Who believes in the saying or even scripture that says “do not let the sun set on your anger”….or “don’t go to bed angry”? I know that I used to say “you better let me go to bed angry, cause chances are in the morning I will forget I am even mad”. This seemed like a good approach to me considering my memory of anything these days lasts a total of maybe two minutes. The trouble with that same memory that I seem to NOT have is that at random times, random memories pop up and a week later I would remember I was mad when I should’ve been long past it. This leads to over thinking and a host of other things that we won’t address in this note.
I have struggled with the concept of not going to bed angry for several years now. I have read all these expert’s opinions on it. I’ve studied it spiritually. I have asked others what they do. Yet, not a lot seemed to be the awe inspiring answer that lead to a solution that worked for me. And all that seemed to result from me being angry was that I couldn’t sleep. Now when I finally fell asleep, I did usually forget like I state above. But I ignored for too long the fact that I wasn’t falling asleep because I was just stinkin mad.
Often, when I am mad, I feel like at least one person should know and hear why. In fact, I usually think at least three people should know. And rarely, did those people include the actual person that made me that way. I have spent countless hours wasting mine and other’s time “venting” about what I am so upset about. And if I were to be completely honest with you, I would have to admit that it was all in an attempt to rally troops in my favor and confirm that my anger was completely valid. I had been wronged dang it and anything less than a protest with beautfiul signs proclaiming it just wouldn’t do.
But, now, as I sit on this plane ride home after being disconnected from my life for ten days, and reading a book called The Happiness Project, I am lead to a different view of “don’t let the sun set on your anger”. This whole trip, I have been forced to be more aware of me before I have been able to act on anything. I have been in a country where I did not speak the native language. So thinking before communicating has bascially been mandatory. And in doing so, I have realized how poorly of a job I do of thinking about all things involved before reacting or speaking. I cringe as I type the following to you, but what I realized is more often than not, 90% of the problem, probably was me. GASP!!!
So what I am now thinking is this: Not letting the sun set on your anger DOES NOT mean you have to let the person you are angry with (or anyone else for that matter) hear your soap opera declaration of the anger. What it means is that you have to have or find peace before you lay your head down to sleep. And telling the world isn’t the only option you have. So consider a few things outside of argument.
If you’re spiritual, have you prayed about it? God can handle your anger and blunt conversation better than any human can 🙂 So talking it out loud with him and yourself might help relieve initial tension and anger.
Did you look at your role in the situation and is there anything differently you could’ve done?
Will what you’re so upset about matter at a different time? Tomorrow? A year from now?
Do you value the relationship with the person more than the issue at hand?
What are the good things that you could learn from the situation?
What could be going on with the other person’s life that caused them to act the way they did towards you?