Mother Anger, part II

By Vikki Spencer

So, here’s the recap from yesterday’s post:

There’s no momma anger support group.

I take “mommy time outs”.

Anger is like a worn-out bra – not useful but we keep it around.

This post, we’ll deal with the number one reason to get over anger. (Of course there’s more than one, but we all know why we need to get over it, we just struggle with how.) This one reason to get over anger combines the why and the how. The worst part of anger is that it shuts down life.

 Let me explain.

When we’re angry, we aren’t thinking. We aren’t listening, learning, or working through the situation at hand- all forms of “life”!  Most importantly, we aren’t thinking of the future. Our actions reveal, “I will trade whatever good can come out of this, because my immediate emotion of anger is more important.” So, we choose moment over vision – and eliminate the possibility of changing the future for the better.  

The challenge is to use “vision” – the hope of what could be – to extinguish the momentary focus on what seems beneficial right now (anger). So, instead of yelling to for our 3-year-old to stop hitting his best friend, we decide on a vision: for him to learn to play well. Maybe that means we ask friends’ advice, read a book, or begin trying different disciplinary measures.

When we trade anger for the bigger picture in every situation we have the choice to stop the default sequence from lift off. We ask:

What is the bigger picture worth preserving or working toward? Whose heart is completely worth protecting from our anger? How can my child’s  future of anger management as an adult be different because we chose a better way?

The answers can fuel our choice to remain calm because there is something to learn, hear, or work toward that has a huge impact on our future –  and the future of the ones we are angry with. Anger only wastes the present and the future. 

©2009 V. Spencer