Thursday, February 2, 2012

Healthy Anger


In your anger , do not sin. When you are on your beds search your hearts and be silent.

When you lie to each other you end up lying to yourself. Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry - but don't use your anger as a fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry.

Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do.

Psalms 4:4,   Ephesians  4:25b & 26a,  Romans 12:18   The Message paraphrase of the Bible



What does healthy anger look like for anyone, but especially an adult child of divorce?

Last post I shared some of my extreme responses such as holding it in and not talking about it and the opposite of expressing it in violent words and actions.  The mime in the photo does a good job of showing us the ways NOT to deal with anger.  Today I want to share about the place anger has and how it can be expressed in a healthy manner.

1.  BE HONEST and ADMIT your anger.    

One of the people who graciously counseled me asked me " What place does anger play in your working through this?"    I was challenged to see anger as an emotion which can cause us to decide what is right and true and stand for that as we see injustice. It can help us clarify our boundaries and how we allow people to treat us.   I was counseled to consider the grace I extend to those who have hurt me , or angered me,  can be in proportion to their taking responsibility for actions and their repentance.  I am still thinking through this all the time,  but the main point here is be honest , admit anger and don't keep it inside!! Talk about it with trusted people.

2. DEFINE what is really making you angry and DECIDE what is your responsibility.

It is important to determine the source of our anger.  That helps us decide how to respond to people in our lives.  It helps to make more clear what is our role  and our responsibility and what isn't.   In the lives of adult children whose parents are divorcing,  the parent - child roles can be reversed.  Children , no matter how old they are, will benefit from narrowing down the source of their anger ( maybe it is being lied to by a parent,  maybe it is the betrayal that is felt,   maybe it is the use of manipulation by one parent or both). 

Deciding what you will do and won't do helps too.  You may decide you will not deliver messages between parents when asked.  You may decide you can listen just so much to a parent and then you need to encourage them to call a friend or a counselor for themselves.
Define and Decide your positions moving ahead.

3.  DEAL directly with the person you are angry with.

When we are angry with someone, it is easy and comforting to bring another person who is not involved, into our experience.    That may help ease the feelings and generate a sense that someone else is "on your side", but it truly doesnt' solve anything.  The best thing to do is to deal with the person who is causing the anger in you.  HOW you do this is tricky and often a trained counselor is needed to figure this out. 

4.  WAIT,  THINK,  BREATHE

Anger causes a quick response and action usually,  so take time before you do anything.
It can be as simple as saying " I will need to call you back tomorrow. I need time to think about what you have said".   OR     take a few days before responding to an email.  OR if in person, simply stop, breathe and count to ten before you answer.  Don't stay silent or wait too long,  but you know you are ready when you can respond with respect for the other person as a human being, if nothing else.

5.  GET IT OUT!

Release your physical, mental, spiritual, emotional tensions.  For me,  this meant walking, walking and more walking.   It meant praying and praying and asking others to pray for me and with me when it was too hard to do so myself.   It meant beginning to read novels ( I had always read non-fiction in the past), thanks to a friend who sensed that I needed to lighten up and gave me a novel to borrow.  I took a pottery class , which was something I always wanted to do.  It was something I looked forward to going to , got me thinking about other things and  I could use my creativity in a new way. 

 These are just Five Tips for ACODS toward healthy anger .   Maybe one will benefit you as you move toward healing in the stage of grief that is anger.

IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED ANY GOOD WAYS TO HANDLE YOUR ANGER, PLEASE SHARE THINGS THAT HELPED YOU ..... CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!


( My next post will be "On A Lighter Note" , with a drawing in "paint" done by , yours truly..... you won't want to miss my artistic abilities....ha ha)







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Topics

JANUARY TOPICS : Help and Hope
Grief
Bonds Unravel
Pain
Anger

FEBRUARY TOPICS: Anger
Counseling
Bargaining
Triangles
Honesty
Depression
Waiting
Boundaries

MARCH TOPICS: Accepting Change
Forgiving Parents
Time For Serenity
Things/Objects of Meaning
House
Rings

APRIL TOPICS: Postcard
Holidays
Recipe
Photo Album
Pathway

JUNE/JULY : Reflecting and Writing Again

AUGUST:
Acods and Listening
Acods and Materialism
Acods and Identity

SEPTEMBER:
Serenity Prayer Worksheet
ACODs and Simplicity
A New Look to the Blog!!
Serenity Prayer Extended Version/Worksheet
Simplicity
Why do we Blog???

NOV/DEC:
ACOD Serenity Prayer
ACOD Fathers and Mothers
Things Still Aren't Right This Christmas

Grandchildren of Divorce
ACODs and Affairs
Keep Going
ACOD Forward and Back
Lord' Prayer ACOD version
Ripple Effect
Grief Revisited
Too Many Choices
ACOD Times To Remember
Telling the Truth
Behind the Curtain

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