Life is Too Short For Anger
A few months ago, I wrote a post about my anger. I've lately been doing really well, but there was a top where I would get so mad that I would start to yell and cry and totally black out and destroy everything in my way. Just being honest. I was embarrassed and ashamed of it, and I tried all that I could to try and avoid getting angry.
Lately though I've been realizing that you can't avoid negative situations. You can't run and hide from your problems and expect to live a healthy, happy life. You also can't take situations into your own hands and expect everything to go as you plan.
Life is unpredictable and sometimes there are things that we don't like, like mean people, or deaths, or sickness, or even that idiot that cut you off in traffic without using his turn signal. Life is also filled with good things like coffee, and birthdays, and singing, and flowers and sunshine! There are so many things to be thankful for and as I look back on that post and that time in my life where I would allow myself to lose total control and just let that monster out, I regret it. I don't regret many things, but allowing myself to live with such an angry spirit is one thing I do regret. Being angry soon developed into anxiety and it was such a terrible process.
Lately my life has been stressful and painful. I had a really long, deep talk with Mark one night and we talked about happiness and the human heart and life in general and it was honest and open and pure. It was a conversation I will never forget. He asked me,
"Why are you so afraid to allow yourself to find happiness?"
At first I was confused and a little bit offended. I didn't think that I was afraid to be happy. But then we talked about it more... I am a very passionate person so when I get sad, I get really sad. When I get angry, I get really angry. But when I get happy? I enjoy it for the time being but then I start to put up my guard. I've been hurt so many times, I've messed up a lot, I've ruined my own happiness from time to time with decisions I've made even. After thinking about it and doing some self-searching I can totally see myself being afraid to be too happy. What if it ends? I'd rather be prepared for the happiness to end than be blindsided by something. I often catch myself asking questions and making accusations because I feel like things are too good to be true. It's annoyed more people than I can count. On top of that, I would start to get anxious. I would be nervous or worried or have a hard time breathing. Happiness is like butterflies in your stomach; anxiety is like moths in your chest.
"Just enjoy life Natalie, stop looking at the negative and worrying so much." To this I would retort that I am just trying to be level-headed and realistic but so often that line runs closely with negativity and cynicism. I don't want to live like that. I hate having that feeling you get when it's 8 p.m. on a Sunday night and you realize Monday is the next day. It's that "Oh wait it's almost over" type of feeling. I'm seeing though that living like that decreases the amount of time that I am happy and replaces it with anxiety and exhaustion. No fun!
At the start of the summer, I decided that I was going to try and complain less. So far, I think I've been doing a pretty good job and I have friends who call me out on it when I do. Eliminating my complaints and trying to see the good in things has really been helping my temper too. I am amazed how God can change hearts and mindsets in such a short time!
I've decided that life is too short to be angry all the time and dwell on the ways people disappoint you, hurt you, your mistakes and shortcomings, and the things you cannot change. Anger is an ugly poison when you let it sit in your heart, so it's important to pray about that anger and to let it go. Forgive. Breathe. Love. Move on.
I don't mean for this post to sound hokey or cliché. It's just been going through my mind lately and my heart has been in so much pain for I don't know how long. I'm reminding myself that it's time to be happy. I'm reminding you that it's time to be happy. As long as you're not hurting anyone else or yourself, I think if you find what makes you happy, you should wholeheartedly embrace it. If you've been feeling anxious or angry or hurt, you need to try and figure out why first off. You can't heal and get better if you don't know what the cause is. It's been almost a year since I wrote that post about my anger and I am finally feeling like I can live life with happiness again. At least, more than I used to. It's a process and I am still healing + growing. I've hurt people in my anger and at times the regret of that results in a panic attack or negative thoughts about myself. Sometimes all you can do is try to make it right and then move past it, not forgetting what you've learned. Our lives are in God's hands and we just need to honor Him and enjoy what he has blessed us with while trying to build one another up in love and kindness, not criticism and bitterness.
2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
These are my goals from now on. Instead of sitting and brooding about my pain and the offenses done to me, or getting angry with myself and tearing myself apart with anxiety and tears for what I have done to others, I am going to be thankful and focus on what I can do to live a fuller, simpler, and happier life. Times do get hard and there are days when I know I will be sad or angry, especially with a past in depression and recent anxiety, but I know that I have been saved by Jesus Christ and I am blessed beyond measure in that alone. I am fearfully and wonderfully made + I have a purpose. These truths will get me through each day. I want to live my life with grace towards myself and others, casting anger aside, without fear of happiness.
Bon Iver // Bruised Orange
"You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
Throw your hands in the air, say "what does it matter?"
But it don't do no good to get angry,
So help me I know
For a heart strained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
Wrapped up in a trap of your very own
Chain of sorrow."