Said woman take it slow

Patience has never been one of my virtues. That's probably why, despite wanting a position from which I can influence change and believing that education is key in societal formation, I have never attempted to be a teacher. I'm afraid of scarring my young students, or eventually giving myself a heart attack.

Last night, I was talking to a friend, and my impatience got the better of me. I flared up, and my legendary temper reared its ugly head. We eventually worked it out, but I was left thinking about my Lenten pledge. Abstaining from anger is really turning out to be a challenge.

My father was short-tempered himself, and I remember hating it every time I asked my mother to tutor me in Chemistry (she was a Chemistry teacher before being a change management consultant) because she would often get mad whenever it took me long to grasp her lessons. Funny, because her other students loved her teaching style.

I guess patience is not something I learned from them.

But they weren't as bad as one of our neighbors long ago. I heard this woman teaching a toddler his or her ABCs (I never got to know any of the neighbors after the original family moved out, so I don't know if she was the yaya or the mother), and the kid was having a hard time memorizing it all. She would scream at her/him, "I told you it's C! Letter C!!!" and the kid would be crying hysterically but still say, "A... B... C."

Growing up, I found it difficult to express myself. I probably didn't learn enough communications skills, as we weren't very communicative to begin with. I suspect that, not knowing any better, I reached my twenties stewing a number of issues, and now my pot is overflowing. From pretending I'm not affected just to keep the peace, I now act as if every little irritant is a prelude to World War III. I need to find the balance.

According to an anger management article:

(T)he type of people who hold in their anger their whole life NEED to learn to become more aggressive in order to become balanced. It is important to learn how to not be a doormat and have people walk all over you. It is important to speak up for what you believe and not take garbage from everyone.
I have been taking steps to manage my anger. The one that works for me is to go away for a while. I find that I always calm down whenever I see things in proper perspective.

I've also been visualizing the permanent release of this deep-seated anger. During mass, or when I pray at home, I imagine a white light clearing out my mind and heart. When I shower, I imagine myself cleaned from within as well.

I've also been quick to process the reasons behind my anger (I used to stay angry for days, but now it takes but a few minutes for me to understand it), which helps me to understand myself better.

Unfortunately, my knee-jerk rage response is still pretty strong. It's frightening because I've got a knack for finding the most hurtful words and hurling them at the person with whom I'm angry. I don't want to hurt anyone.

I know patience can be a learned skill. I'm still learning, and this Lenten season is a good time to do that. At the end of forty or so days, I expect to be a more expressive, but more patient and forgiving person.