Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Guys, I admit it, I have lost my desire to be in combative communication with anyone. As much as I like a good debate, with reasonable informed parties, the polar opposite for me, is a tense conversation that leads absolutely nowhere.

Whenever I’m listening to a hostile voice, I want to yell "SERENITY NOW" and walk away.  This has not always been my way. For years, I would stand you down and argue until the sun sets, if I thought it was necessary but now, all I want is peace. I've learned more in my silence than I ever have in my speaking and that my friend, has been one costly lesson.

 I finally figured out that a willing heart and open ears are a rare combination and I simply do not wish to engage with the opposite.

If I walk away from a conversation with an elevated heart rate and a banging headache, chances are, I engaged in some dialogue that will never get my attention again.

Trust me, if you find the veins popping out of your neck after a conversation one too many times, you may either be the carrier of far more rage than you realize or you have been exposed to someone else’s unhealthy behavior. Either way, it’s necessary to uncover the source and pray for guidance as to how to access the peace that you need to function well.

We humans have an incredible tendency to claw at the hand of reason, if we feel that we have every right to be unreasonable. We get angry when someone suggests viewing life from another vantage point because it implies that our perception may be just a bit askew.  We hold on to every single solitary offense and guard it as if it were a gold mine. Why? Because it fuels the always running engine of our unhealthy anger and without the ability to go from 0-120 in 6 seconds, we feel weak and vulnerable to those around us.

I was the scrawniest kid you could imagine, I vaguely remember someone referring to me as 6:00, (straight up and down.)  I used my anger constantly in order to feel stronger and to be heard. Most of the time my feelings were hurt but instead of saying so (because my environment did not lend to sensitivity) I roared my little lion roar in hopes of warding off my predators. I was deemed “the bad one” because of my inability to fly under the radar and respond subtly to anyone that  I felt threatened by.

When I got older…years older, I began to study my own patterns of behavior. I paid attention to when I felt most weak and vulnerable. I found that my anger was the trigger of not feeling heard or simply being belittled. I learned (not without much effort) how to communicate effectively without the use of venomous tones and words. Most importantly, I had to let go of many of the memories that did nothing but keep my anger engine in idle. I am still deleting much data from my past. 

I believe that communication has been my saving grace, unless I am engaged with someone who does not feel the practice of talking things through is useful. Whenever that’s the case, I retreat, because I know what I am capable of saying and doing out of self-defense.

Not everyone is striving to become a reflective being, one who thinks his/her actions through in order to grow. Not everyone will do the work of self-improvement…it is A LOT of work. So if you find yourself on the other end of fury and you are looking for a way to calm anger's flames, take a deep breath and pray for God’s help to smother that fire the quickest way possible. It’s not always easy but you stand a lot less chance of getting burned.

If that approach doesn't work, simply yell: “SERENITY NOW” and run!!!

Here's a little something for my Seinfeld fans:


  1. Bonita - LOVE this post. I like how you reflect on the veins in the neck popping. So true. I have had to build boundaries around myself and a handful of friends because no matter what I said or did, they hacked away with a pick axe. Sometimes, you have to walk away from the person, too. :)

  2. Elisabeth so true! I prefer peace over friction any day and some relationships come with too much friction. Letting those go can be a considerate gift to yourself...