You can’t make me mad

You can’t make me mad.

This is a statement that I repeat to myself daily. For many years of my life, I allowed other people to control me. I lived in reaction mode. Meaning that I reacted to the actions of others—as well as my own 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 felt as if I couldn’t overcome the anger.

It got to the point that it really bothered me. Especially, when I was hateful 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, the reason we become angry is 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 just love others right where they are in their lives. Unconditionally—with no rules or expectations. When I decided to be me and let other people be themselves, then I stopped getting so angry all the time.

While I do still get angry at times, I am actively working on it. I try to deal with my problems as they arise, instead of stuffing them deep inside. And I try to see every person I encounter as a beautiful child of God. When we notice someone hurting, then we just need to love them through it. Pain attracts pain. So if I answer the cry of someone else with my own pain, then we will end up fighting. But, if I notice their pain and react with love and compassion, then 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 the 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.

When we are rattled whatever is inside of us will spill out. Therefore, my goal is to have so much love and kindness inside of me that when I get rattled the love and kindness is what will spill out. I desire for love to be my default reaction.

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