The Battle with Anger

             If anger is a part of your life you understand the pain it causes. 

            In my life my anger almost always took the form of Verbal attack and ultimately verbal abuse.         Sometimes when I have been angry with someone and I lash out verbally I feel like I am not the one doing it, but rather that I am a third party watching the action. At that point it is like the anger takes over and I am not in control.  Which is actually true, but the interesting thing about anger is that often it makes you feel like you are in control, but the reality is that you are not. So what do you do?

            Those who do not understand will tell you, “you need more self control”, which is true, but unless you have the tools and the training to use the tools, simply trying to control yourself does not work.  Some will  use the  old “ you need to have God or whatever more in control of your life, then you won’t have  an anger problem “, that may also be true, but  then again, if you have the problem you understand what I am saying, if you don’t you are simply theorizing and you cannot help us. Thanks but no thanks.

            So the question remains, what can you do?

            Let me make a suggestion, based upon my own experience, using an illustration from The Ancient Hebrews.

            In the old testament we learn the when the Hebrews obeyed the Law, things went well, when they did not, then they had problems. That is perhaps an over simplification, but here is the point, over a period of time the ancient teachers in an attempt to help avoid breaking the law developed a series of rules and regulations that developed into the Talmud, consisting of the Mishnah and the Gemara, a total of 613 rules 365 positive and 248 negative. They tried to think of just about any situation  one could find themselves in  and then figure out a way to NOT break the law. They developed laws upon laws that in essence put a “fence” around the law so that it was theoretically more difficult to break the law.

 The point of the story is this. We need to put a “fence” around our anger, a series of steps, or checkpoints if you will, that we can use to identify those situations that create our anger and devise a plan before they happen so that when it does, we are prepared. If we do not have those things in place, then anger will continue to win the battle, and we will continue to inflict pain on others as well as ourselves.