I recently made a decision to be less angry.
Now, I wouldn’t say I’m an overly angry person but right now things are straight up tough. I’m a stay at home mom. We have a 4 year old and 2 year old and it. is. hard. In fact, it is beyond hard, it is excruciatingly difficult. Parenting requires an obscene amount of patience, especially when they are young, and just when you think you can’t take anymore, when you think you have stretched way, WAY beyond your limit, somehow, you get stretched further. And as you sit there, almost devoid of any real emotion at all, there’s anger, just eagerly waiting in your back pocket, anticipating THE moment.
Kids are kids. I get that. They are going to fight. They are going to yell. They are going to scream. Except, when I don’t get that, because sometimes I forget. I forget on the grounds of my own sanity. I forget because I have had 36 years of me and only 4 of them. And I forget when looking through the beautiful and elusive veil of hope because sometimes I just need things to be different or easier. But it’s in these moments, when I’m caught off guard, that anger bites the hardest.
It makes sense. Anger is instantly gratifying. It’s usually intense and short-lived and when you have a lot going on that’s often all you have time for. Whereas sadness – angers delicate and lifelong duelling partner – requires more time. You need to almost fall in to it and indulge. It’s drawn out and sometimes painful but man do I miss it. I don’t even have time for a good cry these days. But life is never situationally dependent, it’s about our choices and our actions. How can we expect things to change if we aren’t constantly re-evaluating ourselves and the ways we cope?
Whether it’s parenting, work stress, family conflict or the same damn argument with your partner, we all face situations where we are stretched beyond our limit and in those moments we tend to bite. Yet, we don’t have to be caught off guard. Finding some level of acceptance, some level of peace within the rocky terrain can help. Life is hard, life is difficult and within these truths a small portal can emerge, maybe one that is open a little more often than it’s closed and maybe one that allows just a tiny bit of that delicate sadness to sneak through.
When we are angry we try to hold on tighter and when we are sad we let go a little easier. Sadness opens us up and anger closes us off. Don’t get me wrong, I still get mad – it would be straight up crazy not to – but after I made this decision something changed. That portal opened, just ever so slightly, and it’s been sitting there in the back of my mind ever since. It’s definitely filled with weighted and heavy material but it seems to become more manageable with recognition and familiarity. It helps me to let go of the anger a little quicker. It helps me to tap in to the part of me that just needs a hug and some reassurance and it allows me to taste just a small amount of that sadness while still moving forward, while still going because sometimes that is all I need.
Life is tough right now and that’s ok.
No more Jif casualties
6 thoughts on “Jif down.”
I would be wise to heed this advice. Much easier to get angry than sad. Like you said very well, they’re like duelling partners, and we need to provide sadness with a good fighting chance.
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So difficult to balance them both but it’s definitely healthier.
I have found that anger is one of my rarest of emotions. As one who tends to get stressed or anxious or sad, instead of angry, I find that anger is sometimes a more productive and effective emotion than internalizing an issue and allowing it to turn into something self-destructive. Anger has more of an effect on others, and I think this why certain personality types avoid it. To the more compassionate types, there is great difficulty in knowing they are effecting others, even though there might be self benefit or it may help solve a problem. I find when watching the less compassionate personality types, that their anger is often channeled in ways that benefit them, whether it is due to them being the squeaky wheel that gets the oil, or whether it helps them get the upper hand in the competitive world we live in.
My above comment does not include the more extreme variations of anger. The uncontrolled or explosive types of anger, including violence and rage, have no place and are not acceptable for good and obvious reason. This is more a commentary on there perhaps being a grey area of anger, one that can be channelled into forms of self preservation.
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Yes, I agree completely! There tends to be anger based people and sadness based people and you usually gravitate towards whichever you are more comfortable with. I think I have gone back and forth over the years, between the two, depending on what is happening in my life. But like you said, either can be unhealthy if there isn’t enough of a balance of the other.
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I hadn’t thought about the need to be in touch with your emotions in order to be sad. You got me thinking about this. I think there’s a fear that it can be a slippery slope, give into sadness and you’ll fall down a hole into it. But yes, avoiding feelings does seem like a more dangerous hole.
And anger… the uncontrolled kind… I wish I could say I have no memories of lashing out quickly without thought, but of course I do. And a couple of times in life, stopping to realize I’ve been doing it too much and making a decision to stop (ideally this would only need to happen once but life is long!). The self-examination and pre-planning for when those angering situations come up is really important, I think.
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I agree. It’s good to make those decisions to stop and unfortunately, for myself, it’s like eating healthy and exercising, you just fall off the wagon now and then. It’s so easy to go back in to what’s easier and more comfortable. And I know what you mean about falling in to sadness and it feeling like it’s a slippery slope.
It’s so strange though. I can feel so mad and be getting so worked up and be logically saying to myself why I am so angry and then something else happens and I just break down crying and I’m like, whoa, that’s what is was all along.