Do you enjoy being around angry, crabby people? I’m guessing most of us would say no, I know I certainly do not like it at all. Granted, every person gets angry or has days that just don’t seem to be going right. That’s life; it keeps us from getting bored and complacent! What I mean is, given the choice, would you like to be surrounded but peace and serenity or anger? I’m still learning we have a choice in this.
This past weekend, we had a family outing. For some unknown reason, despite the perfect weather, being with friends at a birthday party, having the family together after a marathon week, and being at a wonderful kid-centered farm, my oldest was a 6-year old thundercloud. He was just miserable that the world and other people do not bend to his will. (Gee, like I have never felt that way, too!)
When he started escalating to some pretty unacceptable behavior, just to let us know how very miserable he was, I felt myself getting sucked into his anger. I became angry that he was putting a damper on the day and being unreasonable. The more I tried to reason with him that the world sometimes doesn’t do what we want, the angrier we both got. We fed off each other’s anger.
My youngest son, however, was oblivious to his brother’s tantrums. He was having too much fun milking a cow, petting sheep, and just enjoying where he was and what he was doing. What a lesson that was for me. I could either jump into my oldest son’s “stuff”, which I have no control over, or I could just enjoy a beautiful day with my family.
My husband and I decided the best thing we could do for our son is to let him know it is perfectly fine to feel frustration and anger, but he needed to find a way to resolve it. As long as he was not hurting himself or others, if he wanted to pitch a fit in the middle of the farm, we weren’t going to stop him. We also were not going to be an audience for him either. Instead, we were going to enjoy ourselves, and hope he was able to resolve his feelings.
The day was salvaged. My oldest was still in a stinky mood for a good part of it, but that was his choice. I chose to have fun, and I did. Besides saving my sanity for the day, I think my husband and I also gave our son a valuable lesson. Individuals are not responsible for the feelings and behaviors of other people. We only have control over our own feelings and behaviors. How we react to others is entirely our choice. Peace and balance is a choice, even when you are surrounded by emotional chaos.
All the best,