The first thing I thought when I watched this video was that it didn’t apply to me. Finally, Brene Brown talks about something that has nothing to do with me. It’s about time.
The second thought followed closely after that – now how can I get everyone else in my family to watch this? Because, you know, obviously they’ve got problems. And quite frankly I’m tired of all the anger that gets thrown around here.
Chalk it up to teenage hormones, sleep deprivation, critical illness, survival mode… or maybe just life; we’re brittle these days. It doesn’t take much to spark a fight. The words “I’m so sick of this” have been heard a lot. Usually in my voice.
This morning as we piled into the van, a few sparks already smouldering, alarmingly late and terribly stressed, I realized the gas tank was on empty. Empty. And I wasn’t the one who drove it last. Just what I needed. Thanks a lot Fellow Driver.
I was spitting mad. Far more than an innocent mistake should elicit.
Then I remembered this video.
Turns out I own a big slice of our family’s anger issues. Me. I’m a blamer. And I should probably do something about that.
Damn you Brene Brown.
October 15th, 2015 at 5:40 am
Every year for Lent I have given up complaining (the first step in blaming), and the first year was hard, and the second year was a bit easier, and the third year I realized that what I needed to do was give up anger for Lent. So the fourth year, I gave up anger, and what I realized was that in giving up anger, I was giving up seeing the world through eyes of justice. And I realized that when I get angry, or even when I complain (or blame), it’s because I am noticing an injustice and an imbalance in the world. I get angry because people are not being treated equitably in this world. So I don’t encourage people to stop being angry anymore. Instead, I encourage them to find out where the injustice is that is making them unhappy, and then to do something about it. I like what Brene says because I think we are both ending up in the place of accountability – either calling the other person to be accountable for their role in the injustice, or even calling ourself to be accountable for it. When I find myself blaming (because it’s not like this insight of mine has actually changed my habits…) I try to look at what is the injustice being perpetrated (**** left the fruit sticker on the counter again!! – wait, there’s an underlying expectation that someone else will clean it up) and then see how I am accountable for participating in that (I clean it up instead of asking the person responsible to do it). So I like what she’s saying about blame, but I would add don’t let go of the anger lying underneath blame that points out an injustice, because I think we still need that.
October 15th, 2015 at 2:45 pm
You make a really good point. Plus, I think that the only people who don’t feel anger at all are either dead or depressed. Maybe the point is figuring out what is a healthy anger and what is just masking something else. For me that’s often hurt feelings and for one of my kids I know it’s anxiety… Thoughts I need to chew on… Thank you
October 16th, 2015 at 10:36 am
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