The Opposite of Anger

If humility is the opposite of pride, what is the opposite of anger?

This Christmas season we could stretch the conversation to “peace on earth” or “acceptance” or other mild words, but I’m not a mild person and needed to define it in a way I could actually apply it.

“Acceptance” to me sounds like “victim” and I hate thinking of myself that way so I try to phrase things more assertively because I can always make sense of sacrifice if there’s a win involved. Of course it took me a couple of decades to realize that the real win wasn’t for me at all but for those around me, even if I took a loss.

Christmas is supposed to be a season of selflessness and generosity, where the best of mankind wins over the worst, but before it can do that we need to know what to actually do to have an anger-free life before we enter the new year.

If I know anything it’s that you can’t just replace something negative in your life with nothing at all, so what does one fight anger with? If your answer was “anger” we both know how things are probably working for you…

Fire with fire only works if you’re trying to burn stuff.

Is peace the opposite of anger? Probably, but it’s such a passive sounding thing that I get a little bored. And finding peace can be a little ambiguous, as if the cosmos sprinkles it on some people and not others in some random cosmic thing. Cosmos. I really love that word.

If anger is also a secondary emotion we could explore the hurt that got us there in the first place, or keep the anger and the hurt because it’s what we know, but for an application person like myself, what could I actively decide to do so that I can stop deciding to be angry?

(Yes, it’s a decision)

To clear my head I often go out for a long walk and talk to God (or the cosmos or whatever you replace God with if that’s not what you believe. I do enjoy the word cosmos but it’s hard to hang out with), and as anger was a recent sermon topic I was trying to get to it’s opposite so everyone could walk away with one thing to actually do.

Imagine a church giving everyone homework? We just laugh and say “God loves you just the way you are but he loves you too much to leave you there”.

Or the cosmos.

Apologies if that’s not what you believe. I’m getting a little confused, as NOT believing in anything is getting to be quite fashionable but I do tend to think it takes at least some faith to get out of bed in the morning, but most people haven’t put their faith into words because “I’m really only looking forward to watching TV tonight” sounds a little weak…

Just sayin… Seems like celebrating a consumer driven Christmas while not believing in Christ is like eating the icing on a cake, then complaining when we get dizzy and hungry.

So I replayed the angry moments in my life to realize what I was really struggling with, and one word stayed in my mind.

Trust.

I get angry when I don’t trust.

This of course plays into the victim mentality dangerously well because who do we know that can really be trusted? Like in every situation? Ergo we don’t trust anyone.

But if we don’t trust anyone I think it leaves us deeply angry because we were made to connect with people.

There’s no connection where there’s no trust therefore I’m angry when I can’t trust you.

But if one can’t always be trusted and I have a deep rooted need to trust am I doomed to be angry forever?

I guess there’s only one way up, but first we have to stop digging.

I can fight anger with trust. Not trustthe emotion or trust the cosmic balance, not naive trust that’s never been hurt, but rather the decision to trust, and trust again.

I decided on my walk that day I was going to decide to trust God more and quit giving ultimatums to life and people so that it/ they stop hurting me.

It’s probably the smallest step of faith a person has ever made, but I was quite proud of myself:)

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