amwriting, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Forgiving Ones Self is Harder!

When you have an extensive network, and you know a lot of people, you feel blessed when you can say you have more than five intimate friends. All my life, people have moved me from one house to another, from one city to another, and from one state to another. Networking became second nature.

Last night I learned that a man I’ve known for seven years passed away suddenly. He was a heavy drinker when I knew him, but that increased over time and the profound sadness of losing both his parents ended with the crescendo of Sorosis of the liver and failure of his kidneys. What could have been completely avoidable, ended by taking his life.

The minute I heard, thoughts of how I could’ve reached out flooded my soul. The guilt of not keeping in touch, not cultivating, not even picking up the phone to see if he was okay, because he was such a alpha male, that it never occurred to me he wouldn’t be okay?!

Which brings me to the topic of this discussion. It’s so much easier to forgive others when they offend us, then it is to forgive ourselves for our transgressions. How do you forgive yourself when you know there is something you could have done and yet did nothing? What are the steps that you take to forgive yourself?

Guilt is poison! You can’t hold onto it! It cannot be resolved! It is the toxic chemical that poisons your soul and your mind. Living with guilt is harder than living with pain or sadness because it is all consuming. Releasing that guilt is what is necessary, but when you have the understanding the fault lies with in your actions, how do you get to resolution?

Thoughts?!

Inspiration

Courage vs Bravery

In writing my character of the latest book, “Provocative Confessions,” I realized that I was trying really hard to explain why my heroine’s confidence was so badly shaken.  She has to learn that she’s always had the courage to live the life she wants. Something that oddly my readers have remarked, “she keeps doing over and over.”

One of the things that is apparent to me, is that change of ourselves is the hardest thing to do.  We hold these lies to be our truth, and those lies come from the people who have promised to adore us, but hurt us the most.  It’s no wonder the fear takes root and sometimes getting to the courage is harder than it may seem. Further most of us don’t really show our vulnerability and so we fight that battle alone.  The sense of unsureness, or that ever looming self doubt that sometimes stops us from having what we want the most.  In fact it seems that the very thing we fear, is exactly what we cause to happen.

A friend of mine, declares.  She has a wicked sense of justice and a strong understanding of biblical principals. I’ve learned that it is her opinion that people declare what they want in their lives, and in doing so get what they spend the most energy on.  Thoughts become our actions, our actions become our character, and so on.  Thank you CK, your steadfast maturity has really brought me to greater understanding, and I am profoundly grateful, you don’t hold me in contempt for my humanness. Your non-judgmental approach is epically refreshing.

In truth the word, “Brave,” shows up in the Old Testament of the NIV, 19 times.  It only shows up a few more times in other translations.  In the context of battling or fights of some sort you can see the word, “Brave,” only in the NIV and NOT in the New Testaments of the NIV, ESV, NRSV or the NASB.  Why do you suppose that is?

Websters Dictionary says that “Brave” means “adjective, brav·er, brav·est. 1. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance. 2. making a fine appearance. 3. Archaic. excellent; fine; admirable.”  While I believe that is true, I think that to me Bravery is an action without thought, based solely on instinct and action.  It’s in the moment action, not well thought out or even bias.  It’s pure adrenaline induced.

My character is not brave. She’s thoughtful, and she’s complicated. She has a lot fears because she’s been hurt a LOT.  She’s been moved from the only place she felt she truly belonged into a world she thought she’d left behind. The north and the cold and the contemptuous people who live in it.  When she found herself back the midst of the friends who promise loyalty but deliver only betrayal, well, it’s more than shaken her confidence in her natural instincts. It brought her back to an brokenness she thought she’d left far behind.  She must learn that the courage is in her, she just has to choose it over the fear to perceive her life in the way she needs to find ultimate joy.  Only then can she live the life she wants on her own terms.

The dictionary says the word, “Courage,” is  a noun: “1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. 2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.”  Yes, it’s a noun verses an actionable reaction.  To me, that means that the 35 verses of courage that I know of in the bible (all of them) mean that overcoming fear is what we need to do.  Yes, “Bravery” to act on that choice is the last action, but courageousness comes from making a conscious choice to overcome that which as spent a long time torturing your mind and robbing you of your joy.

