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How often do you let pain or anger change you?

Today is April 21 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you let pain or anger change you?” Managing your emotions, dealing with pain, and processing your anger will challenge how you leverage your mind, body, and spirit to navigate the chaos. As you put in the daily grind of translating one dream after another into reality, pain and anger are two emotions you may experience along the path of navigating the chaos.

Today’s reflection offers you an opportunity to nurture the self-awareness required to better understand your relationship with the various types of pain and anger you experience. Remember, as you navigate the chaos people, events, and situations will come across your path daily and how you react to each will determine your navigation efforts. Afterall, your response to life situations is often the only thing in your control.

The first reflection today comes from American singer and songwriter Johnny Cash who said: “There's no way around grief and loss: you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left.”

  • How often do you go into grief and loss?

  • If you do not go into grief and loss but experience dramatic life situations, how do you think that makes you feel?

  • When you have experienced grief and loss how long did you avoid going into it?

  • How did such avoidance impact your ability to navigate the chaos?

  • Did you allow pain or anger to change you?

  • Did you realize how pain or anger was changing you?

  • When you went into grief and loss and came out the other side, how did that transform you?

Today’s second reflection on pain and anger comes from poet Nikita Gill who wrote:

“Pain changes people. This is no secret. But your pain speaks with wisdom. When you are a child, the same pain teaches you to not touch fire by burning your fingers. When you grow older the fire turns into people. Your pain will teach you how to be careful, but it will also teach you how to be compassionate to others, be kind to those who are hurting and how to be strong in the face of adversity. Allow your pain the power to change you in a positive, beautiful way.”

  • Have you witnessed how pain changes people?

  • Did you touch fire as a child and learn not to do it again?

  • Have you learned not to engage with those who ignite your pain and anger?

  • Have you allowed pain to teach you how to be compassionate to others?

  • Have you let your pain and anger serve as a reminder to be kind to those who are hurting?

The third component of today’s reflection comes from the 2005 American romantic comedy and drama film The Upside of Anger. Evan Rachel Wood’s character Lavender 'Popeye' Wolfmeyer, had to process pain and anger and wrote:

“Anger and resentment can stop you in your tracks. It can change you, turn you, mold you and shape you into something you are not. The only upside to anger, then is the person you become…hopefully the person you become is someone who wakes up one day and realizes they're not afraid to take the journey…and that anger leaves a new chance at acceptance, and the promise of calm in its wake.”

  • How often has anger or resentment stopped you in your tracks?

  • How often have you allowed anger or resentment to stop you in your tracks?

  • Did you allow anger to mold you into something you are not?

  • Did you ever possess the self-awareness to take the journey, remain open to acceptance of life on the upside of anger, and believe in the promise of calm in its wake?

The questions stemming from today’s three references may be difficult to process at one time. These are challenging thoughts to process. Some of these questions may even stir up more emotions than you are ready to deal with at this time. But these questions also offer a reminder that navigating the chaos requires a great deal of work. Translating one dream after another into reality demands more from us with each passing day. Experiencing pain and anger is a natural part of the human experience. The more you can increase your self-awareness to understand how pain and anger change you, the better your chances of navigating the chaos.

  • How often do you let pain or anger derail you?

  • Why do you think you let pain or anger derail you when you do?

  • Have you ever caught yourself allowing the pain and anger to derail you?

  • How often do you remind yourself of the transformational power of pain?

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