my eyes. Barely audible groan. Whoosh of exhaled breath. Stomach in knots.

That’s what happens when something crosses my mind to remind me of an embarrassing moment, a poor judgement call, a foot-in-the-mouth episode, colorful language I let fly without thinking, or anything else I’ve done that now makes me cringe. These moments still take me by surprise, and tend to plunge me into a mud hole of despair. My shameful little secrets grab me by the throat with no intention of letting go.

I shake my head in disbelief as I recall the people I have hurt, or embarrassment I’ve incurred. What brings tears to my eyes is knowing I have besmirched the name of God countless times by my ignorance, my hot temper, bad 1st impression, or a poorly handled situation. For most of my life I have lived under the category heading of  ‘Christian’. I’ve attended church, youth group, camp, mission trips, and even traveled through the U.S. singing in churches about love and blessings. Yet I still behaved poorly. I would be one of those wretched souls who cause someone that does not know God to look and say “no thanks, if that’s what it means to be a Christian, I don’t want it.”

Believing that it was completely up to me to muster up enough love and control to better my life and be a good example, I deemed myself a failure. A lost cause. 1 Corinthians 13 -the famous Love chapter in the Bible – was avoided at all costs lest I be reminded of my lack of fortitude in that area. I did not have enough love, no matter how deep I dug.

I suppose it’s taken slamming to the concrete floor of nothingness and loosening my hold on all that I thought I could control to allow me to discover priceless treasure: I am different. I am unique. And the anger I have kept prisoner for over 20 years, fueled by fear, does not need to remain as my primary staple for survival. Slowly, but oh so surely, I have begun to cock my head in wonder as I listen to the whisperings of love that have been slipping past my defenses. Gently seeping into the hidden places of pain, the musty cellar hiding my insecurities and conclusions that I do not measure up.

The Voice I am learning to recognize, learning to trust, speaks to me of a love that is not based on what I do or have done in the past. It is given freely to me because the Giver is like that. He gives freely. The only requirement is that I accept it. To accept Him as the ultimate giver of love, freedom, peace, and fullness of life. His grace is immeasurable. And as I welcome this grace with jerks and halts and stops, it begins to settle into my bones, filling me with strength.

What baffles me the most in this extraordinary process is that as I release my anger and in turn accept love and adoration from the Giver, I find I don’t react to people or situations negatively like I used to. Sure I slip up once in awhile, but learning that God is bigger  than I am, and loves me for me somehow enables me to respond rather than react.

That love I could not seem to muster up on my own? It bubbles up to the surface and overflows, and it didn’t originate with me. What a beautiful thing.

 

 

You make me so angry!

Do other people drive you nuts sometimes?

Do you hate it when they just won’t quit? When they don’t get it?

angry

When they won’t stop doing the thing you told them not to do? (It’s for their own good, right?)

Yeah, me too. So why are we the ones with the headaches, the ulcers, the high blood pressure, the once-happy-now-irritable temperaments? It’s their fault, not ours, right?

Wrong.

Let me throw this out there: has it occurred to you that the offending individual will most likely continue their behavior whether you badger them or not? Now, I’m not talking about young children that are our responsibility to teach and protect. I mean the spouse, the sibling, the friend, the acquaintance, the parent, the adult child… the ones that you’re allowing to get under your skin. If you just up and quit the reminding, the bailing out, the protecting, the defending, the hounding, the rescuing, I wonder what would happen? I’ll tell you what would happen, you’d be free!

Hear me when I say this: you can’t control them. You may try, but the reality is that you can’t. The individual that is causing you so much angst is responsible for themselves. Period. They make their own decisions whether you are involved or not. You can have influence, yes, but the choices they make are theirs and theirs alone.

The choice you have is whether or not you’re going to die a slow death of suffering by giving them the power to affect your well-being (do you really want to give that power away?), or to own your responses and process your emotions in a thoughtful, freedom-giving manner. You can do that you know. Amazing, but some of us have lived our entire lives without that knowledge. Somehow we have conducted our day to day lives with the belief that our state of mind or ability to have a good day or experience was dependent on how someone else behaves. Nope.

I’m not saying that what they do won’t affect you. I am saying that you have the choice as to how you will respond and what you will do with what they do or say to you. You can let it fester and become bitter, or angry, or hurt and dejected, or you can choose to believe that they don’t have the power to control you. How freeing is that?

Get off the roller-coaster sweet’ums. Take the power back, and take responsibility. You can do it!

Side note:

  • If your good feelings about yourself stem from how someone approves of you, or whether they seem to like you or not;
  • if you can’t seem to be happy unless you are rescuing that person;
  • you don’t really know what your likes or dislikes are anymore, but you do whatever they like;
  • how that person presents themselves in dress and appearance or how they behave is to you a direct reflection on yourself;
  • or the quality of your life is dependent on the quality, values, and opinions of that other person,

I encourage you to consider the fact you may be co-dependent. It’s “a pattern of learned behaviors, feelings, and beliefs that make life painful.” (Sondra Smalley)

A social worker named Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse has defined it as, “all persons who

  1. are in love or in a marriage relationship with an alcoholic (or someone who engages in addictive behaviors. ie: drugs, booze, work, food.)
  2. have one or more alcoholic parents or grandparents, or
  3. grew up in an emotionally repressive family”

According to her, this includes 96% of the population. Whoa. If this rings true for you at all, you’re not alone. I urge you to begin the journey to take your life back, by looking for an Al-anon group in your area and get the support you need. There are many experienced counselors out there too, so please don’t wait. I regularly attend a group in my area, and it has been life-changing. You can click on this link  Al-anon to find one near you.

Take care of yourself.