Get Curious Not Furious

I like to think that I have matured into a place of permanent serenity and patience as I have gotten older.  Until someone finger-beckons me at a four-way stop when I don’t have the right-of-way.  Or a I get offended because the clerk didn’t return my cheery inquiry into their day.  I have “issues” that can launch me to state of fury in a nanosecond.  I’m not proud of those tendencies.

Oh, I have made progress but the truth is, I still get caught off guard, especially if I’m tired or have an unresolved conflict clouding my head.  I am learning to reframe these “temper triggers” into an opportunity to learn more about myself.

I like to think about it as getting curious instead of furious.  Why does that person irritate me because they didn’t return my smile?  Who does that person think they are to beckon me through a four-way stop….trying to control me?  Why do I react the way that I do?

All too often, it’s because another person’s irritating behavior is really mirroring my own foibles.  Or it may be illustrating something that you’ve not dealt with and it’s easier to just point the finger at someone or something else.  (Like the teenager who never cleans up after themselves and you launch into a hissy fit when you see the dirty dishes in the sink.  In that case, I’m reminded that I haven’t set and enforced boundaries.)

Instead of then getting furious with myself, I can use that as in invitation to get more curious in my journey of self discovery.  Is there unmet need trying to get my attention? (Like perhaps, the need to develop more uplifting, encouraging friendships.)

Where things get really crazy is this truth:  When we learn to accept and love ourselves instead of beating ourselves up, those temper triggers are disarmed.