Anger: A How To

Anger has perplexed me in my now-loving Jesus days. Tiffany the ticking time bomb became explosively angry. When I started faithfully following Jesus, I was filled with such love I thought I would never be angry again. How could I with such warm-fuzzy feelings from my father in heaven? Adios, Anger! It’s been real. It’s been fun, but it hasn’t been really fun. He obviously removed my anger and replaced it with awesomeness. Or so I thought. But after people asking me deep questions on how I express anger nowadays, I came to the conclusion I am afraid to be angry. PETRIFIED. I have my “No trespassing. That means you, Anger” sign on display. I never want to act like the old Tiffany, so I learned it’s better to suppress or be passive aggressive in anger instead of potentially becoming an aggressive anger avalanche again. So, I went from one end of the spectrum to the other. For a while I ignored my anger, but then I ended up in a group that convinced me it was in my best interest to acknowledge and feel ALL the feelings, but of course not allow them to be the boss of me. I mean we even had a list to look at it. It was kind of like going to Home Depot and learning for the first time there’s a lot more colors on the color wheel than I learned in art class. I had no idea all these feelings existed! Feeling my own feelings is absurd! Okay. Absurd. I will cry for someone else. I will laugh for someone else. I will even get angry for someone else. But feel my OWN feelings? That’s too personal. Even for me. The queen of authenticity.

Anyway, anger dropped on me like an anvil on Wile E. Coyote a few weeks ago. It just fell from the beautiful blue sky without warning. It reminded me of this time when I was in elementary school and a fly ball hit me in the back knocking the wind out of me.  The not-so-accurate pitcher ran over to me to apologize and simultaneously asked me to marry him. Every part of that story is completely unexpected like this particular Sunday was.

I just got back from enjoying reading in my hammock and WHAM I’m on the bathroom floor, curled up in the fetal position, crying incessantly while my dog licked the salty sadness that had slid down my chin to my shins.  If you blinked you might have missed what I just said. That’s how sudden the onslaught of emotions overrode my serene day. I was like, “Okay Tiffany. You are going to ride this roller coaster of raging tears. You are not going to eject and snap yourself out of it like you always do in your weird Stepford wife way.” I rode that wave of emotion like a seasoned surfer. The moment I thought I was done with the sobbing and the shouting at God, here came another wave to ride and I just allowed it to flow freely. I even kicked a dog toy. That sucker went at least two feet. I grabbed my pillow and whacked against my bed. FEEL THE FURY, Tiffany. FEEL IT!  The best part, or maybe the worse part? I was angry at such trivial things, but God was at work. I don’t remember what triggered my thoughts, but I started thinking about how the things I’ve given my heart to have been taken from me. I know what you are thinking and no it’s not men. But twice something I loved has been taken from me. For a brief moment I was angry at these people that played a part and then the verse about how satan comes to steal, kill and destroy came to my mind. That immediately transferred my anger from these people to smack dab on satan. YOU SUCK, Satan. I don’t know if that’s okay to say, but sometimes the christiany words feel like cotton in my mouth when I try to say them. This experience taught me I rather be a hot mess before God letting loose than a buttoned up tense person. I love reading the Psalms because sometimes David is like, “God you lead me by still waters” and flip a couple of pages and he is all like, “Where are you, God?! Why is my soul in ANGUISH.” Some people don’t believe the scriptures are real. But I know they are real because I would only show my good glorious parts if I were writing something that could potentially live on, ya know, FOREVER. No big deal.  I would edit out the bad parts that paint me as a sucky person. I mean it’s human nature to hid our hideousness. So to read the scripture and see the ugly is on display and I can take a look and see my ugly parts that match someone else’s ugly parts I’m all like “THIS IS REAL, Y’ALL! God’s breath is all over this!”

Back to anger. It’s an animal. But it’s possible to tame it with God’s help. I was so proud of myself to actually allow myself to be angry. I mean I felt exactly like Princess Giselle in Enchanted when she is thrilled and shocked that’s she’s actually angry. Afterwards, I was able to move forward feeling lighter and not holding onto that anger. Oh, but this is supposed to be a How To article.

How to be angry:
1. Feel ALL the feelings.
2. Don’t hurt yourself or anybody else.
3. Maybe kick a ball around or squeeze a stress ball or something.
4. Get excited that you are expressing healthy anger. It does exist.
5. Get mad at the Devil instead of a person.
6. Thank God for giving you feelings and ask him to help you move forward now in peace, forgiveness, love whatever it is you want to replace the anger with. I like to take a page out of Cal’s book from Talledega Nights, “You’ve gotta cross over anger bridge and come back to the friendship shore.”
7. Take a picture of your post anger face. It’s just as beautiful as a smile and tells its own story.
8. Pat yourself on the back and relax. Feeling feelings is EXHAUSTING.

Anger you are not the boss of me, but I respect you. Thanks for playing nice this time. The end.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.