Anger may seem to be an unhealthy emotion, but it marks the beginning of healing. In the short term, anger offers protection from our emotional trauma.
When we feel anxious, helpless, or overwhelmed by a situation, anger comes to the rescue. Not only does it neutralize the debilitating worry for a while, it also restores a semblance of power and authority when we need it the most.
It's okay to be angry. To be angry that my child i suffering. And to be angry with the people who gawk and stare.
Being told that we shouldn't be angry doesn't make sense. Anger is both a natural and normal response when our expectations aren't met. We tend to believe that things should go our way all of the time. Intellectually, we know that is neither true nor realistic, but we are still shocked when bad things happen to good people. We need to recognize and accept that things go wrong in life. After all, Jesus said that we would have trouble in this world.
Created in God's image, we have emotions, and one of those emotions is anger. Like all of God's gifts, anger has tremendous potential for good. We can choose to express our anger in ways that help or in ways that hinder. In ways that build or in ways that destroy. Often, facing our anger and allowing ourselves to feel are the first steps in resolving anger.
There are two anger responses when things don't go our way. The first is a righteous anger that compels us to make a difference in the situation. This type of response was demonstrated through the civil rights movement. The other type of anger can cause us to do foolish things that hurt others and ourselves. Outrage because of the situation can be directed toward our child, our spouse, other family members, professionals, God or anyone else we can find to lash out at. Lashing out at others releases the immediate pressure but the resulting consequences may make the situation worse.
There is a moment between the event and my reaction. In that moment, I have a choice to make. No one can make me angry unless I choose that response. I can, in that moment of decision, try to count to 100 (twice if necessary) before responding instead of reacting.
But, if I'm feeling helpless in a situation, I might still lose control with an outburst of anger. Some days, all it takes is one more thing to send me over the edge. If you have lost it today, acknowledge it. Forgive yourself and apologize to your child and family. Tomorrow is a new day and you can begin again.