We live in an angry society.
Social media is full of rants about this and that. Television blares raised voices shouting over one another in what passes for news coverage. T-shirts are emblazoned with one-liners intended to provoke others.
We tolerate and even embrace anger as a legitimate emotion.
Yet we rarely make room for mourning. We hide our tears. We shame those who don’t hide theirs as “weak” and “soft” and “cowardly” or worse.
But many times what we think is anger, is really sadness.
I’ve discovered that sometimes in this Valley of the Shadow of Death, deep sorrow masquerades as anger. And I’ve become sensitive to that truth in other people as well.
Sadness over loss of any kind can be spewed out as anger:
Sorrow over declining health.
Despair over lost opportunities with loved ones.
Heartache that life has not turned out the way one had hoped.
The problem with anger is that it pushes people away. It creates an impenetrable circle that isolates a heart just when it needs to be loved, cared for and comforted.
Very few are brave enough to battle through another’s angry front to find the sorrow hidden underneath.
So I challenge myself to be more authentic in expressing what I actually feel and not dig a moat around my heart by acting angry when I’m really devastated by grief.
Because I don’t want to push people away, I want them to come close.
I need them to take my hand and remind me that I’m not alone.