When I write my characters, I am constantly and acutely aware that each of us has all the good we could possibly see in each other.  I am also equally aware that just as we see what each other want us to see, something deep inside is lurking.  Some lie we’ve told ourselves. Some comparison we’ve just made.  Some shortcoming that we’ve indulged in. We all do it.  We all have that in us, even those who boast they do not, trust me they do.

Today as I close the chapter in this book and thereby get to the ending, hopefully helping my readers understand that the perfect season doesn’t last forever.  Life takes it’s ugly hand and events happen beyond or understanding or control.  I hope that in this new book, you can see the growth of Beverly through her self doubt, and fall in love with her again as the courage bubbles up.  She gets justified results from the women who have treated her in the worst of ways, and ultimately she falls back in the arms of her husband who miraculously ends up saving the day. Of course, we all have to believe in fairytales, miracles, and happily ever after… Well, at least I do!

Take care,

Reba Nietert

Human Interest, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Don’t Let Doubt be the Guide

You know I ask myself all the time, “you have a 154 IQ and for some reason you can’t seem to make sense of why children don’t obey the rules?” I don’t come by this conundrum because I don’t understand that children lie; I come to it at the end of a very frustrated trial and error approach. You see, I mean what I say. There are immediate consequences for not following the rules. Yet every time I enforce consequences or they have a naturally, kids are shocked? Exasperated? As if they have no understanding at all that they can control whether or not they are in trouble!? How does this happen?

It takes me back to the Bill Cosby show days when his wife would get completely unwound because of the intense disrespect and blatant defiance. I am reminded that I am not alone and that we all share one common bond. That is that we have a unique and loving perspective. Kids will lie, they will manipulate, They will defy and they will ultimately test you way beyond we ever thought we could be pushed!

With this enlightenment, I have to then ask myself why do I even try to enforce rules? Is it just kids being kids? And then I look at other parents who seemingly have this innate ability to raise these perfectly compliant children and I wonder is the denominator me? I wonder if my hard approach to my rules not being an option, is actually causing the conflict? I think the answer is yes and no. Children can be horrible for no other reason just don’t know how to process how they feel or how they want to act in any given situation because they’re kids. Taking responsibility is taught. Thankfulness is taught! Accountability is taught. These are the tenants for happy extended and well respected life.

So how do I get them there? I guess I have to decipher when they need control, when they feel control and when they’re trying to get control more then they should have control. That’s easier said than done. Innovative approaches can often come from girlfriends. Asking a child who repeatedly offends, what you can do to help them succeed might actually set us up for future manipulation? I think the answer is in the rules.

If the rules revolve around character, they’re nonnegotiable. If they were revolve around participation in the family, they’re nonnegotiable. If they revolve around how they treat others, that’s nonnegotiable. Finding ways to help them understand their responsibility in those matters is our responsibility.

I guess there it is? What it all boils down to it it’s all about personal responsibility and having the audacity to be tenacious enough to enforce what we think is right. Standing over a child while he or she brushes their teeth because they refused to do it on their own is not going to harm the child. It’s going to teach them that this is the rule in their best interest that is nonnegotiable.

Forcing a child to put down his or her cell phone during dinner time and having the wherewithal to sit and have dinner with them shows them that we are willing to take accountability for our actions as well. That alone will send a powerful message. We may not be the most likable person in our house in that moment, but when our child is grown and fits easily into a world that has no tolerance for anything other than these tenants and they fit in and bonus; are happy, we will be the most likable person.

Just a moment to remember they have friends, is it our job to be their friend while they are growing up, and if we do our job well, we will have a lifelong friend once they are grown.

Inspiration

Reflecting on Greatest Treasures!

To think about one’s own challenges and the misery that comes from those obstacles is what each of us does especially when it surrounds us. When the emotions engulf us to the point that we cannot see the blessings and only the sadness it’s very difficult to allow ourselves the luxury of our experience; which is to know that this moment whatever that situation is; really doesn’t last that long. It’s a little blimp in the big scope of the grander scale. God’s timing.

When I was younger I saw a lot of horrible things. I lived through losing people I loved and when I got older it stopped for a while, but now I am at that age where my friends get sick, some die early, and others lose their zest for life all-together. I’ve been at that place where it’s easier to give up than it is to push forward moving ever slowly to a more peaceful life. Eventually we all end up peacefully, at rest.

