Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

ANGER: FIRE OR ICE?

It doesn’t take much to anger some people. Even the most innocent comments can cause some tempers to flare. Innocuous situations can be misinterpreted leading to screaming matches, cursing, or physical altercations. In an instant, violence can erupt where calm once existed and destruction of property, injury to one’s person, or psychological damage can occur. Patience, understanding, forgiveness, and compassion are replaced by personal entitlement and arrogance.

Consider this: recently a friend of mine named Sara had an encounter in a store with a unfamiliar woman. The woman’s shopping cart was blocking the isle so Sara, not knowing who the cart belonged to, moved it to the side. The owner became irate shouting that Sara had no right to touch her cart and should have asked before moving it. While I consider this a reasonable request, I do object to her method of inquiry. The woman’s purse was in the cart and she stated her concerned that someone could have taken it to which Sara replied with an attitude, “If you’re so worried about your purse maybe you shouldn’t have left it in the cart and walked away!” The banter escalated into cursing at which point Sara’s friend, Karen, stepped up stating arrogantly that if Sara had been white the woman never would have treated her this way. Sara concluded by cursing the woman out and leaving.
There is so much about this situation that was unfortunate. Certainly, had the woman not left her cart unattended blocking the aisle, none of this would have transpired. However, had Sara posed a simple request for the owner to identify herself, this issue could have been easily resolved by the person moving said cart herself. Regardless of Sara’s actions, the woman’s irate response was extremely rude and uncalled for. Rather than trying to diffuse things, each continued to escalate the situation. Sara’s sarcastic retort resulted in a tirade of profanity. As if that were not enough, Karen added more fire by turning this into a racial incident. (There was no evidence what-so-ever that race was a factor.) More profanity spewed by Sara at the other woman before exiting the store finally brought this event to a close. Fortunately for everyone, it did not become physical, resulting in injury and/or possible arrest.

There are several reasons why people respond this way:

1. Entitlement Mindset: Those with a sense of entitlement feel as though they are above others; that ordinary rules of common courtesy don’t apply to them; and that if they have been wronged in the past they now have a free pass to walk around with a chip on their shoulder.

2. Responsibility Evaders: They fail to take personal responsibility. Sara was quick to point out the mistakes of the other woman without taking ownership for her own actions. If one person acts poorly it does not justify the other responding likewise. Remember the old adage: two wrongs don’t make a right. The fact that Karen turned this into a racial issue, when there was no indication it was, is additional proof that neither was holding themselves accountable for escalating the situation. Making this incident about skin color, of which Sara has no control, alleviates her of being responsible simply by default. (“I did not choose my skin color, therefore I’m not responsible for racial discrimination nor my reaction to it.”) This irrational thought process is invalid both in a legal sense as well as on a spiritual level.

3. Power Hungry: There are those who thrive on drama and the sense of power it affords them when they incite it. There is a sense of power and control over the incident and the individuals involved. They know how to push buttons and evoke the desired response. This is a form of bullying that results from low self-esteem and feelings of insecurity.

4. Justice Seekers: One who perceives that prejudice has occurred feels the need for immediate justice and to restore a sense of fairness and balance to the relationship. A bruised ego, one who takes personal offense to another person’s actions, is propelled into the “fight” mode as a means of self-protection.

In summary, in any given situation, we can act like accelerants and add more fuel to the already dangerous fire. Or we can be as ice, calming and soothing, preventing any damage from occurring.
Alternative Responses:

1. Always be polite and respectful towards others regardless of their behavior. Your actions are a reflection of who you are. Be authentic to your inherent nature – love.

2. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Someone may be having a bad day or misinterpreted something you said or did. Make allowances whenever possible and give others a chance to redeem themselves.

3. Acknowledge their feelings and experience. There experience is valid to them and without recognition it is very difficult to move forward peacefully. Everyone seeks validation.

4. Offer an apology for anything that may have offended the other person. An apology is a powerful tool illustrating one’s sensitivity to the other person’s feelings or situation. It is not always an admission of guilt as many believe.

5. Practice diffusing statements such as “I’d like to discuss this so we can get the issue resolved.” “If we could both remain calm that would be really helpful.” “I’m interested in what you have to say.”

6. Be sincere in your desire to resolve the issue quickly and to the satisfaction of all parties.

7. Whatever you say or do, make certain it emanates from a place of kindness, respect, concern, and fairness for all parties.

Even the most innocent situations can turn ugly in an instant. Each of us has the ability to accelerate a heated situation by adding more fire to it through inciteful words or threatening actions or arrogant attitudes. Or we can extinguish the flames by adding ice: sincerity, respect, helpful suggestions, accountability, and fairness.
Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

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Why is There a “but” behind “I love God?”

There are so many that profess of the name of Jesus, who sit as a dictator of own lives as the judge and jury, condemning every decision, opinion, thought pattern, and belief system that is different than their own.

They have a self-righteous attitude: How dare you challenge my beliefs and thoughts? I believe in God and in Jesus, but I don’t have to follow the words of the Bible. I don’t have to answer to you or anyone else. How dare to tell me what I can and cannot do with my life and my body?

