Writing about releasing anger seem to me as much fun as hearing the Dallas Cowboys lose to the New York Giants the other night.
ESPN radio broadcast game updates over a little portable radio carried in my newly-acquired 1995 Jeep Cherokee. It seemed penalty after penalty hurt the Cowboys’ game.
I struck the steering wheel in anger and frustration.
Monday morning, I became angry at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles after learning my ignorance and failure to research driving laws in the state meant no new tags for my vehicle. I took it out on the poor customer service rep. behind the counter.
Then I went out into the vehicle, railed against the DMV and struck my steering wheel in frustration and anger. My daughter, 6, was not impressed though she was along for the ride.
Later, I told my daughter I was wrong. I’d been reading through Proverbs and verses impressed on me the need for peace and kindness instead of all this anger and frustration. She had no trouble accepting an apology. She is totally cool during our morning jaunts to the library. She loses it over clothes and hair styling but hardly ever gets angry except upon mention of her current babysitter. Then her face clouds and she says “Babys!” She is, of course, way older than the other kids.
The Sunday night before at Awanas (Google it, I’m on a time deadline here) a small child struck my daughter in the stomach. I expected mayhem and bloodshed. After all, my daughter enjoys practicing martial arts. But she remained cool and collected as the little girl that struck her ran off.
Which brings to mind another incident minutes before (hey, I told you this was stream-of-consciousness) when a young man threw my daughter to the ground and then crawled atop her to pin her down. I thought it too rough even for play so I grabbed my 10-year-old son and moseyed up like the town marshall. “Listen” I said, pushing down the anger, “boy you mess with my daughter you mess with my son and me. You don’t want that.”
The little boy stood up and backed away as my son looked his menacing best. It was movie night and my son had on his Darth Vader outfit. All I had was my normal outlaw looks complete with bad teeth and bulging red eyes. Guess that did it as the kid took out for the other side of the auditorium. My daughter and he played nicely after that. And the anger turned into a hilarious moment.
I wish it was always that easy. But anger never sleeps.
I’d like to say I’m responding to anger-inducing situations better with more kindness and peace. There’s been progress, but not enough peace yet.