This next year will mark a half of a century for me. I wonder if my contribution to this world and to all those whom I have loved dearly along my journey is enough to sustain their joy when they think about the time they’ve spent with me. Is what I have said enough? Have my actions shown how much I love them for exactly who they are? How has my behavior impacted their life? Will they know that our relationship has meant an untellable fortune to me? I can only pray it is so.

I went through one of the hardest times of my life with a woman who is very special to me. We were in a seminar and I was profoundly wounded unjustly by someone I’d known almost a decade. This woman sat by my side while I cried my tears. She encouraged me to move through the grief and pain and into a solid state of acceptance. She held me in her arms as I sobbed through my heartache. She took me to dinners afterwards, and talked for hours on the phone. She was my rock, my mountain and certainly God’s grace in carrying me through my journey. I will forever be more than grateful because she taught me what true love really is. What a treasured friendship is really all about. What grace someone can show you even when they don’t truly know you all that well. I love you, Leanna…my sister, my friend, my confidant, my teacher and with my whole heart pray that you know this.

During that time there were several women who formed my newest belief’s and helped me become responsible for my behavior and for my actions. Some helped me through identifying that which I did not want for my life and others for an attitude that I wanted. Of all the women I have met in my lifetime there has been no other graceful mentor like Mary. Not only are you my greatest confidant as well, and one of the greatest loves of my life, but someone I admire tremendously. You make me want to get closer to God, because your example is powerful. You make me want to be a better person, to be involved, to emulate a finer attitude and your force me to see my own immaturity and be responsible for that. It’s an effortless teaching not through condemnation or verbal affirmation but my example, and to me; there is no better teacher. You are truly loved and monumentally appreciated.

Taryn, Nancy, Misty, Donna, and the Road’s gang. When I think of you, I do so fondly. There’s been moments we disagreed and when we butted heads on our opposing views. Maybe there’s been talk or clarifications or even suppositions. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re all strong Christian sisters with our own beliefs and standards and how awesome is it that we can share a space in time when it’s just about the love we have and the appreciation for all the differences that set us apart. God, I know truly works in us all and have showed me each of your strengths, and gifts. I truly feel blessed to know you, and I am profoundly blessed that we’re still connected.

Dawn was there for me, and mentored my marriage. I cannot tell you how broken I was from the hateful and hurtful lies I’d been fed all those years. The affirmations from people who I thought were above reproach only to learn that Satan had a hold on those who I treasured and used them to create more doubt and fear in me. Once I chose a different path Dawn picked me back up. Dawn’s approach wasn’t easy. She wasn’t nice or even soft about putting me in my place. Her words of truth were like a burning sword through my flesh. She poked and prodded until I withdrew in so much pain it hurt just to breathe. She called me on my lies time and time again until I had nowhere to hide. At that point I knew that God had sent her to me. He needed me to see the real truth and not some fairytale perception I had created to make myself feel better. I’ve been living that truth since. Sometimes it offends people…sometimes people perceive that I am sad because I see so much truth, but the reality of it is that I’m still innocent. I still laugh, and I still know how to have a great time, and I still say and do stupid immature silly things because to me; keeping my childhood innocence is the second greatest gift God gave me. The first, of course, is my children.

We all came to forgiveness in roughly one day after suffering through ripping the strategically placed Band-Aids over the worst moments of our lives. We danced and I can remember going to the quiet place under the benches and looking at the rest of them laughing. Free to feel joy and laugh and each of us not only knowing but having a profound presence of God in our hearts. We became sisters. We became life-long friends. We became part of each other. That kind of understanding only comes from sharing that experience…and I am absolutely profoundly blessed to have gone through that with these amazing people. I remember all of them…the ones in my group and those who touched my life and didn’t even know it. I will always remember you.

God is always in my life… he never leaves. He is ever present, waiting for me to bring my gifts so that he can use them to meet the goals of every man. To see us all in heaven with him, beside our father and Jesus and to journey through eternity in a peaceful loving embrace. Why I don’t look up first bothers me often, but the worldly injustice bothers me so much more. I hate that my friends suffer, and that there is little that I can do to carry those burdens. Moreover I fail at letting the world know that my questions and my expectations do not arise from a self-motivated course, but merely a devoted love of my fellow man and the disappointment that I feel from others and even my own selfish actions.