They have created an image of the God of the Bible in their own imagination, a god that is comfortable with their thoughts and feelings. When we say God, everyone has their definition and concept of Him. When we say Jesus, everyone has his or her concept of Jesus. But there is something dangerously deceptive about this line of thinking.

This is the spirit of antichrist. Anti- means against Christ or another Christ. If you are against of the ways, the commandments and the laws of the God, then you are under the influence of the spirit of the antichrist.

Many have created their own kingdom, where they are the ruler and authority of not only themselves, but the world around them. They make up the rules as they go. As the society and culture shift, so does their ideas and thoughts about reality, equality fairness and truth.

Psalm 10: 3 – 4,11: For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.” His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.”

This kingdom that many have created is built on pride and idolatry. In 1 Corinthians 6: 9, Don’t be deceived no idolater will inherit the kingdom of God. How can you? Your kingdom is centered yourself, and ways, thoughts, ideas, belief systems of the world. There cannot and will not be two kingdoms to exist.

Matthew 23: 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Now, we say we believe in Jesus. We are quick to give our “Christian credentials”
•I know Jesus died for my sins
•I know Jesus rose on the third day
•I know Jesus is the Son of God
•I know I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb

Is that Gospel or a list of facts about the gospel? Many hold dear to a profession and the grace of God. We are holding dear to the idea of Christ, not the person of Christ.

ALTERNATIVE RESPONSES TO ANGER

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we’d like. When situations take an unfavorable turn, we become upset, frustrated, or angry. When others don’t agree with us, live their life the way we think they should, or act in a manner we find disturbing, anger is a typical response. With the exception a few extreme circumstance, an angry reaction rarely improves the situation or endears us to the other party.
For the most part, humans have very strong opinions about how life should be, how others should behave, and about what circumstances should occur and how they should eventually conclude. We expect a certain outcome that aligns with our beliefs or with the efforts we put forth. When situations don’t progress or end according to our plans we experience angst as to how the outcome will affect us and/or those we care about. For example, the recent presidential election has a portion of the country frightened and angry about what the future holds with our new president. Unpredictable weather on our wedding day causes concern for the overall success and enjoyment of our special day.

In another regard, we are quick to complain when an individual is not behaving way we want them to or the way we think they should be. This anger evolves when we label and judge people based on our criteria of what we believe to be right regarding their attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, life-style choices, etc. A harsh assessment of the other party leads to harsh feelings as well. (Thoughts create feelings.)
When anger arises in these areas it’s an indication that frustration or fear is lurking beneath: frustration that we cannot control our circumstances and fear as to how that situation will impact us and those around us.

Anger also arises from hurt: if someone criticizes the way we look we may take personal offense. Their perceived cruelty and lack of regard for our feelings is disconcerting. We feel disrespected and our natural defenses take over, fueling the need to correct them, put them in their place or retaliate with an even more hurtful comment teaching them that we will not tolerate their ill-mannered behaviors.
In each of the above examples, anger gives us the momentary feeling of power in a situation where we feel we have lost authority. However, any person or situation that can cause us to react in a manner not beneficial to us actually has more clout that we do. Thoughtful consideration of what feelings and reply are most advantageous actually restores our authentic power.

Consider the following alternatives to anger:

Compassion: a compassionate response can be the perfect solution to anger. Compassion consists of both understanding and empathy. We can view the individual whose behavior we find unacceptable from a place of understanding. Each person has a right to live life according to their beliefs, dreams, needs, etc. If someone is struggling or acting inappropriately, rather than becoming irate because they are not living up to my ideals, I can remove the “shoulds” (unspoken expectations) and in my heart grant them permission to have the experience they are engaging in, knowing that it is a necessary part of their life’s journey. If they are struggling, lost, or in pain, I can choose to feel compassion or sadness for their suffering, hoping that they soon pass through their current challenge to a more joyful place. Being patient and always treating them with kindness (which may include setting some reasonable boundaries) during this time are all components of being compassionate. Choosing this alternative response softens one’s heart and prevents anger from manifesting.

Humor* is another powerful tool for diffusing anger. We take life far too seriously. We take personal offense to what others are saying or doing rather than remaining emotionally detached. After all, their behavior is a reflection of their internal environment and has nothing at all to do with me. We become agitated when things don’t go according to our plans yet in reality a life that conforms precisely to our dictates teaches us nothing. We worry and obsess over that which we have no control over or that which in reality is relatively unimportant. (Ten year rule: will this matter in ten years? Will I even remember it? If not, then it’s not important now.) Humor puts any serious situation into its proper perspective. It diffuses fear and angst; it acts as a protective barrier to emotional pain as we recognize that what is transpiring has nothing at all to do with me; and it makes light of that which in reality has no significant value.

So when others behave badly, find it in your heart to forgive them for their indiscretions rather that judge them. When life hands you the exact opposite of what you requested, make light of it. After all, this life is only temporary so why get so bend out of shape when it doesn’t conform to your ideals? Rain on your wedding day? Break out the umbrellas and boots and dance in the puddles!

*Just a note of caution: humor is not intended to be directed at the other party. One can find humor in the situation or make light of their own reaction or behavior. Humor must never direct it at the other person. To do so is disrespectful and may very well make the situation far worse than it is.

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+