An Unsuspecting Place

I was raised in a home in which the Bible was read and spoken about all the time. My Dad loved to talk. He was an eloquent speaker; he was a poet, a writer, an account, and a business man. I never developed that love for God’s Word. Even though my Dad was very talented – his aunt deemed as a ‘child prodigy – he lacked one important thing: compassion. It was my Daddy’s lack of compassion towards me that caused my heart to harden towards God’s word. I can hear my Daddy saying to my brother, “Son, the Bible is the most important book in the world. You need to read your scriptures.” Daddy never stopped to make it relevant to me, so I never stopped to listen.

As I grew older and was on my way off to college, the hostility between my Daddy and I grew stronger. However, I desperately wanted this father-daughter relationship, but my feelings and emotions are always trivialized. As a result, my heart grew cold and distant; I wanted to get as far as I could away from my Dad because the emotional wound was too much for me to handle.

When I graduated from college, I began my career as a high school math teacher in Fort Worth, Texas. Unfortunately, I had managed to accumulate thousands of dollars to debt. Every man I met and attempted to date led to a dead end. My Dad and I were still on a non-talking basis. What am I to do? Every woman I asked about finding a husband gave bad advice. I thought to myself, “Now how is it my Mom and my sister who are married, and can’t tell me what to look for a man?”

My brother and I did not have a good relationship at this time. I decided to tell him about the guy I was dating. I figured what could it hurt, what he had to say could be no worse than the advice I had previously received. My brother, Justin, began to explain to me ‘the game’ men play, and that everything they said was a “script.” When I first heard this, I thought to myself, “Man, I don’t believe this. I’m going to try this out.” When I tell you everything Justin said was the truth, it was line by line. I was amazed! Moreover, my younger brother just earned my respect.

No one ever really took the time to listen, so I talked his ear off. I would talk for hours at a time, and he would patiently listen, without judgment or criticism. This allowed me to be open and honest about things I would not normally share. Over time, Justin would give these analogies that so relevant to my life, that I had no choice but to confess my guilt. This went on for several years. As time went by, my heart began to soften because I was getting a better understanding about my Daddy. How could we live in the same house, with the same parents, and have two completely different experiences with our Dad?
Looking back on the tumultuous relationship with my Daddy, Jesus used my younger brother to humble me, bring me to a point of accepting and receiving the Word. The Lord showed me my errors in my ways of thinking, and built a relationship with my brother and Daddy that I never had before in my life! This was the Master Builder at work, as Jesus molded and transformed my heart, and my Daddy’s heart so one day we could be reunited.

In July 2011, I went home to go visit my Dad. It was the first time Daddy was actually excited to see me. I couldn’t believe he was excited about me! I will never forget when he said to me, “I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings by not eating your turkey meatloaf.” It caught me by surprise that he was so thoughtful and considerate of my feelings. Before I left, he hugged me and told me he loved me. Three months later, he died. The Mighty Hand of God was working out the crossed lines of communication so death and saying good-bye would not be bitter sweet. The Lord Jesus used my younger brother to teach me humility, forgiveness, and compassion.

THE T-I-B-Bs AFFECT ON ANGER

Although we often classify a person’s actions as problematic, in truth a person’s conduct is never the real problem. Behavior is nothing more than an outward expression of an internal issue. For example, if an individual is in a bad mood and arguing with those around them, the fighting simply indicates a possible insecurity or fear. Perhaps the person is worried about their health and others are offering unsolicited advice. Their angst is overwhelming and can easily be expressed as agitation, causing them to vehemently dispute every suggestion for possible treatment.
A common reaction for a child who is being teased is crying, followed by an angry outburst. The emotion that proceeds the anger is critical to identifying the underlying cause: crying indicates pain or hurt – either physical or emotional. Like an animal who’s been injured, one lashes out as a means of self-protection. Fear of experiencing further pain compels the individual (or animal) to summon their rage in an attempt to get the attacker to back off.

Keep in mind, too, that the offensive behavior may in no way be connected to what is transpiring in the moment. Very often, there are old unresolved issues from one’s past that are being triggered by what is currently taking place. The person is not necessarily responding to the present stimuli but it serves as a reminder of a prior event.

