a free writing exercise, simply processing on paper
|This is a free writing exercise…
WORDS AND ANGER
Death doesn’t require a knife or a gun. It doesn’t take driving a car into a tree or off a cliff into a ravine. All it takes is words. That’s right, simple, everyday speech that we all have access to 24/7. You don’t have to be mentally ill, psychotic, on drugs, drunk on some form of alcoholic beverage. You don’t have to be a lot of things; you just have to want to hurt somebody. Your intent is a negative outcome. By that I mean that what you want is, in some way to try to make yourself feel better about something or about yourself.
My wife made me—let me rephrase, I chose to take something my wife said this morning as hurtful. She didn’t intend to hurt me. She didn’t make me angry. She didn’t hold a gun to my head and scream “get mad!!! Get mad!!!” There was no coercion, no force, no persuasion, no soft talk that resulted in my emotional imbalance toward anger. She simply made a statement. Now, me on the other hand, I was prepared. I had already prepared my heart for something that, if I heard it wrong, or interpreted it wrong, I would choose to be angry.
The thing is I feel guilty. I’ve been unemployed now for two months due to a prior emotional episode that ended in me quitting my job. I shouldn’t have done that. Now I’m paying a price that is more than just financial. I have plowed the ground in my soul and sowed it with all sorts of negative seeds. Without warning one of those sprouts into a full-grown plant that causes me no little anguish. I hurt. I want to do something about it. My guilt runneth over. My heart is raw and sensitive to the slightest word that hints of being judgmental. A word, a single word. Sentences, of course, are as lethal as bullets or a sword.
But words and sentences are spoken with body actions and facial expressions and tone of voice. Some communications experts say that over 90% of communication is nonverbal. I understand that. But when you aren’t looking at the person talking and all you can hear are words, it’s the words and the tone that can ignite your pilot light and the flame of anger and the feeling of injustice roars into life, scorching all it touches.
As a result of that one seed of a sentence sowed into my consciousness, my pilot light has been lit and I’ve had to be careful with my words. I want to cause the same reaction in her she caused in me. I know it wouldn’t do any good. I won’t feel better. My pain won’t be anesthetized until I begin earning money. I would hurt her, cause her pain—a small death—that would grow and take on a life of its own if I continue to hurl words—hurtful words, intentionally damaging words. Verbal syllables that are as deadly to a relationship as 9mm rounds to a heart.
Relationships are started, maintained and improved through a lot of ways, but primarily through words. What you say and how you say it can either be a soothing balm on a sunburn or gasoline on embers. It takes two to have a relationship. One can’t do it. Words are the vehicle for it. If one is already hurting—for whatever reason, use words to heal, soothe, comfort and remain intimate. Drinking and driving, texting and driving don’t mix, neither does anger and words.
You might be thinking well, anger and words do mix, you can’t just let someone run over you. You got to stand up for yourself and not be bullied. I totally agree. But if it takes you being angry before you stand up for yourself you may want to look into that. I cannot recall when words provoked by anger accomplished what it set out to accomplish. I’ve seen further hurt, pain, relationship damage--irreparable damage to friends, lovers, husbands and wives, parents and kids. As a matter of fact, I am a mandated reporter for abuse which can include—verbal abuse, the use of words to hurt, demean, demoralize, inflict emotional damage. Look at our society! Look at the statistics about teen suicide.
They are just words. Simple little words. You probably remember I would bet you’ve even said—sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me. That is one of Satan’s lies. Many times, words come first then sticks and stones. Words. Anger and words. Weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have to go to other countries to find them. They reside in every house in this nation—regardless of socioeconomic status. If you can talk, you are loaded and hot, ready to fire. Targets abound. But—you still choose to pull the trigger or holster your weapon. Especially if you are angry—please holster your weapon.
Ok, I’m done. I’ve had to give myself an attitude adjustment. I don’t want to be angry, nor do I want to inflict pain, there’s enough of that going around. A wise man long ago spoke some things I’ll close with:
-- it’s better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it.
-- reckless words pierce like a sword
--a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger
--the tongue that brings healing is a tree of life
--a hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel
There’s more. Think about what kind of relationship you want before you mix anger and words.
Thanks for reading.