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You Can Only Ever Upset Yourself

Steve Wickham
 


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As a self-confessing would-be anti-complainant it breaks me up when I lose my cool and get seemingly angry for no real reason. I just did this very recently and I was perplexed as to why! Almost whilst I was doing this I was troubled by it. It led me to the thought, ‘How do we control our responses to things, behaviourally?'

As I analysed my behaviour afterwards I realised that I was actually upset with myself first and foremost; I'd let someone down who was important to me and was embarrassed by that fact. Little did I know it though, this series of thoughts and self-judgments led to a series of behaviours that I would later regret; though they were not overtly harmful, it made the situation worse because I berated myself even more. The worst thing really was my discontentment could not be explained. Like fear which cannot be explained, and by definition therefore this becomes ‘anxiety, ’ I had no way really of trouble-shooting bar sharing with my wife, who listened intently and supported me ably.

The following day, however, I was able to see the situation in a fresh, more realistic, and certainly less harsh light. And this was my summation:

I got negatively emotional. This was caused by my failing someone in a vital area that I personally value; I experienced guilt. That is normal. What did I do with it? I let it harbour. I know that the best solution to these situations, for me, is to surrender completely to the truth and not delay in doing so. I did not do this. I did not seek the blessings and reparation of God when a touch more boldness would have done the business; I missed the point of transaction.

It underscores a thought. Getting emotionally upset is a form of a lack of self-control. It is a departure for the state of being “adult. " We all do it from time to time, even those most ‘adult’ amongst us. The key is quickly addressing this propensity we have to slip back into the ‘wounded child. ’ The best people do this in-the-moment. I can think of times, and many of them, when I've done this and it so motivates me; it's the power of God to turn to him instantly and experience his grace; then we just get on with adult living again-simple!

The idea of wisdom is adulthood. Those who're consistently adult-like are the sages. At the end of the day we can only ever upset ourselves; (sure, we can upset others, but that is not the subject in focus here. We're discussing our own emotions and the corresponding control of them. )

No matter the stimulus, we have the power to respond ‘in the adult. ’ Recall that ‘adult’ behaviour is reasonable, responsible, rational, realistic, and logical.

Copyright © 2008, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us.

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