Anger Begets Anger

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When I sat down to write about my mom’s cancer the other day, I had a lot of emotions swirling in my head and in my heart. That’s how it is with everything in life, but with something like this in particular, you don’t really know all the places those emotions have seeped until you take a few minutes to process the situation.

For me, I flit through my day having a random thought here, a random emotion there. But not so all-consuming that I necessarily have a grip on the overall situation and how it’s affecting me.

All that is to say, when I got to that last part, the one about people giving advice, I really didn’t see that coming. I just let the words pour out, and lo the emotion was much stronger than I realized.

But that doesn’t mean it was right. I left it there, it was very therapeutic to be so honest and raw, but the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to own that approach. Especially after several people thought I meant them — and I didn’t! I really didn’t have anyone in mind. Oh rats, I’m kind of not telling the truth there. I did have a situation in mind, something I was annoyed about, but I shouldn’t have treated all other input and concern in such a blanket fashion. Even with the situation on my heart, I can’t really challenge the person’s motives. I have to assume the best. I didn’t like it, but isn’t it better to just let it go (because it wasn’t wrongdoing that needed to be addressed, just a comment that was sort of jerky).

What I noticed over the last few days, however, is that allowing myself to hold on to my anger with that situation has snowballed into other areas of anger. Having that negativity front and center seems to have influenced just about every other interaction, even in unrelated ways.

And then, on top of that, the worry that other well-meaning friends and acquaintances are thinking they are the people I’m referring to and me worrying that they are worrying and it all turns into a giant mess of feelings and assumptions from there. Lawdy! Who has the energy for all that!

Not that anyone gave it a second thought, but I had to get that off my chest. I know it’s normal to have reactions of agitation, but for me, in my own life, when I really embrace those agitations, I start going downhill fast. Probably because I don’t tuck things away as neatly as other people, but when I have stuff on my mind, it’s generally right there on my mind. It doesn’t sit back and wait for attention; it takes all the attention.

For those of you who have asked and offered advice, I really am grateful. I would much rather have well-meaning folks who are willing to share information — in a loving, humble way — than to have so few people care that I can hear the crickets chip.

It’s all so complicated and touchy feely. But I had to get it out. Thanks for listening. 3193″>



  1. Your honesty and humility is humbling. It is hard to simply trust in Him, sometimes. Just know that it is not how hard we hold on to Him that saves us. It is how hard He holds on to us. I will continue to lift your family in prayer. Blessings.

  2. Rachel, I think it is impossible for you to be offensive! You are a very brave human being to share your life this way and I am sure that it is a blessing to many who may have to walk a similar path.
    I love you!

  3. Rachel, I’m very appreciative of your comments here – my mom, too, (successfully!) dealt with breast cancer and my family has suffered horrible loss in other ways. I’d like to share something I wrote on this topic, if you don’t find it presumptuous of me. So as not to clog the comment box, I will email it to you.

  4. Allison Kennedy Owen says:

    Emotions are tricky. … Who knows how long we “should” hang onto the so-called negative ones? One time a friend said he was still trying to forgive me for something. The occurrence happened about 6 months prior. I said, “Take all the time you need!”
    Thanks for the post!

  5. It’s one of the hazards of computer communication which is why I very rarely write via the computer to anyone I have not met personally. The emotions raised, especially the negative, are too difficult to deal with since the object is invisible. And I end up robbing my family and other visible people in my life of my time.

  6. No problem. God bless you.

  7. Actually, I read your article and took it to heart. It reminded me that even though I have had loved ones with cancer, I’m not an expert on the disease. Therefore, I should just promise to pray for the sick friend and try not to diagnose or give treatment advice! I love reading your blog. Take care.

  8. “Fresh wounds are soonest closed”. St.Francis de Sales says is an old saying. Like the real christian you are you were quick off the mark, even though anyone who knows anything about you at all can see you don’t mean any harm to anyone.

  9. Hi Rachel,

    I found your post through Google notifications… Just wanted to say you’re not a lone in this. I notice my wife process the work through emotions, she feels her way through things while men, in general try to reason their way out of problems too much. WHat you describe is an overwhelm. Take some time to relax your mind if you can, the anger will subside naturally. We just don’t have any downtime anymore… too much going on in life. 🙂 Take care.