Thursday, September 2, 2010


Anger, grief, suffering and healing have had the major run around in my brain this week. I’ll start with the easiest…when I am not so tired maybe I can remember the great insight I have had on the others…(note some sarcasm implied with “great insight”)

Anger is a secondary emotion. That is fancy pancy clinical speak for the fact that you feel angry because you feel something else. Sad, hurt, disappointed, confused, lost, lonely, embarrassed…it’s a huge list really. If you have ever worried with severely emotionally disturbed children (or adults I suppose) you know that anger is almost always the emotion they identify when they get themselves in trouble. Angry. So I teach about feelings a lot. I talk about feelings a lot. I deal in the business of feelings. Its fun.

Fun when they are other peoples feelings. The kids I work with often eventually figure out that really they like to feel angry. It often makes them feel powerful and safe. Anger is safer than sad or lost or confused because it isn’t vulnerable. Its easier and a lot less scary to be mad get aggressive when all your life you have had to be to protect yourself. I really don’t like to feel angry. I don’t like how out of control it feels, how powerless I feel when I am angry. I don’t like what I think and what I say when I am angry.

When you are in pain its hard to not lash out at people. My boss once said, explaining so much about the kids we work with, simply, “hurt people, hurt people”. And when you are hurting its so tempting to lash out at others.

Anger is an inescapable part of the grieving process. With God’s grace may it not result in more hurt people.

Ephesians 4:26 "In your anger do not sin"

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