A Temper To Remember
Just the other day, I saw Francis Kong status about Anger
“Unrealistic expectations cause conflicts in relationships.
Anger is essentially unfulfilled expectations.
Before losing the temper, perhaps we need to pause
and consider whether our expectations are realistic and have been properly communicated.
This is what wise people do.”
I had a quick heart check and asked God if I have improved with my temper issues. For those who know me well, they would give me a rate of 12 for temper rage given a 1-10 range. I would easily get irritated if I have to repeat something I already said or if certain things wouldn’t go the way I wanted it to be. It was a bad case of perfectionism.
Plus I the way I looked got me trouble. When I would have my “game face” on, people had issues about how I would carry a “suplada” look. It did get me irritated in the past. Something Jayjay and I have in common haha! He got into trouble for carrying a serious look going down an escalator and the person who was going up was totally convinced that Jayjay had issues against him. Similarly, I was headed to the toilet and a woman approached him and wanted to ask if I had issues against her. For both incidents, we didn’t even notice the person. So we had this resolution to practice carrying a more cheerful-smiley face even when walking around. But I did get irrirated why I had to conform to what people were commenting about the way I would carry my face. But theres no harm with changing.
Back then I prayed that God would help me with my temper and self control. I grew up being exposed with adults expressing their frustration through anger. As much as I didn’t want to grow up like similarly to it, I found myself caught in the same trap.
I prayed for this weakness and God answered me by making me pregnant with Caitlin. Ever since she was born, my patience increased and my temper did improve (according to loved ones) I was more “cheery” and was more conscious to be positive.
Every time I was about to loose my temper, I would remember how I grew up and remembered what it felt like when an adult would loose her temper on me for situations I had problems understanding because of my age.
There was a time when Caitie was a newborn I couldn’t understand what she wanted and almost shook her in frustration. Good thing Jayjay was around to relieve me.
Recently, I would loose my patience more often. Mostly because im frustrated that Caitie would loose focus or delay with certain chores. This heightened when I gave birth to Ethan and was on a 1 month hiatus. I was physically disabled, nursing a newborn and trying to manage being “intentional” with Caitie and try to figure out ways for her to do educational play.
There were instances that I would raise my voice and I would see that she was hurt inside. I felt bad that I hurt her but at the same time, I had pride. There were voices in my head struggling to ask for forgiveness from a toddler or suck it up because she was provoking me.
I'd remember the verse on exasperating your child and how I felt when I was shouted at when I was young. But a voice in me would fight that “hey I was provoked and she didn’t obey immediately”. She didn’t cry when I raised my voice but she has this look of biting her upper lip and tried to “control” not getting teary eyed and she would put her head down. She didn’t bawl but I knew she was hurt.
I had to let go of my pride and ask for forgiveness from a toddler.
Me: “Did you get hurt when I raised by voice”
Caitie: “Yes” (would often put her head down and control not to shed a tear)
Me: “Im sorry for hurting you my raising my voice. Will you forgive me?”
Caitie: “Yes” Me: “Thank you for forgiving me”
We’d embrace really tight and go back to play.
Its amazing how a child can easily forgive.
I thought that I have improved since my last temper attack 2 years ago but honestly scenario happened A LOT of times since Ethan’s arrival and I would feel really bad that I caught myself loosing my temper again.
Sometimes id catch her be frustrated, kick, throw a tantrum or want to do things herself. I would see my bad traits during these times and I would really really feel bad. I pray that Caitie will not adopt this bad trait when she grows up and be corrected ahead of time as I continue to change by Grace.
Lately I also noticed when my facial expression would change, she would get affected and be scared. Yung “makuha ka sa tingin” but I don’t think id like to practice this.
Thankful for the internet, Jayjay and I was able to watch a live stream of CCF’s Sunday message and I think it was just perfect for me. It was how to respond instead of reacting. I easily react to situations and act on them immediately instead of pausing and thinking things over.
I knew for a fact that I had a big issue about this. I remember Pastor Peter had a funny example about this regarding a spilled drink caused by his wife during in-flight. And instead of reacting, he simply said “Honey, I love you” . It wouldve easy to put your finger down and blame how wrong the person was. But it takes a lot of humility to resist the urge to prove how right you are and how wrong the other person is.
You can watch it here – http://www.ccf.org.ph/videos/view/respond-dont-react
I liked how his acronym P.R.A.Y. Pause, Resist the first impulse, Ask the Holy Spirit to control you, and Yield to God by surrendering to what He tells you to do.
Totally loved the reminder to “Resist the first impulse”
Ofcourse I love my kids and I want to be more patient with them but when it comes to other people, I sometimes want to debate and prove how right I am and how wrong they are; an impulse to react and defend myself. Voices inside my head would react and convince that I had the right to defend myself since they reacted first and didnt respond. That they were the first one to put their finger on me and blame how wrong I was.
As I continue to grow in this area, I would try to pause and resist the impulse and guess what happens. I break down into tears. I guess its me tearing up inside and sucking my pride. To respond, rather than to react but there this HUGE desire to react. If we were in court, I was so sure that I would win given the list of proof that I have. But I end up being silent, trying to resist the impulse to react and in the process I end up crying because my spirit and my flesh is fighting. It would be hard to yield to want God wants me to do which makes me cry up all the more.
Saying affirming words rather than words which im sure would tear the person and totally crush the bones was a struggle. But at the end of it, you know you pleased God and just leave God to avenge. And when He does, He has this way of building both my character and that person rather than just hurting of taking vengeance.
I liked the devotional I received tonight which im subscribed to. Heres an excerpt:
Whenever we work close to another person, whether in an office or home, small offenses can become the source of great conflict. Resentment and irritability soon follow. God brings these “offenses” into our lives to develop character qualities in us. He uses individuals in our lives to accomplish his goal of making us more Christ-like.
So the next time you complain or resist a habit or action from someone close to you, ask God if it has been placed there to develop some quality in you. Pride is the root source of the need to change another person. A man’s wisdom gives him patience-to let go of little offenses. This is where spiritual maturity is seen in the day-to-day activity of life.
Is there someone close to you who has some habit you really want to change? Give up that desire to the Lord. Who knows, He may even change it after you let go of the need to change it. “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 – Prime Time with God.
You can also subsribe but their website is currently down. churchgrowth.org for the meantime you can give me your email address so i can forward a copy and you can subsribe later on.
I still have a long way to go with learning to be patience and practice self control but Francis Kong’s reminder really dug deep in my heart and made me understand where my Anger or frustration was coming from. Most likely I’m expecting Caitlin to act in the way I want her to be and this causes the frustration. My expectation is sometimes unrealistic and I need to pause and check if it is realistic and if I was able to communicate it well.
“Unrealistic expectations cause conflicts in relationships. Anger is essentially unfulfilled expectations. Before losing the temper, perhaps we need to pause and consider whether our expectations are realistic and have been properly communicated. This is what wise people do.”
– Francis Kong