I could cry today because my journey is for another to lean. I am strong, and courageous, and forthright, and tenacious and I do not need. I pray this day for you, and for those who you love that you might find joy today. That you might find happiness, and that those people whom you adore will in turn let you know how very loved that you are. I miss my friendships, I miss my loving caring sisters. I can only hope that I remember that while I cannot be with you, I can pray that He is…

To that end…I leave you with one of my favorite songs from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Disney take it away…..

Esmeralda
I don’t know if You can hear me
Or if You’re even there
I don’t know if You would listen
To a gypsy’s prayer
Yes, I know I’m just an outcast
I shouldn’t speak to you
Still I see Your face and wonder
Were You once an outcast too?

God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don’t find on earth
God help my people
We look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will

Parishioners
I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me

Esmeralda
I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and downtrodden
I thought we all were
The children of God
God help the outcasts
Children of God

Inspiration

To be Happy – Be Thankful

The other day I heard a phrase that caught my attention. It said, “the only way to be happy is to be thankful.” I found that to be poignant because I continuously struggle at to see positive things rather than negative things. Moreover, the actions of others have more power over my emotions then sometimes I’m willing to admit.

The people around me tell me that this is the common denomination of women everywhere. I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that most women that I know are mom’s, wives, and colleagues. And what that says to me is that their lives are full. With an abundant life comes the responsibility of introspection. You cannot have a husband or children and not learn valuable experience based on both pain and joy along your way. It’s been said that to be my age is to graduate from the “University of Life.” However, rules and application always are subject to approval or acceptance.

This past week I have been introspective. I’ve seen the attitudes of my children and my frustration levels with their choices begin to build in a very negative way. Whenever this happens to me, I sit down and think about what I can do to fix it, because ultimately I am the peacemaker. I try and ask myself if the offenses that I feel are due to my own interpretation or are they actual offending actions because in my past when I have confronted someone I have been so wrong. Experience has taught me to pause.

The problem is that just when I think that I am clear on what the issues are and clear on exactly what injustice trigger has just been pushed; it’s then when I decide to talk to whomever it is who has offended me. Usually my gut instincts are right on track. But this week they weren’t.

What I forgot to do is to take into consideration all the factors involved. I don’t have a mind that deduces a problem based on facts. I have a creative mind that is based on emotion and by human interaction. It’s the old saying, “feeling versus thinking.” I am the feeler and for the most part the people who I love who are closest to me and my life are the thinkers. So much so that the concrete approach to a problem can be quite disarming. What this does is cause massive miscommunication for all parties involved.

It takes a great sense of intellectual responsibility to look at oneself and realize that the problem lies within. In life, when we look at our own actions or we look at the offense that we feel; we not only need to remind ourselves to really look at whether or not this is our interpretation, but we really need to understand that person has their own set of injustice buttons as well. You would think that at my age not only would I comprehend this beyond a reasonable sense, but that upon need of it I could certainly reference at a moment’s notice. This past week that was certainly not the case. Admitting that could be the first foundation of solidifying a better approach upon the next surge of teen attitude.

This past week I was wrong. I was incorrect about the motivation behind the attitude. I withdrew my affections instead of engaging. It took me a long time to process through my own thinking because it’s not a natural thing for me to do. I have to remember that while I’m pressing my pause button, the people that depend on me will view my absence as abandonment. It’s certainly not! I need to understand how my reaction to their behavior can sometimes cause more of a disturbance in our communication rather than healing the hurt feelings.

Life is about change, and nothing ever stays the same. I think there’s a song about that? I believe the key to a successful relationship is to communicate whether that language is defective or whether it is productive. You cannot fix a problem or a broken dialogue without first starting to talk. If my approach is with love the outcome should be in a relationship that all those prior behaviors count when matters like this come up. I feel that if we can remind ourselves that we are loved and respected, we can remind ourselves to love and respect the people who have feelings of regret or pain. We can move on to a better dialogue. Ultimately we can solve the problem.

Everyone knows what right and wrong is. The power doesn’t rest in the inability to find the truth. Our success will be based on whether or not we can do the right thing despite our impulsive feelings and negative emotions.