In prior shows, I’ve discussed the three root causes of anger: hurt, fear, and/or frustration. As I just mentioned, the preceding emotion to anger invites a deeper insight into TIBBs: The Issues Behind the Behaviors. Certainly people can deny their anger or try to suppress or control it. However, none of these allows for a healing to occur. Denial of cancer does not heal the disease. Only when it is identified and treatment (whether conventional or holistic) begins does the afflicted activate the healing process and restoration of wellness.

So how does one identify the issues behind the behaviors? Again, taking a moment to ascertain the prior emotion is a perfect beginning to unraveling this puzzle. From there, one needs to work backwards to the point of origin, much the way a detective at a crime scene would. Here are some examples:
Monday night I was not in my typical cheerful frame of mind. Having to take a family member to court is something I prayed for a long time would not occur. But luck was not on my side and an attorney needed to be retained. Whenever I have contact with him, I become extremely distressed and conflicted. Being inquisitive as to how this issue was progressing, my husband queried me as to what the latest news was. If humans could growl, my response to him, while not disrespectful by any means, had a hint of canine in it. “It’s not going well at all! I just don’t want to pursue this but I’m caught in the middle and have to continue.”

I was annoyed (the mildest form of anger) and responded abruptly. But what emotion kindled the irritation? Hurt, for certain, that such a close family member could set out to deliberately harm me. Secondly was frustration that without legal representation I was basically powerless (from a purely human/physical perspective). Granted, I could choose to do nothing at all but doing so would only give cause for a continued problem with said family member. Lastly was fear – not the terrifying kind but a deep concern that justice would not prevail and that this individual would continue to cause duress in my life as they have for many years prior.

Once able to identify the root cause(s), I need to continue regressing to uncover the issues behind them. The hurt I was experiencing revealed several concerns: first that someone I loved and trusted for my entire life could become so vengeful towards me. The trust we shared for more than half a century was broken and most likely would never be restored. Betrayal is a deep wound that could take years to heal. Add to that the fact that a valued relationship had ended and I felt a sense of grief as well.

Behind the fear existed the deep sense of a responsibility I was granted that I may not be able to fulfill due to unforeseen circumstances. There was more at stake here than just myself. Many others were dependent on my ability to fulfill my duties. I was deeply afraid of disappointing them, even though on every level they would understand completely. I was also concerned that I would be letting down the ones who entrusted this task to me. When given a responsibility, I have always felt compelled to follow it through no matter what. I was taught to never quit and it is nearly impossible for me to do so, even when completely justified. In that regard, I see myself as having failed and for me, that’s a tough burden to carry.

Interestingly, the frustration arose from conflicting beliefs. When one feels powerless over a situation, they need to stop and inquire if said circumstance needs more energy or effort of another kind, or does it fall into the not meant to be category? Ego and its need for justice was at odds with spirit who argued that perhaps God wanted me to let go and trust that He would right this injustice.

So in summary, my (mild) anger was not the issue. Behind it lied the trifector: hurt, fear, and frustration. And beneath each of those resided issues of a broken trust, grief (loss of a loved one), a possible exaggerated sense of responsibility, fear of disappointing others, and inability to accept a perceived defeat. The battle between ego and spirit was at the root of my frustration: seek justice or allow an inequity to prevail? Or is the real issue to allow God’s justice to triumph over my version?

In this particular situation, the issue was a bit more complex than in others yet the process to uncover TIBBs (The Issues Behind the Behaviors) is the same. In order to heal anger, one must be willing to undergo this somewhat lengthy, and sometimes, challenging process in order to emerge strong and healthy. Failure to do so only gives license for those unresolved issues to fester and grow, interfering with one’s ability to be happy and live unencumbered by life’s relentless challenges.

What I need to work on are these:
Healing the hurt: only when we set up expectations of others do we put ourselves at risk to be hurt and disappointed. As much as I disapproved of the actions of my family member, I also realize that I have no right to impose my ways on her. What she is doing, as morally reprehensible as it is, is a necessary part of her spiritual journey. Once I am able to fully accept this, I can remove the judgments I’ve placed on her and find the inner peace I am seeking.

