You can’t make me mad.
I repeat this statement to myself daily. For many years, I allowed other people to control me. I lived in reaction mode, which means that I reacted to the actions of others and my feelings.
Whenever a situation came up, I reacted based on my feelings. Most of the time, my reaction was anger. It bubbled up inside of me and spilled out. Sometimes the eruption was a full-blown temper tantrum. And others times, I just stuffed the anger down inside of me. Then, I dwelled on it at every opportunity. Constantly thinking about it caused me to come unglued over unimportant things. While I hated my reactions, I couldn’t overcome the anger.
It got to the point that it bothered me, especially when I spewed hateful words to the beautiful souls that I love the most. So, I took it to the Lord. I prayed and asked Him to help me to overcome my anger. And He did.
Now, I search for the truth and react with compassion. Most of the time, we become angry because of the story we tell ourselves about the situation. We make it all about us. We think we know how other people should act and feel. When they don’t follow our rules, then we become upset. Therefore, I have decided to love others right where they are. Unconditionally—with no restrictions or expectations. When I decided to be me and let other people be themselves, I stopped getting so angry.
While I still get angry sometimes, I am actively working on it. Instead of stuffing them deep inside, I try to deal with my problems as they arise. And I try to see every person I encounter as a beautiful child of God. Pain attracts pain. When we notice someone hurting, we must love them through it. So if I answer someone else’s cry with my own pain, we will fight. But, if I notice their pain and react with love and compassion, it will help them heal—instead of causing more wounds.
This is also true for how I treat myself. Being angry with myself and talking negatively to myself is not helpful. When we make mistakes or feel down, we don’t need to push ourselves down further. What we need is grace. Choosing to love ourselves unconditionally, even through disappointments and heartaches, is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and others. That is how we heal and continue to move forward in our lives.
I desire love to be my default reaction. When rattled, whatever is inside of us will spill out. Therefore, I aim to have so much love and kindness inside me that the love and compassion will spill out when I get rattled.
Have a beautiful day!