What do you do with the mad you feel?

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WHEN is my anger worse or better?The “when?” question is hard to quantify because my anger catches me off-guard. I can feel upset at myself for acting out: taking unusual risks, being cynical, wishing life was over, or smashing china! I can feel utterly inconsolable and out of control. On the flipside, anger is easier to express with others who understand — without need for explanation (like a grief support group).

HOW is anger affecting me? I am aware that collateral damage occurs when anger is controlling me. If I allow it, anger can destroy me and my relationships, making me miserable as well as those around me.

WHAT can I do with my anger? It’s an emotional hurricane! I wish I could say that I have all the answers. I know there are two extremes: suppressing the emotion with politeness or going ballistic and leaving a nuclear fallout zone behind. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.

WHAT are healthy outlets? We need someone safe with whom to talk. Fred Rogers aptly stated, “if it is mentionable, it is manageable.”

Fred acknowledged his own anger, loudly pounding his piano in a minor key, or swimming as fast as he could. His close friends knew of his battle with anger, and they didn’t think anything less of him for it. He was human! Fred’s soft spot for others who struggled this way was so evident. Thank you, Mr. Rogers!

One practical idea is to find little ways to inform our moods daily. Jason has set a morning alarm ringtone to play Mr. Rogers’ song, “Today is a Very Special Day.” What creative ideas might help you keep anger from dominating your mood?

Bringing it full circle, I now understand that we don’t need someone to “fix” our anger. Rather, we need someone to companion with us in the anger, someone who listens and challenges us. I value companioning with people. As a Jesus-follower, I’m finding when I allow myself to really feel what I’m feeling, I discover a deeper companioning with God.

Check out www.evanjordan.ca for an upcoming companion article and to see previous articles.

See you again on Sept. 26!

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