The WHY . . . ? . . . Series” – part 2

“The Why . . .? . . . Series” is not about answers because WHY’s intention is to help us explore, expand, and to accept the courageous invitation to grow through the actual journey we call our lives.”

“WHY are people angry?”

Dear Wonderful People,

Our vehicles are becoming smarter and smarter. We have all sorts of warning signals which light up to alert us of problems. Once, when the Low Tire Pressure light went on, I immediately got out and looked at all four tires- didn’t notice any significant deflation in any tire, nor did I see anything sticking out of a tire. It wasn’t until I had it in the shop that the technicians found a nail on the inside of my back tire. I couldn’t see it but there was a problem.

Anger is like a warning light alerting us to typically one of two problems. Either something which isn’t supposed to be there is poking us or something we’re supposed to have is leaving or being taken from us. Anger, in it’s most primitive state comes from noticing something is a potential problem and  anger wakes us to either fight or flight.

The reason I use the phrase “primitive state” is it points us back to a time when the only options we felt we had were fight or flight. One part of the WHY question is: “Is fight or flight the only options we have anymore?” The answer is a resounding NO! We have lots of options- yet, WHY are people angry? Because we too often aren’t practiced in the art of see options in life. 

Seeing and exploring options in life can become one of the joys of life; exploring options is an art form. One of the greatest gifts given to artists is the option to write, draw, paint, sculpt, dance, or act “badly”. BADLY? Isn’t our goal to strive for perfection? WHY try to do anything if we don’t do it perfectly? (Exploration of “WHY strive for perfection” is for another time). When we give ourselves permission to do something “badly”, we develop our child like ability to see the options we have. Notice how children are often not afraid to explore choices in a responsible, fun, and funnier way instead of a fight or flight reactionary way.

We are given millions of examples of how to be reactionary in our anger. One sided and poorly thought out comments on Social Media; attacks in the question and answer time on the news channels; panic shopping and the attacks by others on those who panic. It’s much easier to express reactionary anger- because it fools us into believing we’re doing something- than it is to take a breath and explore helpful options – even the bad ones.

WHY are people angry? Because:

– They don’t realize they have options

– They aren’t practiced in the art of exploring options in the non-crisis as well as crisis times of life.

– They worry more about how others will perceive them then knowing in their hearts they have a connection to God who is always working behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.

– They believe they know exactly how others think about them and believe that life would be a lot better if others could figure out how to live as wisely as “we” do.

WHY are people angry isn’t about trying to figure out what makes other people act the way they do. Instead, this WHY (as are all WHY’S) is to invite us to look at how we think, act, and speak. We can’t control what other people do nor can we fully understand what makes them tick; so we need to learn from what we see and experience to help us explore and expand on the options we have.

What are some words or actions by others which have made you angry? What was it they said or did which poked you or got you to believe something important to you was going to be taken away? Was it real? Did you find yourself wanting to fix or change them or did you pause and look at what you could change in you? 

What are some everyday things you do which you’d be open to seeing yourself do differently- just for the fun of it? What are some things you have wanted to do that you could do “badly” so you could at least get started? What are some things you could stop doing which have caused you problems and aren’t your responsibility anyway?

What if we thought of the name GOD as someone who loves us and who give us: “G”reat “O”ptions “D”aily? Realizing GOD is here to help us learn through our WHY’S doesn’t mean we won’t get angry. May we learn to realize GOD is always within our heart, soul, strength, and mind to guide us through the varieties of options we’ve always had but didn’t notice- until anger woke us up. May we all wake up and enjoy the great options God provides us daily- and to continue to explore all options for the rest of our lives.

God’s peace as we explore anger and all the options anger helps us to see and use.

Pastor Jim