I don't want to become "the angry one."
Victoria is a Catholic Navy wife and a new mom. Dahvie is an incarcerated Chicago gang member. They write letters back and forth (you can learn more about it here). In this post, Victoria describes giving up anger for Lent, and Dahvie shares how he directs his anger.
Victoria: I gave up anger for Lent. Well, not quite. I noticed that I’m more easily frustrated recently than I was in the past. I just get riled up about almost everything: students, teachers, friends, my husband (my poor husband--he has to deal with a lot of my anger). So, for lent, my big goal was to pray each and every day for those that make me upset. I dunno. It’s not always bad to get angry. I mean, Jesus has that big scene where he whips people out of the temple! But we're also supposed to pray for our enemies, for those who hate us, for those who frustrate us. I’m working on that. Because I don’t want to become “the angry one.” What a sad way to live life -- always angry.
Dahvie: Well good for you. I hope it went well. Me personally, I just find a way to work my anger off. Everybody get angry. Just everything, and anything shouldn’t make you angry. They say anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get hurt. So I watch for what make me mad and decided to make me laugh. Of course that took time but I’m not easily angry nor am I easily offended. Another quote: “It’s good to defend yourself, it’s even better to not get offended.”
Victoria: I got a lot out of your line about anger and poison. Oh man, how true.I’ll sit there being angry and what does that do? Only hurt me. I had a situation recently come up where I got—wow, I got angry past what I can usually handle. It was a mix of different things: I was tired, I was experiencing pain in my back, and an acquaintance of mine was being obnoxious. It was so interesting, I found in that moment that I do exactly what my dad does when he gets angry. I get really really quiet.I just shut down. I wouldn’t talk to that person or look them in the eye. And we had plans for the rest of the evening and I canceled them all. It took me a while to calm down from that. Now I laugh at the situation: just how much emotion I devoted to that situation.I’m like a little lightning bolt. So much energy and force focused into one spot.