I’m learning to be thankful for the blessings in my life. That attitude is teaching me that the joy I desperately seek is in direct correlation to my perception. It’s certainly not easy and takes a great deal of focus on my part but it’s certainly doable…

I’d really like to know what you think. How do you handle situations where you either are the person who is confronted or you are the confronting person? How do you get through the miscommunication to effective rich dialogue for the betterment of both parties? If you’re so inclined, I would love to know?

Inspiration

A Man and a Moment

When I was a young girl, I used to hide from my mother’s rage by sitting quietly in a closet. The doors were closed and as tears ran down my face I could hear her calling for me in the distance. I can remember asking the wind why my father never rescued me. The rage that consumed filled her heart with hatred of the men who had abused or abandoned her. When she became fraught with the evilness of it, she would explode and whoever was in the surrounding area would pay the price for her outrageous behavior. She was sick then, and I was the child who lived through that sickness.

When she would call out my name through terrifying screams that sent me into a horror I can barely describe in words, she would also announce the reason to which the particular eruption occurred. It was always about a man. It was always about how a man hurt her. The blood curdling screams of painful declarations would shout, “No man is ever going to love you! No man is ever going to want to take care of you like I do! No man will care how you feel!” As you can imagine, that would go on and on and on until all the proclamations concerning men had been said or she actually found me. We won’t go there.

In my “Father’s Day” blog a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I did not grow up with a father. There were no men consistently in my mother’s life. She would use what men would succumb to her charms as long as she needed them and then she’d toss them aside like day old trash.

Naturally I was determined to find love. I was determined to be a great example for my kids, and to have a life that I’d only ever seen in movies. The problem with that I’ve learned is that even if you set it up that way there’s no script for you to follow. There’s no manual that tells you everything’s going to be okay, and for the most part I spend my life flying by the seat of my not so capable pants trying desperately to let those people who mean the most to me know how much I love them. That is my ultimate goal. Peace, freedom and the ability to feel the joy around people I respect and love. Who doesn’t want that?

I believe that as an adult you’re pretty much responsible for how you view your world. Your choices are your own, no matter what happened to you, and the fact that you were forced to listen to the brainwashing ranting’s of a sick woman should have no impact on your emotional wellbeing in your future relationships. That’s what I believe, and then life throws that curve ball, something goes terribly wrong and everything I know to be the truth just goes out the window. My knee-jerk reaction is to run; to survive. I have a family that needs me and that’s not an option. So what does somebody like me who struggles every day to surround myself with peace and joy do when there is anger and fury around me?

If you can imagine, in the beginning I get quiet. My memories implode without my consent. It’s my life and I lived it. So when someone becomes furious with me and my sense of injustice about it all has been triggered I find my adult self – standing there quiet, impervious, and pensive. My first thoughts are is my life threatened. Can you even believe that is my first thought? Then I try to make sense of why my injustice button was pushed. There are no words until I process through why I am angry. Then I try and talk it out. I may not come across logically or even without emotion or steam myself but for the most part I desperately try to get the offender to see my point of view. Sometimes our views clash and we can work it out through some mature dialog. But on those occasions when someone who I love dearly decides to be uncontrollably selfish and downright mean; that’s when I lose all control over my emotions. I begin to cry, because to me, there’s nothing more important that making someone feel loved; and when it doesn’t come back to me, I feel a sense of fury that’s not quite to the level of rage but I am willing to fight for what I believe. I call it shaking the sugar tree.

Usually that makes someone who is acting inappropriately calm down enough to talk things out. Rarely does it become an argument that is unwinnable. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work after a long history with someone. The process develops kinks and people take each other for granted. They want to hold on to misunderstandings of the past and they want to blame everyone for the happiness that has long been lost because they’re so worried about controlling every aspect of their lives that they cannot get to the joy that sometimes a little chaos brings. That’s been my experience.

What do you do when you’re sitting there and your Ah-ha moment tells you that it’s not going to change? You find yourself stuck in a routine of destiny that you’ve tried desperately to improve and there’s no way it’s going to change? I tell you what you do. You tell yourself, “No man is ever going to love you the way you need, no man is ever…” and it’s a slippery slope.

To me, the kind of man that I need; require, is the kind of man who is strong. I don’t mean physically. I mean a man who is capable of seeing through the dramatic emotion of a woman and narrowing it all down to what makes sense. A man who is logical in his approach, puts other’s first and always roots for the underdog. A man of character, a man of faith and a man who is so highly intellectual with opinion and fact that he can tell me something I don’t already know or inspire me to be a better person. That’s the kind of man I wanted and in all reasonableness the kind of man I married.

With all things that God created there is a balance. There is good and evil in all of us. The levels of each depend on our character and our choice to either improve or wallow in the despair of our mistakes. With my husband this rule is no different. At times I feel like I married my mother. Other times I feel like I married the most respected man in the world. Either way I have the intense understanding that he is admired, respected and loved regardless of his actions which is a skill that I have not easily learned.

I’ve grown into a strong woman. Capable and formidable and for the most part feel like my words impact lives. There are moments though, that I would love for my husband to encourage me and not give me that reality check all the time or blame when something goes horribly wrong. I’ve learned that when we argue now, breaking our pattern is to process the pain or sorrow on my own because I am no longer willing to live with the laundry list of my offenses or misunderstandings whenever we fight. Silence in my home has become the norm. It hurts too much to fight for what’s right because it’s really not ever going to change. Years of the same has finally taught me that. It hurts, but that’s a pain I guess I will have to just live with. Now, I just walk away.

The point to all this for me is that sometimes bad things happen along our path. Sometimes people point unjust fingers and are intolerant of others. Sometimes kids misbehave and people you love disappoint you beyond what you could imagine. Sometimes, relationships are cruel and unjust. But if you can stop a minute to remember that we’re all just people. We all feel exactly the same things just not at the same time. We’re all trying to earn respect and adoration from the people we place the most faith in. We’re all trying desperately to be accepted.

If you can find someone that for the majority of the time you respect them you’ve won. Give them their behavior and let them own it. Go to a movie or take yourself out of the equation. Last night I saw Snow White and the Huntsman. I loved it. It’s a great movie to see when you’re upset. The bottom line is that you have to find peace with your choices even if for a moment those choices are a little painful. Because when you get to the other side of it, the joy and the happiness that follows is a result of the time you put in to be consistent, to show your love and to respect those whom you adore. Pause, because it’s not over. Remind yourself that you have a voice, but sometimes you don’t have to use it. Sometimes your own silent process can bring you right back to seeing the great things about a man you know.

Inspiration

Righteous Anger vs. Immature Emotions

Often people will say things that sting the other person when they were only trying to release these pent-up feelings or anger. They say things that are really a reflection of their own internal unresolved issues rather than anger directed at the other person. Generally, most men are afraid of women’s anger and will do whatever necessary to protect themselves from it. We as women know this, however, when we’re in the thick of whatever it is that has pushed our injustice button; we are hesitant to remain mature or calm about how we feel. This is unfortunate because angry women are not always angry at the man – but at some internal frustration. The same holds true for men.

Men are more likely to vent, and to let it out. Women are more likely to stuff, and keep it in, but both of these approaches to solving the anger issue are bad. If you always vent, you’re venting and exploding, lots of times, when what you should be doing is chilling out, because there’s nothing you can do about the traffic jam. If you’re always stuffing it, you’re stuffing it a fair amount of the time when there’s something you should be doing to get that jerk to quit calling you stupid for wanting to go see the latest Julia Roberts movie this weekend. Sometimes you need to speak and sometimes you need to be quiet, but learning which and when; now that is key.

Before you do anything, just say “Stop!” Ask yourself if this is one of those times when you need to do something about this or chill out? If you don’t do anything but that, you’ll stop before you explode or stuff it and you’ll be better off.

To understand righteous anger vs. anger that is immature let’s dive into the reasons for the emotion.  There are only two basic emotions – fear and love. All other emotions are degrees of these two. From what I know Anger is an emotion that has its root in fear.

Anger is an emotion that people express when they are: upset, frustrated, uncertain, anxious, hurt by another person or life in general, or confused. Many men and women when expressing anger are really covering the deeper emotion of fear. Unexpressed anger can be the result of a variety of personal emotional traits: the need for approval, the need for love, insecurity, a fear of rejection, guilt, resentment – to mention just a few. There is a flip side to this issue, however, and that is the impact of angry words spoken while in this fear state.

