Funnily, the healthier I have gotten as a person, the louder these 'outbursts' have become. Weird. I know. But, true, none-the-less. You see, for most of my life, my anger just seethed and simmered. Undetected by most. But very real to me. And, now, I am more aware of it's presence and I am more comfortable verbalizing how I am feeling. My family is getting used to me saying, "I am feeling angry right now." I don't feel I have to hide or pretend or be other than I am... angry, at that particular moment.
It isn't that my anger is good or righteous. Very, very rarely is that the case. This morning it was utter frustration with a rather trite matter... It was unrighteous and unhelpful, really. I was simply irritable, annoyed and impatient. And, therefore, angry.
After my toddler-tantrum this morning, I felt very unsettled. The tantrum brought no peace. In fact, in it's wake came more anger. Now, I was angry at myself for my bad behavior. It is good to be aware. The outburst didn't help; but, the awareness did. I could have seethed again... dug deep, pushed down the fresh anger and felt a day of shame. I didn't. I told God I was frustrated. I told Him I was angry at myself and my response. I asked Him for grace and forgiveness.
Praying my way through the morning... asking God what His thoughts were... I think I might have heard His whisper... "The Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21) The Kingdom of God... Jesus's Kingdom of Peace and Light. Refuge and Strength
Tender words. These words wafted over my mind and I was reminded of the indwelling of the Spirit of God within me. His Kingdom within... around... in the midst.
It was a sweet reminder that I have a place to run to when frustrated and irritable. I have refuge within and around me... My Rock. When I am unsteady and impatient... I can turn and run inward to this place of peace---running to the Spirit of God within me. He holds and carries and contains and fills.
A frustrated two year old has a choice. I know because I have had two of them. I distinctly remember saying to my two year old child, "Are you frustrated? I see you are very frustrated... Come here. Let me help you. Let me hold you." When they chose refuge in my arms, they would find peace and calm and ...help.
I don't have to seethe and push it down. I can acknowledge the true emotion. I also don't have to outburst in rage. In my anger, I don't have to sin. I have another option. I have the Kingdom of God within me! I can take these raw and real emotions and run into a stable and constant place of peace... getting a hug and help. I can confess and be made right... I have big, beautiful arms to run into. Right in that moment.