Continued from here.
If you frequently “overreact” to life annoyances by becoming angry, I recommend that you pray for God’s wisdom and discernment about the real source of your anger. He fully understands the source of your underlying anger, even if you do not. Invite Him in to heal whatever is driving your anger.
The same advice applies if you are a “stuffer” rather than an “exploder.” That’s how I was for many years. I carried around a lot of repressed anger from the child abuse, but I didn’t feel safe enough to express it. So, I would stuff… and stuff … and stuff … And then, about once a year, I would explode and vent everything I had stuffed over the years. That’s no way to live – not for you or for the people in your life who love you.
I found it helpful to work through my repressed anger with a therapist. He gave me tools to help me express my anger at the source. For example, I used to have an aversion to popsicle sticks because of childhood trauma. I bought a large box of popsicle sticks from a craft store, broke them one-by-one, and threw them at the wall while venting my anger toward all I had suffered as a child. This was a “safe” way to express my anger that did no harm to anyone else and did no damage to anything except the popsicle sticks, which I didn’t care about.
As part of your process in figuring out why you “overreact” to life’s disappointments, you can run through the four steps I previously shared, taking it all to a deeper level:
- What do you want that you are not getting? Control over what happens in my life.
- Why do you want it? When other people were in control over my life, they hurt me.
- What does God’s Word tell you to do in this situation? Trust that God is in control over my life and will work everything, even this, for good.
- What should you do next? Pray for God to help me stop trying to control everything that happens in my life and, instead, learn to trust that God is in control, no matter how chaotic my life circumstances seem.
If you struggle with “stuffing” or “exploding” when life doesn’t go your way, I recommend reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. She provides practical ways to invite God into your “unglued” emotions so you can stop allowing Satan to steal your joy. Remember – It’s not about the chocolate!
[Graphic: Cover of Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. Courtesy Amazon.com.]