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UpBeat Spiritual Living: When Anger Isn’t

July 5, 2012

© 2012 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved

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A client called, ranting, this morning, to sound off about a tenant.  My client, “Jane”, has had an apparently wonderful woman, “Polly”, renting a condo from her for a few months.  Polly has been warm, courteous, and articulate, since they first met.  Jane had thought they would be neighbors for a long time.  She also thought they were becoming friends. Jane had even been referring work to Polly for her virtual assistant business. However, this morning, a night-owl neighbor called to ask if Jane knew Polly had moved out in the middle of the night.  WHAT?  The neighbor said Polly had backed a U-Haul up to the unit and moved out a complete collection of furniture, between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.  It flew through Jane’s mind that yesterday was the first of the month, and maybe this was Polly’s way of giving notice, of saying she did not intend to pay this month’s rent.

Heart sinking, feeling betrayed,  and ready to cry, Jane called Polly. First, Jane simply asked if she could pick up the rent today.  She was thinking, “[S]o you LIED to me?  So when you overcharged that client I referred to you, that was you being a con?  So you’re a thief?  If you had given notice, I could have another tenant in that beautiful condo already!”  If Jane had said to Polly what she was thinking, she would have sounded very angry.  Polly launched into a long speech about her business not doing well and that basically, she had vacated.  She made no apology.  Jane bit her tongue and just listened.  Finally, she told Polly that if Polly had been open with her earlier, Jane could have had a replacement tenant ready to move in.  The condo is lovely and in a gorgeous, quiet neighborhood.

By this point in the conversation, Jane told me, her chest was tight and her heart literally hurt.  She was praying for direction.  Her head was beginning to throb and her eyes stung.  She quietly negotiated as best she could with Polly; Jane will be filing court papers if Polly doesn’t pay this month’s rent shortly.  Jane kept her cool, was courteous with Polly, and got a promise from Polly to pay the current month’s rent “soon”.  At first, Jane wanted to loudly say nasty things to Polly.  She wanted to strike out at Polly.  That would have looked and sounded like anger.  But was she angry?

Actually, on sorting through her thoughts and feelings, Jane realized she was mainly surprised and hurt.  She felt betrayed.  She was beginning to see Polly as hardly an honest person.  She felt like she had been hit by something, and she said she just wanted to hit back!  So what could she do with those feelings?

In difficult situations, use your spiritual stress management.  Step One is to keep your cool, getting in touch with your inner peace and strength, calming yourself deeply.  Then be as effective as you can in negotiating with the other person.  Jane did this to an extent, but she will be practicing the deep calming technique more, in case of future surprises.  Step Two in difficult emotional situations is to deal privately with your feelings, journaling or talking it out for clarity, getting some exercise and drinking water, to dispel the physical symptoms of distress.  Or, of course, you can call a clergy person or counseling professional to talk it out with.  Step Three is to integrate what happened, letting your mind/spirit dimension settle the details and determine, in prayer or meditation, any further actions to be taken.  Perhaps the person with whom you have had conflict is actually not a good person for you and your life?  Step Four is to take that action or say those things you have decided on.  And, at every step, pray, for discernment and for the highest and best resolution.  St. Paul said (1 Thessalonians 5:17), “Pray without ceasing.”  So pray as often as you are moved to.

When anger isn’t anger, be honest with yourself, and effective with others.  Take a little time to prayerfully heal.  After all, it’s your life.



● Kebba Buckley Button is the author of the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2012 5:47 AM

    Kebba: loved this! Am linking it to tomorrow’s posting…


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