Have you ever struggled with feeling angry when you know you shouldn't be? It's like your anger just flares up, even though your logical mind says it shouldn't. I had to work through the process this morning, and I thought I'd show you how, too.
Here's what happened. The boys (Paul and my sons) went camping this weekend. They always take my van, because it fits more Scouts than Paul's "luxury" car.
Most times, the boys hit the car wash before coming home because camping is dirty and they know I hate a dirty car. But they didn't wash the van this time. They had some excuse about turning the wrong way and missing it and not wanting to take the time to go back. They were tired.
So, they return with a dirty car that is now my problem. I am angry, feel unloved and disrespected. Primarily because they know that I hate having a dirty car! I repeat: "They know this!"
My mind goes in circles: I'm not the one who went camping and mucked it up. Why doesn't the Boy Scout motto of, "leave no trace," apply to my vehicle?
"It wasn't that clean before we left," they argued.
"WHAAAAT!? It sure didn't look like this!"
"Well, why don't you take my car to work today and I'll drive your nice clean car?" I said.
Let's just say he didn't think that was "fair."
My mind continues ... why does he think I have more time to go to the car wash than he does? Just because I am not chained to an office from 8-5 does not mean I do not work. I'm busy too....
So I ask myself, "Is this how you want to feel? Is this how you want to be?" No. This side of Tina seems like a jerk.
I want to be loving, compassionate and understanding. Why is it so hard sometimes? LOL! And why on earth is this such a big deal?
So, I boss my feelings around. I talk myself out of my tree. I remind myself that Paul was out of town all last week. He came home for 1 night, then went camping for 2 nights. He is an awesome dad. I am so grateful for how involved he is with our kids! Parenting is a team effort. Truly Alyssa and I had a lovely weekend while he volunteered to live outside for the benefit of Tyler and his troop. This softens my heart. The least I can do is to get the car washed.
I also showed myself some extra love at the car wash. I pulled out all the stops. Polish? Why yes, please. Shine? Yes! Interior? Oh, definitely! Floor mats? Ummm, mud, yes! The whole shebang. Especially the raccoon prints, please.
So, the key is softening your heart. Finding compassion for the other person. That brings the anger down. I hope this helps you. I think we all get stuck in anger sometimes. This tactic might help you move through it more quickly so you can move on and remember your spouse truly is an amazing person!