So, my sister and I have this ongoing issue between us where we really get on each other's nerves. She gets frustrated with me because I am flaky and irresponsible, and I get frustrated with her because she gets angry a lot and really easily. Sometimes we can keep things light-hearted and joke about our flaws. Other times it turns into a knock-down, drag-out, war of the words and things get ugly. I drive her crazy with my talk about controlling anger, being more centered, having a peaceful heart, blah blah blah. Most of the time it just makes her more angry. But how can I preach this theory of cool heads, even tempers to people if I can't even control my own anger? I have come a really long way, I think, in the past few months. But tonight, as I was waiting for my sister, who was hugging her boyfriend FOREVER, I was getting so impatient, then frustrated, then angry. "Why is she taking so long?! Doesn't she know I'm waiting for her?! Can she only think about herself?! Are they trying to be funny?!" When she finally started walking back to the van I tried to take a deep breath and calm myself down, but that only provided me with the air I needed to attack her. "Are you serious? Why would you make me wait that long? That's so rude!" "I'm sorry..." "No you're not." "He gave me a necklace." "I don't care." (silence) "I'm sorry. I do care. I just got really frustrated. What's it look like?" And thus in a matter of seconds, I went up the angry scale and glided right back down again all by myself. What's the point, after all? Am I really going to care that much about this in an hour? How bout a week? A month? A year? Maybe it's a good idea to start measuring things on a scale of how long we'll actually care about them, how much they actually affect our lives, before we indulge too deeply in expressing our anger.
If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase.