As women, we have been labeled quite a bit with the word "emotional." I guess it's true that women tend to be more emotional than men and I surmise it stems from our hormones and the nurturing instincts we possess as mothers. If our child is wronged or hurt or something bad happens to them, we are sad -- in fact, the sadness may turn into heartbrokenness. Only a mother can understand what it truly means to be heartbroken because the brokenness brought on by the love for a child is the worst brokenness you can feel in my opinion. But to be perfectly honest, I have seen grown men who cried like babies at the drop of a hat. I don't understand men who cry so easily. Perhaps that's because my generation taught their young men to stand tall, keep a stiff upper lip, and never show emotion. Today parents encourage their sons to not be afraid of emotion and teach them to be in touch with their more tender side. I have nothing against it; I just don't totally understand it. Because I, for one, (comparatively speaking) don't even cry at the drop of a hat like most women I know or even those few men I know that cry easily. I have probably seen my husband cry three times in 35 years, and that was not even really crying. His eyes welled and one tiny little tear might have fallen if it had a chance to fall before being whisked away. I am not even sure it counts as crying. When we go to a movie, my girlfriends can be sobbing into their popcorn and I'm over there...what is so sad, ladies? The one thing that will make me cry however is anything having to do with my kids. And then I might be the one to fill that popcorn bucket to overflowing with tears. No need for extra salt on that popcorn.
We gals indeed are emotional creatures. We love, we hurt, we cry, we laugh. And sometimes we get angry. Sometimes we get very, very angry. And this is the emotion that has me stumped today. When we love, we can express it in all kinds of ways...we hug, we kiss, we bake and cook, we work harder, we do for others. Doing for others is one of the biggest ways we show our love, wouldn't you agree? When we are sad, we might withdraw, we might find ourselves in a crippling do-nothing state, we might watch a sad chick-flick marathon and give into our sadness for awhile, but we almost always allow ourselves the privilege of being sad. I've always said that tears are God's way of helping us to release sadness. Those tears have a way of cleansing you, of re-setting the clock, of just helping you to let go of the sadness that lurks within in order to move forward. Have you ever been so full that you must give in to the tears and afterwards you feel strengthened to move on? I have. There have been times when a good long cry comes out of nowhere and I say to myself Wow, I must've just needed a good cry, I feel so much better!
But anger has me befuddled sometimes. It's the one emotion where we have to be cautious when entertaining it. Anger is probably one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. People have done horrible things in fits of anger. Marriages have ended and lives have been destroyed because of uncontrolled anger. When I was a young wife I can remember not minding a good knock-down dragged-out argument once in awhile. It seemed as though arguing was clarifying and maybe it was, but I think I liked making up -- that was the best part! But as I've gotten older and hopefully a bit wiser, I try to avoid arguing at any cost. I'd also like to think I've learned better how to argue by expressing differences without hurtful words. Nothing pains me more than to think I'd say something out of anger that might cause irreconcilable separations with the people I love. Anger is one emotion that, if not controlled, can turn into a deadly force. It behooves us as women to control our anger emotions and keep them corralled in the pen of self-discipline because to not do so could have bitter consequences.
It's so easy and gratifying to give into emotions that produce good outcomes, like love and laughter and goodwill. But it's quite hard sometimes to harness anger, to lasso it like a bucking bronco and put it in its place. So what do we do with anger? When I am angry, the first thing I do is pray and ask God to help me. Then I have a long, hard talk with myself. I tell myself nothing is worth being too angry over. I tell myself it's not worth the chance you take to say or do something out of anger because it will only make things worse. Anger can be expressed but doing it in a way that is not harmful is the ultimate challenge. I keep myself busy. I wholeheartedly believe that an idle mind is the devil's work shop. I exercise by walking. Walking a lot. Walking miles if I need to until I feel that release of feel-good endorphins that have a magical quality about them. You can almost feel them as they release all over your body and spread to every corner of your being (like the pain meds I've experienced after surgery, haha!). They miraculously cover all negative emotions with a peaceful calm of wellbeing. Nature's medicine I say. These things are my arsenal of weapons I use against anger when it tries to overtake me.
But sometimes it seems that anger still tries to hang on, like a demon dragging behind you, hanging on to your coattail refusing to let go, nagging you day after day without relief. It might be just a tiny little voice in the bottom of your heart that will not subside. What do you do then? You wait. And while you're waiting, you once again reach into your bag of weapons and use them over and over and over again until the foe has retreated and flies its white flag of surrender. Anger has finally been defeated.
One other thing I might consider doing if I'm having a really hard time with anger...go into a lonely place with a pillow. It might be the back of the house or outside in the empty field. I cover my face with the pillow and scream as loud as I can and for as long as I please! Screaming into a pillow is just as satisfying as screaming at the person with whom you're angry, but with far fewer consequences except maybe a sore throat. Better your sore throat than another's sore heart, right?
One final thought...talking to a friend can help as well. Oh, wow, I feel so much better now. Thank you so much for listening. Muah.
Posted by CC
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