I’ve learned through some pretty horrible knock-down-drag-out come to Jesus meetings is that anyone who is angry needs to speak the truth in a loving manner. Anger can be communicated without name calling, yelling, screaming or threatening. Feelings of anger do not have to replace feelings of love. It is important to realize that being angry with someone does not mean you no longer love them, despite what men think about women getting angry.

No should or shouldn’t are allowed in your talk to each other, because your spouse using them is being a parent instead of a spouse. You don’t tell a spouse what they should or shouldn’t do. You tell a spouse what you would like them to do and then give them the opportunity to choose whether or not it is something they want to do.

I use “I feel” messages. Remember along with emotions come facts. Both should be argued and in a way that does not put the other spouse on the defensive.  An “I feel” message allows you to express how you felt about something they did or said. It gives you the opportunity to express your feelings but doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your way.

Consider this though, “I feel” messages will be met with more openness than saying, “You always do,” or “You hurt me.” You want to talk about how you feel, not point fingers at what your spouse did or didn’t do.

Don’t jump to conclusions about what your spouse is thinking or feeling. If you want to know, ask him! I really hate absolute comments or inference in an argument.  Just because you share your feelings doesn’t mean your spouse “heard” what you were saying.

When communicating we need to express and listen to be understood. A lot of us are guilty of hearing something other than what is actually being said. Make sure that you express your needs and that your spouse understands those needs. Asking him to repeat back to you what you’ve said will help. You can’t resolve a misunderstanding if you are being misunderstood!

I’ve been taught that in a healthy marriage both spouses should feel free to express their emotions, needs and desires. It is inevitable that expressing emotions can, at times mean expressing healthy anger nd engaging in conflict. Anger is a healthy part of a relationship if the anger is properly expressed. If done correctly arguing, conflict and friction in a marriage will sharpen and strengthen the marriage. This maturity is only something that through love and care can mature a marriage or relationship to the level of ultimate understanding and fewer conflicts.

You get to know and understand each other better. You feel safer within the relationship if you know it is safe to express your feelings of anger. You learn that marriage is not a competition, a game where one spouse has more control than the other. Nothing promotes love and intimacy more than working together without fear of reprisal with a commitment to doing what is best for everyone.

Inspiration

Affirmation vs Condemnation

Often, I am reminded that I am flawed. The people who love me the most tease me incessantly about tiny matters such as forgetfulness or even so far as to pick on me because they prefer comedies as opposed to drama.

For the most part, I’m an easy going individual who by the way, doesn’t ever poke fun at someone else’s shortcomings. To me, it’s just not funny, but then again, neither is sitting on a toilet but Hollywood keeps putting that crap in movies; so I can admit that it might just be me who doesn’t appreciate the continuous banter back and forth about things that in the great scheme of things really shouldn’t bother anyone. I shrug off the jokes until it feels like verbal bashing and that’s when I put a stop to it.

In today’s world we have so many TV shows insisting that we hold ourselves accountable for our behavior! So much do that kids are firming absolute resolution about the actions the see adults make and the outcome of all this is that humans are no longer allowed error.

The sin of Adam. Let’s go back to the origin to understand that we are ALL imperfect! None of us better or worse than the other. While we may question someone’s motives or have deep regrets for their behavior the truth is that in the eyes of our Lord we are all sinners and no one sin is greater than another!

So why do we pridefully challenge each other? I have theories that it’s in an effort to elevate our own self with, but honestly I think it’s because people feel entitled to tell someone how their actions affected them. When in reality the refuse to be held accountable if the situation were reversed! People just don’t like getting their hand slapped, and many a friendship has been lost because one or the other cannot handle the 4th and final stage of friendship: drawing boundaries.

Does that mean people have grown to be selfish? Yeah I think so to a certain extent but my hypotheses is that people have good intensional but they are immature in execution! People are intolerant and judgmental as a common body and so now people are guilty and must prove innocence. A foundation of freedoms this country was built in is lost in world void of loving understanding and acceptance because we’re all too busy giving people we love a “reality check” instead of making them feel secure in the knowledge that even if they make mistakes the love doesn’t fade.

It might be more like raising children but few have the maturity needed to be a genuine source of affirmation without an agenda or motive or conclusion! Love for the sake of choosing to lift a life up rather than condemn it. A man or a woman who feels loved will never have the need to find it elsewhere!