Let me put your mind at ease. This is not another article written to promote a divisive agenda or stir up anger in any way. If you follow me at all, I hope you know by now that it is not my style at all. So I don’t want to make you angry today, but I do want you to consider your anger today.
If you’re like me and pretty much every other human on the planet, you can easily justify your anger. And I’m guessing you do it much more than you realize. But before we get too far down the rabbit hole, allow me to pause you for a moment and to ask you to consider your own self-anger. Again, I’m sensing your dismissiveness around this topic, but I’m also betting there’s more smoldering under the surface than you realize.
Perhaps, like me, you veil your anger at yourself by reframing it with terms like “perfectionist, driven, or Type-A.” I can speak to this personally, and I know that speaking at least for myself, these are terms I have hidden behind for years, if not most of my life, to justify my anger and disappointment with my seeming lack of ability to be “the best.” Like me, perhaps you say, “I’m just wired in such a way to expect the best from myself.”
Again, let me pause you and ask you to consider if the disappointment festering inside yourself, perhaps even subconsciously inside of you? Your question at this point may be, “what is your point?” Simply this, if we’re going to live in such a way to be in a place of grace and forgiveness with other people, we’d better start with ourselves. Expecting perfection from yourself is only a short distance from demanding perfection from others. Either space we are in is one in which we will experience only disappointments.
The fact of the matter is, we are all flawed people. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can begin to embrace that fact and to let go of anger and embrace imperfection. I cannot think of a better place to start than with ourselves. Here is a challenging thought: none of us are good enough to get angry with others. How does that land on you? Ouch?!
Once you have begun to accept yourself – and your flaws – now are you are ready to take on all of the other flawed people in the world! I challenge you to practice forgiveness and kindness to yourself and then not share that with other people. The better you feel about yourself, and the more you recognize and embrace your shortcomings, the better you will be equipped to engage with a world that needs more people willing to engage a hand of friendship instead of a fist full of anger.
When I wrote my best-selling book, Mustard Seed Faith, I did so at a time of much societal unrest. Publishing it in February of 2020, I had no idea what the world would look like soon after its release. Even before the turmoil and unrest n the last 18 months, the principles are timeless and worth repeating. I encourage you to check out the book and/or my free study guide and eBook, all available on my website, www.eric-harrison.com.
In summary, my hypothesis and my Why for writing the book in the first place is that we are all much more alike than we are different, and rather than lamenting (at best) or getting angry about the things which divide us, why not celebrate our similarities and learn to love and respect other people as much as we do ourselves and others that think and look the same way we do?
Just as facts do not resolve conflicts, anger does not accomplish anything productive. Not only is it offensive to others, but it is also a self-defeating mindset. Selflessness is the beginning of everything good that you can accomplish when you put forth the effort. Rather than leave you with just that thought, let me give you three convenient things that you can start today to develop the selflessness you need to make anger and conflict something other people struggle with.
First, practice gratitude. Whether you write it down, type it into your cell phone or laptop, or spend time in contemplative quietness (I recommend writing it down, by the way), begin practicing the art of gratitude. The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for, as the great Zig Ziglar said.
Next, take time to push yourself beyond your limits. This can be in any area of your life: Diet, exercise, faith, a significant relationship. You and everyone else are capable of much more than you think you are. Challenge yourself to grow, and see what an amazing effect that has on your overall attitude and mindset – which will impact how you relate to everyone you come in contact with.
Finally, give sacrificially, preferably in a way that causes you to do it with and for another person. We all have much more to give than we think. Obviously, our greatest gift to give is time, but we can also give our money, our possessions, our skills, and our talents to help others who can benefit from them. The possibilities are unlimited.
If you allow yourself to do so, you can easily become a person who seems to be looking for a fight like most other people these days. I would encourage you rather seek to become part of the solution and not the problem. I have heard it said that anger is a form of depression. Rather than allowing yourself to wallow in it, pick yourself up, start practicing grace, forgiveness, and kindness, and then share it with someone else.
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I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These special hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.