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  Anger is a confusing, complex and challenging emotion. It is confusing as it can be a thought, feeling or an action at the same time. It is complex because more than anything, it is a secondary emotion. A secondary emotion is a emotion that is fueled and maintained by other, sometimes more powerful emotions. It is challenging because it can be constructive and it can be destructive. So how can you be angry and yet have new freedom in this area in your life? 

  You can discover freedom in the midst of your anger by learning what the other emotions are that contribute to your anger. Learning what those specific emotions are can really help you manage and maybe even reduce your anger much more successfully. 

  What are those primary situations or emotions that fuel your anger? In no order, some of them are rejection, embarrassment, abandoned or alone, hurt, guilt/shame, frustration, and anxiety. However, the foundational emotion that contributes to your anger is FEAR. Fear and others are the largest group of primary emotions that much be discovered. 

  It is likely that if you are angry and that anger creates destructive situations in your life and throughout your most important relationships, you simply are not aware of your FEAR. I am not talking just about any fear! I am referring to digging into exactly what your self talk is. You can explore what untruths you may be in the habit of telling yourself.  and When you do you will have a solid opportunity to find new freedom within your anger. 

Step up to your anger with new knowledge and then chose to put that knowledge into practice exactly what you need it. Explore honestly what you are really fearful of as it relates to where you express your anger, and you will discover how to reduce and manage your anger and move to express that anger in a constructive manner. 

Seven SUPER secrets for intimacy : 1. GIVE more to your partner than you take from them;

2. MANAGE your anger very well in your relationship-too much anger poisons your oneness; 

3. TREASURE the whole body as something awesome and not just the areas that you think would be sexual;

4. HAVE (and resolve) one conflict a week-building a better sexual relationship requires honesty and conflict resolution skills; 

5. CREATE a win-win connection during conflict asking, “how can both of us win and avoid a win/lose result” from our fights;

6. MAKE regular time for closeness and intimacy; 

7. BE quick to forgive; keep a very short list of former offenses.   

  I was constantly taught as a child and as a young man that “it is better to give than to receive”! Generally, I believe that this is excellent advice, most of the time. However, I wonder if it could become a problem if that is all that I ever do. Is is possible that this strength could move toward being something out of balance if I get so focused on giving that I struggle to receive? 

  Giving to others whenever possible has frequently created for me a special feeling of joy and satisfaction to be able to meet someone else’s needs. It is a wonderful experience to be able to bless others when I have enough and others have lack. However, if I love this emotion, could I actually deny others the same special inner jubilation when I insist on always being the giver? What is wrong when I will not be humble and permit others to take their turn as the giver? 

  I recall a season in my life when I could not “take a compliment from others”, even when sometimes it was warranted by my efforts. I frequently made some trite response, which actually downgraded the efforts that they were trying to make. I was unaware of what I was actually doing to “poorly receive what others were trying to give” because I was so focused on being a giver. My great training from my parents had not really prepared me to humble myself and let others be in control of the process. 

   A very mature and spiritual young man recently shared with me some similar thoughts from his own . He said, “learning to receive gifts from others, even when you have enough, is humbling and allows you to be more sensitive to the needs of others and to be wildly generous”. He continued, “if you are always the giver, you are always in a place of power. When you are always in the place of power, it becomes difficult to receive from the Lord and even more difficult to submit your will to him”. 

  Regardless of how/if you may consider this new line of thinking, it might be time that you consider that only being the receiver or “the taker” all of the time is unhealthy. However, it is just as one sided when I find myself the perpetual giver and receiving is foreign and uncomfortable. 

  

  

ABC gems for conflict management: 
1. ACCEPT the differences in the other person as necessary and helpful for balance….resist the need to judge one as better than the other,

2.BE quick to admit  when you are hurtful, wrong, including the places where each of you fell short,

3. CHALLENGE ideas passionately (at times), but do so by laying down a thick foundational layer of each of pursuing a better US, an improved relationship….without residual feelings of collateral damage,

4. COMMUNICATE constantly that your partner is competent and deserves to be respected/understood-ESPECIALLY when you disagree, 

5. ASK often, “What do you need from me to feel deeply connected to me”? 

More gems:

1. ATTEND to the rare strengths in each person which benefits the relationship and realize that these same strengths can be seen as weaknesses. 

