Anger

Originally Written 3/20/2016

God is not quick to anger, but still does, so is it still okay to get angry? Does it provide a justification to get angry? What are we supposed to do with that anger?

As he passed in front of Moses, he called out. He said,
“I am the Lord, the Lord.
I am the God who is tender and kind.
I am gracious.
I am slow to get angry.
I am faithful and full of love.

Exodus 34:6

My anger seems to always come in series of trials that come when I am not being tried by my usual 3 or 4 big regular struggles. Recently I was given a great opportunity to not react while someone I loved was yelling and screaming. I was able to hold my temper, and not react until my temper was getting higher and I only moved to get space. Even when things continued to escalate I didn’t react only got away and took a few seconds for them to cool off. When I came back they were no more reasonable, but I was able to stand more until they tired and left me alone to fix the problem. For me this was a big win. Later this week when I wasn’t conforming to their standards and not enough was getting accomplished in their mind they got angry and made more threats. I was able to let it roll off my back and help them to realize they were once again being unreasonable.

My sponsor has explained to me that it comes down to expectations, especially with the people that we love and care most about. We want the best for them and often see where they could be “if they would just…”, we see our side of it and not the whole picture. I often want them to do this or expect them to remember something that I told them that one time. As my sponsor pointed out, we see these people day in and out and we come to depend on them. Sometimes it can scare us to see them struggle, other times it seems like the hundredth time we have told them we don’t like it when… and they never seem to remember so it seems like they are doing something just to make us mad. I have (fortunately enough) found that very rarely is this the case. The more likely case is that they are different from us, don’t think about things the same way and so don’t make the same connections as we do. And so you must give them the patience and when you run out, remember the times that they have loved you, let go, and help them. Just like I would do for a complete stranger, to give them that kind or reset is worth everything, it makes the entire thing go better, and it so often comes back to me in their kindness.

The short version goes to the bible verse, when you realize your getting angry, try to remember the love that you have for the other person. The love that God has for the other person, the love that they have shown to you and show it back to them. Ask yourself if you would be as angry or frustrated if it were a random stranger. It doesn’t always work, but it is what God shows us through his Son, and in eternity.

~JPaul

Forgetting Something

Originally written 3/31/2016

So today I took a fairy large step in my journey to getting to be who God wants me to be. I was finally able to talk about something I had not even been able to allude to since it happened 16 years ago. I have protected this, hidden it, and only since January been able to been comfortable even referencing that this event existed. Today I finally let this secret out to the world. Right now I feel like I am missing something, I feel lopsided. My therapist took it in stride, and was able to help me see that more was going on at that time than this event that lead up to the mistakes that I made. But I digress.

God gives us such a wonderful gift in being able to take our burdens, our hurts that we have been carrying for so long and let them go. I have been carrying this around so long that I had forgotten what it was to not carry it. And all the while he has been waiting for me to bring it to him so that he could heal this broken part of my history.

Right now I feel like I forgot something, I am not on my normal even keel. Think about what it is and then I remember I exposed a 16 year old festering wound and its finally feeling like its beginning to scab over.

Maturity, What is it?

Maturity, is it always being the “adult”, or is it doing the responsible thing, being accountable, being reliable and trustworthy?

Maturity is something that I have always struggled with, I REALLY enjoy being the center of attention, having the greatest story, doing those things that make me “special and unique”. I have always felt that it makes me, “me”. But occasionally I get frustrated when people mistake that fun loving side of me as being “immature”.

Maturity isn’t always behaving like a stuffy buttoned down adult, which is at its core either a very repressed (and in my opinion) a very unhealthy way to live. Maturity by its very definition is to come of age, or reach completeness. I am not, nor will I ever be “complete”.

I struggle with the fact that people have a hard time looking to me as an example because so very often I do my best to show the happy side of life. I have learned i) that most problems are transient and ii) focusing on the problem and not the solution only will make things worse. I very much dislike, that when I struggle to remember either of those things and let it show all over my life I hide. And when I hide I usually will self destruct. I hate that I have this huge desire to either show up and be happy, or not show up because I don’t want to being people down, or let them in.

I say this coming to the realization that the things that frustrate me the most about being treated as immature, being left out, excluded from serious conversations, and not showing people the problems that I have is my own fault. People are very unlikely to share when they don’t feel that they can identify with you or that you possess that element to your personality.

All of this to say that I if you see me playing a silly childish game, and trying to include you, it is possibly because I am avoiding something really hard to deal with or I want you to take a moment, forget the troubles and problems of the world and laugh with me, even for just a moment.