Healing the grief: we hold on too tightly to our relationships, especially those of a personal nature. We subscribe to the adage that blood is thicker than water; that you should always be able to count on your family. Yet in truth, our families are made up of imperfect beings with their own issues and agendas. No relationship, sans God, is meant to last forever. I need to remind myself that we shared a lot of good years together and as in death we are no longer a part of each other’s lives.

Let go of responsibility: even the most trustworthy and conscientious people sometimes fall short of fulfilling their duties. Unforeseen circumstances can deter the most determined of us. Like the weather, there are some things we simply don’t have control over. This in no way indicates a failure on the part of the entrusted one. I have always defined failure as a lack of effort. As long as one makes a concerted attempt there is some success that has been achieved. Letting go is in no way a reflection of my integrity or worth. It can be a recognition of the wisdom of letting things simply be; trusting that life is meant to unfold naturally and not necessarily according to my desires.

Neutralizing frustration: the battle between spirit and ego is a universal one that plagues all of humanity. In this instance, I need to remind myself that God’s Will must take precedence over mine. Relying on Scripture for guidance, I found passages that seemed to contradict themselves. From Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Yet Luke tells us in Chapter 6:29 “If someone slaps you on one cheek turn the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” Therein lies the root of my concern: how can I fully know how God wants me to proceed in this issue?

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and your doctor gave you a list of activities you must abide by in order to heal your body, there would be no hesitation in following his directives immediately and completely. Yet many will be hesitant to embark on this journey of emotional healing claiming it is time consuming and tedious. But this I can promise you: that if you put forth effort you will achieve success. And as with any new practice, in time it will become second nature and you will more easily be able to decipher and heal the underlying issues behind your anger. Here you will discover your inner sanctuary.

Remember, behaviors are never the problem but behaviors can create problems. Identify and heal TIBBs and there you will find your peace. I wish you the best.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Your Right To Personal Boundaries

According to Wikipedia personal boundaries are: guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits”. I think this is a good definition and just wondering how are your personal boundaries? At times we can all do a little work on this so let’s set up some guidelines that might help:

  • You have a right a have personal boundaries and with this recognition opens the door to defining yourself and what is acceptable to you and what is not. How do you let others treat you? Do you set limits to what is acceptable and what is not? This is tied in to your self approval and self worth. If you don’t have healthy boundaries you tend to let others define you rather than defining yourself. To resolve this set clear boundaries for yourself and don’t be afraid to enforce them. For instance if you have repeatedly told someone that after 10 PM you don’t take phone calls unless it is an emergency and this person constantly comes up with some drama or another after that time be ready to enforce that rule, use caller ID and don’t take the call.
  • The word NO is a complete sentence. When someone asks you to do something you can simply say no without have to defend your answer. If you tend to be someone who has a hard time saying no and than regretting your YES afterwards it may take some practice but it is well within your right to “Just Say No!”
  • Other people’s needs are not more important than yours. When we give..give..give till it hurts it usually does. We have to remember to refill our energetic well and take care of our own needs so we will have what it takes to take care of other’s. Sometimes there are people in our lives who demand we take care of their needs before our own. If this is a constant, boundaries are essential. Personally I find these people to be full of drama and always believe what they need is more important than anything else. Learn to discern this behavior and act accordingly. If it is a friend frank commuication can help. With a family member set your limits in your mind and enforce them. Usually with these dramarama (a term I have coined) individuals no matter what you do it is not enough so keep that in mind when you get caught up in the people pleasing cycle.
  • Trust yourself…Believe in yourself and know that when you do what is best for you, you are doing what is best for everyone in your life. You are here to enjoy your life and being a good helpful person is what we are taught to be. Of course that is what we all strive to be but putting yourself first is not selfish it is self loving and keeping healthy boundaries to protect yourself is the first step in a wonderful romance with YOU!

Tuesday, April 4 7:00 PM we will discuss this on The Night Shift with Susan Dintino. I will be doing mini readings as well.

I invite you to join the Facebook Chat https://www.facebook.com/groups/183716975330317/

Visit my website for a free guided meditation Awakening the Heart Chakra  www.susandintino.com 

Miss the show? Tune into the iHeart Radio Podcast available 24 hours after original air. https://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Night-Shift/