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Archive for June, 2011

Anger Management

I have anger issues. I didn’t realise till people around me mentioned that they didn’t really appreciate my tone. Anger is a strong emotion that I don’t really think anyone ever eradicates completely. And some of us can’t help but let our emotions get the better of us and act on impulse – usually regretting it in the moments that follow. Having been on a bit of a blogging hiatus, this post is about my road to conquering my anger issues and how that has affects all aspects of my life including my writing.

I like to think I am a pretty friendly and good natured person. I like to meet new people and have sustained many an old friendship over many years. And yet only recently I find my discontent with life has filtered into my interactions with others. Before I went to Hajj I found that I was increasingly abrupt with my family and friends. I was almost always upset and or upsetting someone else with my sharp tone and harsh words. I reacted badly to situations and ended up wallowing in regret.

Hajj was an eye-opener. Going into the experience armed with other peoples stories and a truckload of theories on patience and harmony – it’s shocking to see the number of people that lose it while on Hajj. The man that smacked his wife over the head, the men and women that yelled at the bus driver, the amount of needless shoving and angry pushing during tawaaf… and the girl (me) that fought publicly with her dad – a incident that deeply hurt my dad and one that I will regret for the rest of my life. But why am I exposing my sins to you? Because it’s important that you realise just how low I had fallen and how hard I had to work to get back to normal. Publicly fighting with my most favourite person in the whole world was the lowest point for me. It really brought home how much and how easily I had let my anger control me, my thoughts, my actions and how it was affecting my relationship with those I loved.

Anger is hurtful. Rasul SAW said that the real strength of a man lies in controlling his wrath.  Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Rasul SAW said: “The strong is not the one who over comes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls him while in anger.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 8.137]

So when we hit that cold hard place known as rock bottom, when we have given in to our baser anger and hurt those around us.. what redeems us?

When someone is angry  and reaches a state of losing control with themselves or others they should make a special Du’a. “I  seek refuge in Allah swt from Satan the Outcast.” And if possible perform wudu. Ignoramus that I was, when I first read this I said to myself, my anger is so overpowering, will this small act really be any help at all? Nonetheless, the next time I got so angry that I felt I would burst, I repeated those words and performed wudu and sat down and closed my eyes. Almost instantly I felt a calm wash over me and felt my mind regain its balance. Subhanallah. How could I have questioned the power of entreating help from the Almighty? Rasul SAW said: “Ask Allah SWT being certain that He will answer, and know that Allah will not answer the supplications of a heart which is distracted and not serious.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi (3479)]

So that is why all the previous times I had asked Allah swt for help, he had not answered. Simply because I hadn’t believed in Him. I had thought my anger was more powerful than the power of dua. Anger is but an emotion. When you are in its thrall it seems all powerful and overwhelming. But it is in essence only a figment of your imagination. An emotion you can control! I had to travel back to the root of my anger, deal with the issues that were causing it to become uncontrollable.

Controlling anger is a slow and painful process. An intensely humbling process which builds ones humility and self control. I am nowhere near conquering myself or my anger and I have suffered enormous lapses in judgement and handled situations poorly which have caused me to sever ties with three people. To those three people I ask for your forgiveness… you know who you are.. because we no longer speak. I valued all of your friendships and regret losing them due to my anger and impulsively harsh words. I have tried to reconcile with all of you and realised that no amount of regret stops the arrows that has left it’s bow. People move on, they remember how you treated them and they do not come back to give you a second chance.

To those of you who stood by me in this difficult phase of my life – thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know I have been intensely bipolar and difficult to live with. But without my family and you I would not have made it. Anger had sapped my will to enjoy life, to write. I stopped writing for a long time because all I produced were angry rants and regretful wallowing. I hope this post is the beginning of my renewed vigour for the expression I love so much – Writing.

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