I'm endeavoring to learn about anger, specifically my own anger. It's come to my attention that I have anger that I don't deal with, at least, I don't deal with it correctly. I know, some of you may say, 'Well, who's to say what 'correctly' is?'
I'm curious - how many of you who will read this have ever seen me angry? How many would say they've ever seen me go into a rage? How many would say I can become abusive?
Getting to the root of anger is a whole different trail, but one I will follow. But last night I was thinking about the effects of anger - especially on those we take our anger out on.
I see others get angry, but I haven't always associated what I feel about their expressions of anger -with me, and how I've expressed my anger.
I've watched and listened as parents scream and threaten and even cuss at their children.
I've watched as parent's 'punished' their children unfairly.
I've watched fair spankings, and spankings or just plain hitting, that weren't even spankings.
I've never seen a parent draw blood or throw a child across a room or leave a child unconscious, thank God.
But when the parent was venting their frustrations and anger, instead of justly and fairly dishing out an appropriate punishment, it was still rage and abuse.
I've felt the blood run to my face and my heart race within me, wanting to defend the child. ...I've felt shame and wondered why I didn't intervene.... Wasn't it just as cruel of me not to at least speak up? If I said nothing, did the parent think I found their behavior acceptable? Did the child think I was on the 'side' of the one inflicting their pain if I stood by and did nothing, or looked the other way? Who's side WAS I on?
How could I NOT stand up for the innocent!?!
Was I too embarrassed? Was I afraid of the parent? Was it simply 'not my place'?
Could it possibly be because I could identify with the anger the parent was expressing? Not finding it acceptable, but understanding it.
If I could go back in time and watch reruns of our lives two decades or so ago, would I approve of the parent I was and how I vented my anger? Or would I be disgraced at my own outrages? Was I a cruel mother when I was angry? Was I verbally or physically abusive when I let anger get the best of me?
True, the parent's anger most likely was not even caused by the child, the child is simply the one there to feel the outburst and onslaught of screaming, threatening, cussing or hitting.
What do we do about it? If we do this to our own children, what will THEY do to theirs? Will it become a learned behavior? Will it be passed onto them without them even realizing it?
Is it acceptable to the person in the rage? Do they justify it in their own minds?
They say 'hurting people, hurt people'.
It's past time to step up to the plate and break the cycles of abuse. It's past time to deal with the rage and the anger. It's past time to get rid of the anger that's found it's way into our own hearts and minds. It's time for healing.
Jesus is the Healer.