At 36 years of age, I realize that I can still handle anger almost the same way I did when I was in high school.
Not very well.
There has been a little growth, but not enough to say I have conquered that area of my life.
I came to this realization when looking in the mirror at 5pm one evening, finding that I completed nothing substantial to better myself – or my family – all day. All because I was angry about a miscommunication that transpired between my husband and me earlier that morning.
Looking into the mirror transported me back to the overcrowded gym where I starred in high school basketball. I remembered how the only thing easier than the way I dominated those games was how an opponent could mentally take me out of my game just by taunting or upsetting me. Once I became offended, my sole purpose shifted from winning the game to settling the score—getting revenge on my offender. I took pride in this bad habit and poor sportsmanship, which shows my level of maturity back then.
Not much has changed.
Sure, I no longer wish to inflict physical harm on those who “cross me” today, however I still allow circumstances to throw me off course and lose focus on achieving my daily goals by shutting down emotionally.
Instead of payback and vindictiveness, my anger is manifested through silent treatments and spiteful tone. The behavior may be different but the heart is the same. Except my basketball team of twelve is now my family of three. My reactions do not help my family succeed and prosper. The team suffers.
Staring back at the grown woman in the mirror, I was stunned by the sudden awareness of my immaturity. I consider myself to be a pretty emotionally mature person, but if I allow hang-ups such as this one to fester—how mature can I really be?
Am I still that little girl on the basketball court with something to prove?
Not sure I know, but I have work to do…