I've noticed over the last few months a growing anger and frustration within me. This has been very disheartening. Because I think if you were to ask my close friends and family, the word anger and frustration wouldn't typically be associated with me. But maybe that's my own lack of insight.
But in this time I've realized several things about what has been going on. One, I have been doing a horrible job of self-care, which leaves me little ability to regulate and manage my emotions in a healthy way. Two, my wife and I are in an incredibly challenging stage of life (like all of you), as we try to adjust to new challenges as our kids get older and work brings about a new level of busyness. Three, the most important lesson I've learned is not what I think of myself or how others may perceive me...but what those closest to me think. Those closest to me have the greatest experience with what my true self is in varying moments...and because of that, they are often on the front lines of helping me better understand myself, and acting as a barometer for my own negative coping behavior.
When I was in graduate school at Fuller Theological Seminary, one of my favorite professors and mentors, Dr. Ray Anderson reminded me that who we are (as a person) around those closest to us tells us a lot about who we are, and is a great indicator of our true selves in moments of struggle. Dr. Anderson reminded our class one day that if we wanted to know whether or not he possessed the fruit of the Spirit that the Apostle Paul writes about in Galatians 5:22-23, then we need to ask his wife and kids. They would be the best equipped at telling the truth on that matter.
So I am working hard on my own anger and frustration so that when people ask my wife and kids what I'm like, they will be able to point to Galatians 5:22-23.
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In this episode I explore: