I remembered the dream I had last night. When I remember my dreams and they’re more like reality than something out of a sci-fi novel (those are awesome ones btw) , I tend to try to understand the why behind it.
I don’t remember the specifics, but what I do remember is that it was the same type of situation that instantly gets me angry. Some people call this being triggered.
It made me feel shitty. I don’t like getting upset, much less angry. I don’t need stress in my life like that.
It’s a personal trait that I find disgusting and I wish I could instantly change that it. When I get provoked in a certain way, I am much too quick to anger. The question I have is why? This isn’t me. That’s not who I am.
As I’m writing this morning, I remember back when I was a kid I got really pissed off for some reason or another and I decided to leave where I was, and I walked home.
Like the dream, I don’t remember any of the specifics except a blue jacket, but it’s the same reaction, the same person the same frustration, the same anger. I haven’t thought about that in 30 years or more.
The very next thing that pops into my head is the saying “slow to anger, fast to forgiveness”. Is that the answer to all of this?
Not being sure where I heard that, I do a quick search.
Its actually a passage from the bible: James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
I was raised in a family with Christian values and regular attendance to church, so it makes sense that I heard this when I was young.
Slow to anger.
I know what I have to do now. Time to reprogram.
What I’ve learned in the past is that if you want to change your habits, aside from actually doing whatever it is you want to do differently, you need to practice the new way of doing things so that when it comes time to perform in the moment you’re ready to make a conscious decision to do it differently without regret.
I think about things in a pretty simple and straightforward manner most of the time. I break things down into their simple forms so they’re easier to understand. Here’s what I came up with.
The Pattern: Input – Logic – Output
Existing: Triggering scenario – old thought process – quick to anger
New: Triggering scenario – new thought process – slow to anger
Dissect the old thought process, change something specific, and then use a thought experiment to test the changes.
The more visual and vivid these thought experiments are the more effective they will be.
After the new thought process has been figured out, or at least pointed in the right direction, its time to rehearse it. Make it familiar
Just like it is with everything else, the more practice and experience you have with something, the easier it will be to use in the moment.
Just the act of writing this morning has been of great value to me. Making this particular trait of mine public removes the shame I’ve had for it.
Writing has allowed me to think about this scenario with an analytical and objective eye. I have no doubt that for this specific trigger I will now be slower to anger.
We have blue skies again today!
Have a great day!