Did you know that anger is a secondary emotion? There is always something behind the anger. I think about this a lot when I see people get angry. I wonder what they are dealing with to cause the anger. I must admit though I tend to forget it when it is me getting angry.
I used to think anger was not an ok emotion to have, but it is really what you do with it that matters. Even Jesus got angry justifiably when people were using the temple to further their own agendas.
Two days ago, (I am writing this in October) I was super angry. I had a conversation with someone who asked if I was related to “name”. They mentioned someone in my family that was one of my abusers. I was taken completely off guard, but it was after the phone call that I got angry.
I had places to be and people to see so to speak so I didn’t deal with the trigger of that person’s name. Then, in my counseling session yesterday, my counselor asked if I knew why I was so tired and not feeling well. After a bit of thinking I realized it was from that trigger the day before.
I then had to take time to write about how it made me feel. I was angry. Justifiably, but angry. I was angry the abuse happened. Angry I am spending time dealing with it now. Angry I MUST take time to deal with it now or I can’t handle life. Angry, and Angry and Angry….
As I talked with my counselor, he told me to imagine a pile of bricks that had to be moved. There was not choice in the matter, just they must be moved. I can stand over those bricks and complain, and get angry that I must move them, or I can just move them.
The same is similar with trauma or whatever is making you angry. For me it was sadness, grief, loss, and what ifs. I had to recognize those feelings and allow them and then begin to change my negative thought patterns that had started.
How ironic this was as I had just been telling the kiddos I work with to use more positive statements and not the negative. I had to laugh at how God used that for me too. He does have a sense of humor.
Is God okay with my anger? Yes. Is He okay with me staying in that anger and not doing anything to further my healing and move the “bricks” in front of me? No, He wants what is best for me and that is freedom and healing. I can’t have those if I stay stuck in the anger. Once I allow the anger and the feelings behind it, then I have more energy to move those bricks.
I have more energy to do all God has called me to do right now. Otherwise, I am wasting that energy on staying stuck in the anger.
I get there is anger when you have endured trauma. I had to work through a lot of anger and the emotions behind it to get here today and as you see, it’s still a struggle. That took time – years – of processing trauma and learning to handle and deal with those emotions. It’s okay to be angry, but it’s not okay to act on it and sin against you or someone else or stay stuck in it.
When we do that, we are not able to fulfill what God has called us to. He wants to take evil and turn it into good – and He will – I can promise you that. (Romans 8:28)
Allow God to help you with your anger today. Only you know what that will look like. Talking to a friend or counselor or writing out your feelings. However you do it, I encourage you to deal with it so you can continue this journey of healing.
Check out this great article on healing and setting down the bricks of trauma by Dr. John Delony.
© 2021 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.