Sunday, March 2, 2008

Learning For Myself

Anger is a self-centered reaction to inconvenience or disappointment. If I really look back on my day, and remember being angry, it is always for one of these two reasons. How selfish of me. My deep desire is to be better. The Lord loves me, is aware of my weaknesses and is waiting with an out stretched hand to help me. I love Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon. It contains a beautiful promise.
No, I am not always angry. I don't yell at my kids all day. But I want to improve and preserve my most treasured relationships. I certainly have room to improve and I am learning many things about myself and my reactions to certain situations. I want to be better.

"I only have the right to correct those I love. Any time I am feeling impatient or judgemental, I am not prepared to correct. The irony in this principle is that, when I am wholeheartedly loving my child, the urge to correct normally evaporates. Or, if there is still some need to correct, it is done in a spirit that is redemptive rather than punitive." H. Wallace Goddard (The Soft Spoken Parent)
If I look at the BIG picture, I know that it all starts with ME and my relationship with Heavenly father.
Joseph Smith said this....
"All the religious world is boasting of rightousness: It is the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind, and hinder our progress, by filling us with self-rightousness. The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs.....If you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another."
My spirit is starving. I'm going to a feast.


Stephanie S. said...

A few days ago I had an evening "out" with two girlfriends - we met for a cup of tea at a little local place.
THe topic of "self-centered" came up.

We pretty much came to the conclusion that self-centered is a really wonderful place to be - it speaks of having a solid and quiet connection with Within, that place of Knowing, and Love, and Peace, and Centeredness and Calm.

I think many of the world's troubles come because not enough people take the time to be Centered Within - Self-Centered.

Probably I need to write about this.

Juanita said...

I am often frustrated out of inconvenience. How rude of me. I'm feeding the baby and all the other kids are yelling and demanding attention or I am trying to take a nap when the baby does and everyone again needs my attention. I fail to believe that this is a single mother problem. My children seem to need me most when i am run down and wayyyyy too tired. The only way to get through any of this is with the help of our Fahter in Heaven.

I was feeling like I was yelling and being contentious on a constant basis, so last Sunday after church I went online to the church library and printed four articles: Dealing with Anger and Contention (September 1988), Tempering our Tempers (February 2008), Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty (May 1999), & What I would do Differently as a Parent (July 1996). I have only read 2 of the articles so far.

As much as I hate the 80's I have to say that the time period produced a fabulous article. "Dealing with Contention and Anger" was very uplifting. I felt the spirit when I read it and may have even cried. It agrees with what you said about anger being a "manifestation of selfishness" it describes this by saying, "those who respond with anger when they are frustrated or annoyed are saying, in effect, that their feelings and opinions are more important than those of others." Ouch! It also said that people use anger to control others...isn't that taking away agency? Now for the good stuff...
"The Key to overcoming a spirit of anger or contention, then is to overcome selfishness-to try to infuse empathy and compassion into our relationships." We as parents need to see the problem from our child's perspective...maybe they are trying to help and we think they are being pesty or defiant. "When we see a situation from our children's point of view, our initial feelings of anger melt into understanding."

The article also spoke of anger being a choice. Hmmm, something to ponder and consider. " be angry is a choice we make; it is not caused by anyone or anything OUTSIDE ourselves." (emphasis added).

It is not of the Lord for us to be contentious. "Since the Lord expects us to stop being contentious, to cease being angry, he must know that IT IS POSSIBLE for us to do." This brought to my mind "Nephi's Courage," if the Lord commands it he WILL provide a way. We also must be willing to work for it...

There is a Solution:
"Use PRAYER to avoid anger and govern undesirable feelings"

Anway, the article is so much better than I can summarize for you so please go and read it. It even has a "first aid for anger and contention" cute and catchy title.