2. CONFESS for self (I did, I said, I might/could have done this differently) twice as much as you confess for your partner (you did, you said, you failed to do). See your part in the conflict and consider that that part is a stumbling block for your partner,

3. ATTACK the regular patterns/cycles in your communication where each of you often return to AND stay in…..CHOSE to SEE the pattern/cycle as the problem, and not the person. 

4. BEAR your soul often, BE vulnerable, BE transparent and BE open as it is the oil that lubricates the tensions that will surface in healthy relationships.  

ACCEPT the differences in the other person as necessary and helpful for balance… resist the need to judge one as better than the other.

ADMIT quickly and effectively when you are hurtful, wrong, including a portion where each of you fell short.

CHALLENGE ideas passionately (at times), but do so by laying down a thick foundational layer of each of pursuing a better team, an improved relationship.. without residual feelings of collateral damage.

COMMUNICATE constantly that your partner is competent and deserves to be respected / understood ESPECIALLY when you disagree.

ASK often, “what do you need from me to feel deeply connected?”

ATTEND to the rare strengths in each person which benefits the relationship and realize that these same strengths can become weaknesses.

CONFESS for self (I did, I said, I might/could have done this differently) twich as much as you confess for your partner – See your part in the conflict and consider that the part is a stumbling block for your partner.

ATTACK the regular patterns / cycles in your communication where each of you return to AND stay in… SEE the patter / Cycle as the problem, not the person.

BEAR your soul often, BE vulnerable, BE transparent, and BE open as it is the oil that lubricates the tensions that will surface in healthy relatiosnhips.

A few months ago, one of my doctors, after examining my right knee, stated, “Ron, you should not be able to do what you are doing. According to your X-ray, you have lost some of your cartilage and have mild arthritis in this knee.” I had discussed with him the 900 miles that I had previously ridden thus far in 2016. I was in the office that day asking him if he could help me work through the possible pain from that knee as I prepared for a MS (Multiple Sclerosis) bike day. The knee had become unmanageable at the end of a nine hour day in the saddle in May where I finished the ride after 105 miles long miles. I wanted the assurance that the knee would not limit me as I increased miles in the last few weeks of training for a day where I hoped to ride 75-100 miles to benefit those who have multiple sclerosis.

In addition to the right knee problems, I have had two left knee surgeries, back surgery and both hips replaced. In the midst of training for this ride, I suddenly realized that I could serve as an inspiration for others who might be tempted to give up when they faced limitations of one kind or another.

Limitations? How do you respond when you encounter roadblocks? Do you react with anger, resentment and childish behavior? Do you chose to think that life ‘owes’ you success and blessings and thus you become bitter when what you expected to happen doesn’t?

I am certainly not lifting myself up as any kind of an ongoing example or a model to follow. However, 2016 has found me being mostly an overcomer when it relates to my 63 year old limited body. It has given me an unusual opportunity to laugh out loud at all of my many physical limitations. Cycling this year has yielded an avenue not to boost about my accomplishments, but about my many weaknesses.

Limitations will and do come universally, but each of younmust chose how younhandle the challenges that life affords you. Today, do you chose defeat or inspiration?

 

She says, “You are an idiot”! He retorts back,”You are impossible, I can never do enough to please you”. The conflict goes back and forth with each of you accusing the other of “men/women acting badly”. Who’s really to blame? Who is right and who is wrong? The answer is neither and both.

   When couples are locked into a battle, both of you are responding according to what your brains are telling you to do. Protecting yourself from danger is a natural physiological response to the threat of harm. The “fight or flight” mechanism is a hard wired and natural reaction to the belief that another person is about to hurt me. 

   The reality is that neither is the problem, but both are ineffective and will not get you anywhere. As long as you both blame the other, you will be unable to break the cycle. When you can grasp that the real foe is your negative back and forth cycle, then you may have the courage to lay your “verbal weapons” down and cooperate to break the pattern. 

    When each person tries to change the other, the conflict pattern will become even bitter and more entrenched. The paradoxical truth- “as long as I try to control a person, that person will usually act the opposite from the direction of my intended control”, is as true as ever.  

   Giving up the blame game is hard! Stopping the habit of pointing the finger at someone you care about is counter intuitive. However, it can be done. Confessing that the negative cycle is the real problem is the first step to breaking the cycle and creating a new more positive communication pattern.