I came across this clip from the most unlikeliest of places-the television show Divorce Court. This is unlikely because it’s a rare day that I watch television and when I do it’s even more rare that I watch court shows. But a friend posted this and it reminded me of some of what we talk about here on EMDF. Naturally, I had to share it with you guys along with my thoughts.
In the clip the judge is encouraging a defendant (a woman) to let go of her anger and fear. Now you know that we have talked about fear quite a bit in the past and I can agree to much of what the judge says to the defendant. She describes a pattern of fear that causes anger that causes “crazy” and walks the defendant through her pattern of pain, fear and anger. Now I don’t know the whole story and I don’t know what preceded the judge giving the woman this advice but I like what she had to say.
My thought is that we have to understand that anger is a secondary emotion. The presenting issue that makes us angry is rarely if ever the actual issue but it’s usually the memory or experience that the presenting issue triggers that is the actual problem. For example, you may be angry that your significant other who forgot to pay the light bill when it was due and when you were a child you experienced the electricity being turned off because a parent didn’t pay the bill on time. The current situation with your significant other may trigger that memory and cause you to be fearful that the electricity may be turned off and in turn cause you to be angry with your significant other.
This is just an example for the sake of illustration but our previous experiences that caused us pain can still show up in other areas of our lives today. They can cause us to put up walls and close ourselves off to the world because we are afraid that someone will hurt us again. They can cause us to be angry and bitter and hurt the people we luv because we haven’t worked through the pain of any previous experiences that hurt us.
The one place where I differ with the judge is in making a list of what is wrong with us as she encourages the defendant to do. Most of us are very good at stating what we think is “wrong” with us. I once conducted a class on affirmations and as part of the class I gave the ladies a few seconds to write down 10 things they thought were”wrong” with them; they wrote them down with ease. I then gave them the same amount of time to write down 10 things that were great about them. they had a difficult time writing this list and most could only come up with 3 or 4 great things about themselves. This is unfortunate because we are programmed to criticize ourselves and focus on what is “wrong” with us but rarely are we taught to recognize and affirm the things that are “right” with us.
We are often taught that talking about our good characteristics is tantamount to being cocky and arrogant and conceited. But as long as we are focusing on the areas we need to work on we are OK by societies standards. It’s OK to look in the mirror and take responsibility for the areas of our lives that we need to grow in and acknowledge those areas. I encourage that. It is also OK to look in the mirror and acknowledge and affirm the areas where we rock! I encourage that too!!
In working through any anger or “crazy” issues that you may have make sure to acknowledge that which makes you great while you are acknowledging the things you need to work on. Acknowledge that you are smart, talented, creative, beautiful, compassionate, impartial or whatever great qualities that make you YOU! Be sure to be gentle and luving with yourself and give yourself the space to be human. We all have fears but we don’t have to let those fears take over our lives and turn into crazy.
As always, your thoughts are appreciated! Also, be sure to download Daily Desserts to Inspire Self-Love for more inspiring ways to affirm your greatness!!
In luv and dessert,