Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Anger is A Choice

I wrote this post a long time ago on our family blog and I just thought it was a good thing to post again.  If you watch any news at all you can see how much anger there is all around the entire world.  People such as Van Jones, George Soros, Unions, and the Muslim Brotherhood are pleading with people to get angry and get out in the streets and protest.  We all thought Egypt was a victory but there are still people rioting in the streets because now the Unions are mad.  People all over America are using the internet and social networks to get people out of their houses and yelling and rioting in the streets.  I don't understand it.  They may want change but is this the way to bring it about?  In America we can vote and that is how you can show that you want change.  People are being killed in Europe and the middle east. People are beating Americans and screaming hateful things.  Did you know that 85% of Muslims think that if you change religions you should be killed?  They think they want to change their way of life but they still believe that?

Anyway, I don't only think people are angry at their country and government, I feel like people are just angry at whatever they feel cause to be.  Six months ago I learned one of the most valuable lessons I could ever learn.  Anger is a Choice!  I had never even considered this concept as my children spill apple juice all over my newly mopped floor.  I always thought that the kids made me angry not me choosing to get angry. 

I learned this life changing concept at a church meeting.  The first speaker said something about how we need to listen to the spirit to hear the things during the meeting that were not said.  I remembered something an old Seminary Teacher told us about.  We need to pray to hear what we need to hear and pray for the speaker to have the spirit to say what they need to say.  I said a silent prayer right then to hear what I needed to hear.  I learned more in this meeting that I needed to than I have in a long time.  It was not just one subject but a multitude of different things all meant for me.  The things that stood out the most are about anger and murmuring.  I'll start with anger first.

I would not say I am an angry person. All I know is that I get furious with my kids a lot.  They can set a perfectly happy mom on fire in an instant.... when I am alone.  That last phrase is so pertinent to what I learned that night that I had to highlight it.  I don't lose my temper with my kids when I am in public or if anyone is around.   This tells me something....I can control it.  The spirit told me the last part not the speaker.  He told me that I can control it when I am alone.  When I was listening to this talk last night he said something that I found perplexing, amazing and undoubtedly true.  He quoted our prophet President Thomas S Monson.  He said, "To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible."  When he said "I testify that such is possible." I first though, "No way...seriously...to NEVER get angry?...Holy cow....I need to work on that... how wonderful would my household be and how much better a mom I would be if I never got angry....K wait.... he said no one can make us angry...it is our choice... my kids make me angry...wait but I don't get angry when I am with people....so obviously it is a choice...obviously it is just me succumbing to my "Natural Man."  It is our natural tendency to be angry to let our temper get the best of us.  But we can overcome that.  We can decide to not get angry.  Holy cow... I had never thought that was possible but what an exciting challenge and an exciting possibility!!!"  Yes that all ran through my head in about five seconds.

I know I cannot do this alone.  I know I am going to have to make a conscious effort every day of my life and pray continually to overcome this sin.  Another quote from Pres Monson's talk said, "Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything."  How true is that.  What is the difference when I am disciplining my kids when I yell at them to get into their room or when I just say with a firm voice to get to their room.  I don't feel better about it and neither do they.  They definitely don't feel love from me at that moment and that is the most important thing.  That goes for the people around the world.  The Tea Party rallies are not angry rallies.  The media tries to find violent rhetoric or anything that they can accuse them of but they never can.  You can get things accomplished just as well without anger and violence.  Jesus led by example and taught with love, not anger. The entire talk our prophet gave was incredible.  If you want to read it click here.

The next thing I learned was about murmuring.  Murmuring is defined as a half-suppressed resentment or muttered complaint.  This is another huge thing that comes naturally to the natural man.  In our scriptures it teaches that, "the natural man is an enemy to God."  All of our natural tendencies are tools Satan uses to bring us down.  All the discouragement, anger, hurt, being offended, and murmuring are just a few of the sins that we as the natural man have.  How often do I murmur.  I do it about my kids, about josh's work, about my house, about my family and friends and neighbors. In a talk by Neil A Maxwell he said, "While a murmurer insists on venting his own feelings, he regards any response thereto as hostile. (See 2 Ne. 1:26.) Furthermore, murmurers seldom take into account the bearing capacity of their audiences."  Last night the speaker said this quote.  I was kind of confused by it at first so I talked to my friends at dinner about it.  Their insight helped a lot.  We came to the conclusion that how often have we murmured against our kids or spouce or a family member to someone or even about our kids in front of our kids.  We don't think about how much they can handle.  We don't think about if we murmur about a sister or grandparent how it will affect their view on them forever.  We don't think about how it will affect our child if he hears us complaining about him on the phone to a friend.  It can have some lasting results that we cannot conceive.   Likewise, all around the globe people are murmuring about the government, about not being treated fairly, about being entitled to more, about deserving more, about being at their wits end and a million other things.  Jesus never was at his wits end.  He was put through more than any of us are and he survived and he made it through unscathed.  We can do more.  We can love more.  We can bare one another's burdens. 



"It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it'." Audrey Hepburn


3 comments:

Michelle said...

Really great quote at the end! I'm curious if you feel like a better person now than when you originally wrote this. I remember reading it back then and I don't know if I'm doing much better today.

Annie said...

Well, having moved, renting and having family drama up the butt has made it hard. I did amazing for about a month. I didn't yell once. Then we moved. The past two weeks since I have remembered this I have done well. The problem is remembering and being conscious of it. I will let you know after we move and settle if I am still doing okay.

Susanmeep said...

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thank you :)

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