I Can’t Stay Mad at You because I choose and decide not to.”

Pride…revenge…hatred. Many people hold on to these when they are mad at somebody else in order to get even, and perhaps to make themselves feel better. There are many ways that people do to vent their anger. There are psychologists who believe that expressing one’s anger to his heart’s content is beneficial to the person.

This is a true story that happened when I was 17 years old. One morning, our nanny was cooking meat in a pressure cooker in our kitchen. The pressure cooker may not had been locked tightly or one of its parts may had gone defective. The cover suddenly went flying wildly into the air and landed hardly on the ceramic sink, breaking it into pieces.  Our nanny was shaking in fear. What if the pressure cooker cover hit her head instead of the ceramic sink? Thank God it did not!

I will always remember how a pressure cooker works because I volunteered to report on it in Physics Class during Senior High. The pressure cooker has a gasket and can be sealed tightly. The steam is then trapped inside causing the pressure to build up and the temperature to rise. Thus, the food inside is cooked faster than when ordinary cooking vessel is used. One does not open it right away. It is not safe to release the pressure abruptly. Pressure is slowly released through a small opening. The steam gradually goes out, and then it will be safe to open the pressure cooker with the tender food inside.

When I am mad about something or at someone, I always think of the mechanism of the pressure cooker. I find a way to slowly vent my anger. I will speak to someone I am mad at when my blood pressure has gone back to normal. Otherwise, I may do something “dangerous” in the form of throwing insulting words, making unnecessary foul comments, destroying personal things or anything that I see or even physically hurting others. And I am certain that after all my anger had disappeared into the air, I will regret the damage I had caused. Some damages can be repaired with traces, while some are completely irreversible.

How do I vent my anger? I keep my mouth shut, I cry, I write everything on the diary, I confide with a friend, I paint, I take a walk or jog, I pray to God to take all the hurt and pain. Do these help? My answer is yes, but not right away.  Inside of me is like the steam inside a pressure cooker, but I vent the steam off in a gentle way.

“Serenity. Why lose your temper if by doing so you offend God, annoy other people, upset yourself…and have to find it again in the end?”

– St. Josemaria Escriva

Freeing myself from ill or negative feelings not at the expense of hurting other people makes me feel peaceful and it radiates happiness in  the air. It is relationships after all, that I believe I should value more.

On forgiving and forgetting, I almost always decide to forgive immediately but I do not forget. I always remember lessons as my take away and avoid making the same mistakes in the future as much as possible.

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