A Letter to My Future Angry Self

Dear Jessica,

Why are you so angry?  Just take a moment to step back from the situation and think about it.  Really, truly think about it.  Why are you so angry in the first place?  Nine times out of ten you can’t even pinpoint the exact cause.

You get so worked up over the littlest things.  Is the fact that the house is a mess really worth getting so worked up and angry over?  Is the fact that you have so much to do that you don’t know where to start worth getting so angry for?  Is the fact that you can’t communicate your feelings the way you want really worth spewing out anger instead?  I don’t think so.

I understand that you get angry sometimes, but don’t let it control your life.  Don’t let the anger take over.  Instead, here’s what I want you to do:  I want you to acknowledge the anger, and then dismiss it.  Sounds simple enough, right?  It’s not going to be that simple.  It will get easier the more you practice it, though.  And I want you to practice it.  Practice it a lot.

I know everyone gets angry.  I know that.  And I know that you get angry, and sometimes you might have a good reason for it.  But most of the time- let’s be honest here- you don’t.  You get angry over stupid, little shit that isn’t even worth it.

Here’s a list of why you often get angry.  If the reason you are angry right now is on there, it’s probably not worth being angry for.

  1. Josia isn’t listening.  (In reality, he is.  You know how he is.)
  2. The house is a mess.  (Quit being angry and go clean it.)
  3. You have too much to do and don’t know where to start.  (Start somewhere, anywhere!)
  4. You don’t want to do something.  (Get over yourself and do it.)
  5. You can’t share what you’re feeling.  (Look at your feelings wheel- it will help put into words the emotions you’re feeling.)
  6. Josia isn’t talking to you.  (You know he’s not a big talker.  He’ll talk if he has something to say.)
  7. You are tired, hungry, or lonely.  (If you’re tired, sleep.  If you’re hungry,  eat.  If you’re lonely, reach out to someone.)
  8. You’re not getting your way.  (The world doesn’t revolve around you.)
  9. You forgot to do something.  (Everyone forgets things sometimes, you’re only human.)
  10. You don’t want to go to work.  (Um, go to work.  You’ve got bills to pay.)
  11. Josia doesn’t want to fight with you.  (Why do you want to fight in the first place?)
  12. You don’t have any friends.  (You have friends!  There’s Amanda, Beth, Bree,.. just reach out to them!)
  13. You spent too much money.  (Okay, so I’ve gotta give you this one.  You *might* have a reason to be angry, but you can’t change it now that you’ve bought the stuff.  Just remember this feeling next time and manage your money better.)

If you’re angry for a reason other than those that I have listed above, I want you to try to take a step back from that anger and analyze the situation.  Is it something that you can control?  If yes, change it.  If no, accept it.  Getting angry over it is not going to change it.  Is it something that happened to you?  Is it something that happened because of something you did?  Is it something that someone else did?  Are you really angry or do you just think you’re angry because you can’t identify what you’re actually feeling?

Getting angry is a part of life, but you can do something about it.  You can change how you handle that anger, how you approach the feeling as a whole.  You can change the fact that it controls you- just don’t let it.  You can’t change the feeling, but you can change how you let if affect your life.

So, I guess what I’m really trying to say here is to not let that anger take over your mind.  Don’t let it control.  It’s okay to get angry, Jessica, but accept that anger as it is, acknowledge it, and move on from it.

Stay calm,

Jessica

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