All For One and One For All!!!
There comes a time in everyone’s life when you feel like screaming!! Your job sucks, bill collectors are always on your heels, you haven’t had a decent vacation since the 90’s, your children are behaving as if they were raised by a pack of wolves, you have been trying to lose the same 10 lbs for the last 10 years, and to top it all off, the waitress at Chili’s has the Nerve to ruin your “happy hour” by taking too long to bring out the appetizer you ordered (5 minutes ago)!!! that’s it, you’ve had it and someone is going to get a piece of your mind!!! Welcome to the Angry Persons World…where things could “go left” at any given moment.
Hot Mess Express.
For a good portion of my life I was the poster child for “Angry”. I was easily offended, always “snapping” at someone and I carried around the “stank” face for way too long. Back then, I could count on one hand how many days were “anger-free”. As a result, my patience was nonexistent, and it showed! The fact that my money was funny, I had no life plans, no savings account, a job that paid WAY less than the work I put in, dreams that always seemed too far away to imagine and relationships that hurt more than they helped…left me feeling angry, frustrated and disappointed almost all of the time. I was a hot mess express!! Therefore, I did what most angry people do; I took it out on everyone around me. There were times when I was rude to people for no reason at all. I remember one incident, I was walking along the side walk and the people in front of me were moving too slowly. They were casually walking, taking in the scenery and I was in a hurry. I brushed past them with ALL the Attitude I could muster up, as if I personally poured the concrete and the sidewalk belonged to me!! There were days when I would go to work and get upset when customers arrived and needed my help…as if the company were paying me to do nothing all day! Those were the days of headaches and depression. Thank goodness I learned how to Let Go of My Anger.
Anger As A Lifestyle…No Thanks!
I am certain, that if we are being honest with ourselves, most of us can confess that we experience a fair amount of irritability or anger on a daily or weekly basis. The feeling of being overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated or any other negative emotion, can cause us to act (or react) differently than we would expect. These strong, negative emotions can have you screaming at the drive-thru window employee because your French fries are not hot enough (I hate cold fries). Or rolling your eyes at a coworker who is always just so Damn Happy (and for no reason). Or maybe it might cause you to get snippy with a family or friend, that is just trying to help. Whatever the case may be, anger can be more than just a reaction or emotion that we experience every once in awhile. For some, it becomes a lifestyle.
Years ago I was listening to one of my favorite speakers Tony Robbins, who believes that “emotion is the force of life”. On this particular day I was driving while listening to one of his speeches. I believe the topic was “invisible forces that shape our lives”. So as I am tuning in I hear Mr. Robbins say “happy people find more things to be happy about, angry people find more things to be angry about”. As soon as I heard the statement about angry people, a light bulb went off in my head and I said to myself, “Damn…he is talking about me, that’s me!” And that is how the healing began…
Angry Black Girl
In the days following that “ah hah” moment in the car, I started to pay close attention to my thoughts. I mean…was I really an angry person? I didn’t think so (at first). Truth be told, nobody hates to be considered angry more than a Black Woman! I mean, let’s be real…we get a bad rap and are often portrayed as angry, loud and obnoxious in the media enough as it is. So… was I really the “angry black girl”??? Turns out… YES… unfortunately I was an angry woman (and it had nothing to do with the color of my skin btw). I found it absolutely amazing and terrible how I would always anticipate disappointment, frustration, or anything that would make me upset before it even happened! For example, if I were planning a trip, in the back of my mind I would think “oh I bet something will go wrong” or if I made plans with someone I would assume “they would probably cancel” or if I needed to ask a favor of someone I would assume they would say “no” before I even asked! These thoughts created disappointment or frustration for me before it even happened because I made the wrong choice!
The Choice Is Yours!
When we get new information there are many ways we can process it however, let’s focus on two for now…Positive and Negative. When anticipating something in our lives we can either expect it to happen in a Good or Positive way that makes us happy OR, we can expect it to go the exact opposite way that makes us angry, frustrated or disappointed. It is a choice that we all make the very second we receive the information. Unfortunately in my case, I was always processing the information in a negative way. This was my way of always looking for something to be angry about. Whew…and it was tiring!!
Happy Go Lucky…Nope!
So what changed and am I still angry?? NOPE, I am happy to announce that I am “angry” free (for quite a few years now) and it feels AMAZING!!! Now… am I “Ms. Happy Go Lucky”…NOPE. However, I am happier, more patient, understanding, and most importantly I have learned how to be Intentional!! I took all the necessary steps to change and learn how to enjoy life without always inviting anger to the table. It wasn’t an overnight deal. It took time to develop my “new attitude” and “let go” of my old stubborn ways. However, I will tell you that it was worth every second!
Let’s Be Real…
I know many of you are wondering how to let go of anger and negative thoughts that are driving you insane. Well the first step is the most obvious… you have to be willing to admit that anger might be an issue for you. If you can’t admit that your thoughts might be creating situations for you to become angry, then you will never be able to overcome them. So just be real with yourself and evaluate your thoughts throughout the day. Here are other suggestions that may help you deal with and overcome your anger:
Write it down.
Writing or keeping a journal can help release and ease anger. If you are especially careful about sharing your thoughts with others, this is a great way to just let it all out!
Yes spend time in prayer. Take time out every day to pray and open your heart to GOD. It is amazing what daily prayer can do to your quality of life! I started waking up extra early in the morning so that I can pray and spend time with God prior to starting my day. We battle a lot throughout the day and need as much help as possible to overcome it!
Listen to your mind!!
Our thoughts are so incredibly Powerful!! They shape our lives, they determine our future and they make us who we are. However, we also have been given control over our thoughts and what we focus on. If you find yourself always focusing on the negative, then CHANGE THE CHANNEL! As soon as that negative thought finds its way into your mind, let it go and focus on the Positive aspect instead. So instead of saying “I Can’t” always tell yourself “I Can and I Will!!”
Don’t take it personal.
Truth is, all of us are fighting some kind of battle. Each of us know what it is like to feel disappointment, frustration, overwhelmed and many other strong emotions that might make for a “not-so happy camper”. Often times when we encounter someone else’s rude behavior, it’s usually to no fault of our own. It is usually a result of some other situation that has absolutely nothing to do with you. They’re just having a bad day and in some cases, a bad life! So give them a break and don’t always assume their bad attitude or rude behavior is as result of something you caused or deserve.
Always, Always, Always be Thankful for Everything! Yes, Everything! Sometimes even the worst situations have made us better persons. There is Power in each and every one of our personal experiences…the ones that give us pleasure AND the ones that cause us pain.
Always be willing to Change!
It would be impossible to stay the same person your entire life. You are a different “you” than you were 10 years ago. You’re a different version of who you were in college versus the “you” that is now married with children. Even the type of clothing we wear change with our age! We are constantly changing and adapting over the years. So it is important to remember that we must always be willing to change and not hold on for dear life to who we were in the past! Embrace the New You and begin to love the life that you’re living!
Thank you for your time…feel free to comment