Yesterday in church we had a visiting pastor. He said he feels that anger has consumed much of our time. Anger has become more and more prevalent. We read about it in the papers. We watch news stories about people focusing on the negative and getting angry about it. I get it.
I have wasted time in my life. I have been angry for sure. It's a normal human response. It shouldn't be taken away. It has a purpose. I think it goes back to the survival instincts we have. If something isn't right, or fair, we will occasionally respond with anger. This lights a fire within us to make a change.
The unhealthy type of anger is the kind that consumes our every waking moment. The kind that causes road rage. The kind that causes people to say mean and rude things to others. The not cool kind. This is the kind that makes you see red and act in ways that are inappropriate. It's the kind of anger that gets feelings hurt and people killed.
I have had times of frustration. My plan to clean the house, my plan to meet up with friends and it doesn't go the way I want it to. This is a set up for disappointment. But there are some key factors in what I just said. Here they are..."my plan" and "the way I want it to." I do have control over how I plan things and how I want things to go. It's like working a math equation. If I add the same two numbers over and over the outcome will always be the same. The problem with the I and my statements that I just made is that I didn't factor in any outside influence. Or any other people. So really why would I expect the result to change?
Top this with the fact that behavioral scientists have shown that it takes more effort to be angry than it does to be happy, kind and accepting. I have chosen in life to be the former. I save my energy for being pleasant. For being kind. For helping others.
I hold doors, smiling, I'll let someone with only three items to buy go ahead of me in the grocery store line. These are small things. They are practice. For me. I will still be strong and have my own opinions, but I will see others' perspectives, too. I aspire to be more laid back and calm. So I can carry on. And save my times of frustration and anger when they can be thought out and used to make a positive change.
So along with simplifying my life, I have made a conscious decision to try to always be calm and well intentioned. It's something I can control. It is good for my health. And for those around me. It's just easier to be sweet.