Anger is one of those emotions we need to deal with every so often. It’s rare to find a person who doesn’t get their fuse lit once and a while, even those folks you think would never lose it. Sure, we all put a good face on in public, but hang around the airport for a while, especially when flights are delayed, and that old rascal will come out of many of us.
Children, especially, don’t know how to handle anger. That strong, overwhelming urge to lash out, punish someone or something, let out some colorful words, or explode like a volcano. I’m sure that, if given the opportunity, we could all relate a story or two of how we lost it and wish we hadn’t.
When that anger gets to the boiling point, it’s known as ‘seeing red’, and I certainly have ‘seen red’ before. I’m part Irish and you know what they say about the Irish temper. That red we see will blind us from seeing things on a rational level. It will cloud our vision and, when the red dies down, we’ll look back and wonder what happened when we couldn’t see very well.
Thankfully, we can learn from our mistakes. One vivid memory for me was when I was just beginning to learn those curse words we’re all familiar with as adults and thought it was cool to use them. My sister, on the other hand, knew I was using them around her and decided she’d had enough so she placed a tape recorder under my chair in the living room. She then proceeded to provoke me until I ‘SAW RED…’ Five minutes later, every word I’d learned had come out of my mouth at least ten times very loudly.
That evening, while we were at our grandparent’s home and I was downstairs playing a game of pool (great memories around that pool table too), I heard my mother shout, “BRAD, GET UP HERE!”. I didn’t know what that was about, but I knew I was in trouble for something. When I got upstairs, I saw the family sitting around the kitchen table with that tape player playing the audio of me using those red-colored words… Oh my, was I in trouble. I was so embarrassed and hurt that I had disappointed my grandparents that I just cried. They didn’t have to spank me or wash my mouth out. I just learned that my words could hurt other people and disappoint the ones I love the most. It was a great lesson to learn at that age.
The tongue is a powerful tool and one, when combined with red vision, can be a very destructive tool in other peoples lives. One helpful thing is to find a way to vent. Like the vents in this building, they let out the steam in a safe, controlled way. We all could use a good vent when we’re seeing red. I know I can.
So, hears to finding a safe, healthy way to vent when we see red. It may be in the car when we’re alone. It may be while on a walk. It may be when we’re praying or a friend who’s willing to listen. Whatever it is, I encourage us all to find one, so the next time we ‘see red’, we vent out that steam safely…
Love always friend,