I don't know about you but my anger makes me uncomfortable. How do you get angry without it being a problem? Is it possible to be angry without destroying people? Is being angry ever right?
When Jack and Maddie dropped the mattress, I was in disbelief, in shock and terrified all at the same time. I was angry and I felt justified to be angry. But why didn't it feel that way? Why does it always seem to go in one ear and out the other? Why does it seem to be completely useless to get angry? It just seems to scare my children and it isn't helpful to change their behaviour? So what is the point? Obviously there are better ways!
Over the past four years, life has been so stressful, so full of sleep deprivation, so full of work and so little play. Life has been so full of things that I didn't think I would ever have to deal with. I feel like I have been more angry than almost any other emotion. So why have I been so angry? I have asked myself that question over and over again in the last few years and I haven't stumbled upon many answers until now. It gets tiring making excuses all the time for myself. It has been a great deal of embarrassment and certainly not something that I have wanted to discuss with too many people.
Have I told you about this awesome book club that I have been a part of? It has been one of the best things I could have done for myself. I have been so fortunate to have the shift work which has allowed me to attend all of the Wednesday mornings the book club has been running.
Well, the one chapter of the book "The Gifts of Imperfection" was about cultivating calm and stillness. So what did we talk about? We talked about the opposite of calm...anger. The interesting thing about the chapter was that anger was the last thing on my mind prior to attending book club. Maybe I just don't know anything. Maybe I should know more about anger. Maybe you know way more than I do.
Well, let me tell you a little bit about what I have learned....anger is a survival tool, it's a response to pain, it's a source of energy, but my aha moment was to find out that it was a secondary emotion. We always feel something before we feel angry. I just jump from zero to one hundred so I don't even recognize the initial emotion prior to the anger. Of course I have known this but I haven't been able to figure out what that initial emotion has been.
How much pain have I experienced in my lifetime let alone in my last eight years of life. Maybe parents that have special needs children hide behind the amazing growth and blessings but don't be deceived. We have certainly experienced pain. Zach's diagnosis was so challenging, so extremely time consuming but the challenges with Jack have nearly put me over the ability to cope. You think God gave us one special needs child, God certainly wouldn't give us two. Certainly not! Or would He? If you are Ann Yarema, you certainly would be faced with the most challenges possible because that is my lot in life. But certainly, when is enough enough? When has one person faced enough challenges in their one lifetime? Why do some persons have so many challenges while others seem to fly through life without any challenges? That is another blog.
So here I go from day to day struggling through the emotions of life, one of those emotions including anger. And no I certainly haven't arrived. I don't think I will ever arrive. I think I will continue to struggle through this difficult emotion. But one thing I learned at that book club is that by taking one deep breath we are switching the area of the brain that is working. We go from animal instinct to the more rational area of the brain. So instead of being hot headed, we are switching to the more rational, calmer area of the brain to work through what is actually going on.