If you are angry and start to let yourself fully feel the emotion, aren’t you cheating yourself if you have to control it? I’m not saying that you need to start throwing steak knives or punching walls to express yourself, but I think a pillow or shoe will work just as nicely. Just once, I would like to give up my position as a mature adult and be able to act like a three year old in a toy store. I would be able to outwardly express happiness, disappointment (both publically acceptable), and anger all in one trip. When you are three it’s OK to scream at the top of your lungs and turn a deep shade of purple if you are angry. Those were the days.

Fast forward to adulthood and the game changes. We can still laugh at something amusing, as long as it’s not in church, cry when we are sad, and yet when we are angry we are supposed to bottle it up and either accept the cards being dealt to us or calmly and rationally assert ourselves, be respectful of the person we are speaking to, and use our grown up communication skills to control our anger.

I have a delayed reaction problem when it comes to anger. I am usually caught like a deer in headlights when someone makes me angry. I have to process the situation and over-analyze the words and actions and then come to the conclusion on how I feel. “Did she really just say that?”, “Why did he do that to me again?”, etc. Not good when the moment passes and a missed opportunity to put someone in their place is forever gone. It is then that I will seethe inside, maybe even flare my nostrils because now I am mad at myself too!

Maybe putting words on paper that are bottled up inside me will be just as effective as verbally expressing them. An emotion filled letter to someone who has gone just one step too far this time, (or again) could be helpful to me as well in releasing the tension.
1. To my sister-in-law who insults my home and oversteps her boundaries- if you don’t like my house, stay home. Your nastiness won’t be missed!
2. To my kids- we don’t have a maid, we never did have a maid, and we never will have a maid. Accept that and pick up after yourselves!
3. To my siblings- can we all try and work harder to get along better? It’s what Mom would have wanted and she’s not here to yell at us herself!

For the sake of time I have only listed three items. I am getting older and wiser and see things in a different light than when I was younger. I don’t have time in my schedule for BS, phony smiles, insincere compliments, etc. I will try to filter out the unnecessary and fill my day with friends who truly care, family that is true, work that is fulfilling, and shelve the anger for another day.

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