Legitimate irritability. Ever see any yourself? Ever catch some from somebody – irritability? Do you legitimize your irritable ways?
Recognize it in yourself? …that change of inflection revealing your irritability? You snap out a word. If you really go with it (the irritable feeling), you get stern, your voice rises, louder.
Remember as a kid, you knew when your dad got angry? “Now I’m in-for-it for sure!” It was inflection that tipped you off (no actual smoke or steam coming out of his ears like in the cartoons). But you just knew he was steaming.
I’ve always sort of thought that it’s unavoidable – being irritable. Not that big of a deal, right? Once in a while, if things just aren’t going swell… then how on earth can I not be a bit cranky and “off”?
- The devil made me do it!
- I just did not get enough sleep.
- They deserve that remark.
I have all kinds of reasons for being snappy (and rude?). When I’m “in the moment” my mouth is quicker than my mind. I so easily respond before my mind is able to create kindness.
Words are quicker than kindness.
I need kindness in my head before I can form words of kindness — with my mouth. Just saying what I feel “in the heat of the moment” – sometimes produces unkind words and attitude. But how do I control the movement of my lips? It happens so quickly.
Any place of stress can too easily produce it – irritability: work relationships, family relationships, road relationships (ie “almost” road rage). You know what I mean? I think so.
I’ve come to a place where I no longer accept irritable vowel movements as “okay”. It’s not okay. It’s not acceptable to get it, be irritable. Being irritable comes from a low love quotient.
If I am driven by a desire to
- give my best to someone,
- be the best I can be,
- keep that person happy as can be,
- affirm and enable
- have that person leave with positive feelings about our time together
- actually be more like Christ
…then I will choose to overlook a perceived offense and speak with gentleness, kindness, and acceptance. I will be careful to build-up and encourage.
I won’t let irritable feelings dominate me. Don’t let it.
Romans 6:8-14 See verse 12:
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts
Words and attitude are a choice, and I choose to be nice. Being nice comes from within a soul that is overflowing with love for others. Got that? That kind of Spirit-filled soul? I sure don’t when I’m letting it… letting it reign in me.
I have really taken to a practice I started not long ago — of smiling at people. Bugs the hell out of some. But most people smile back. It’s like a contagion — that smile. Try it. It’s sort of a starting point for not letting irritability catch on. Can’t spoil your countenance as quickly if you already have a smile going.
I’ve entered a store, and out-going is this obvious scowl. But she looks up at me (so as to not run into me) and, out flashes this instant smile. She saw my smile. I changed her face — with my smile.
Marriage is a good testing field for practicing forgiveness and tolerance, acceptance and a non-judgemental attitude. A while back in my life I discovered that I don’t have to be irritable. If I have love, it’s a choice. If I am running on empty, love is running low, and then love is not a choice, and irritability is a reaction, a reflex.
I’ve made a mental decision, a choice, a commitment that says: being irritable is unkind. Irritability is never warranted. I will not accept any of it in the cavern of my mind. I will not let it have a place in my little circle of being. I will not excuse irritability for anything. I refuse…
“bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander… along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]” – Ephesians 4:31-32
I will not speak out irritable words. I will supplant irritability with loving-kindness, forgiveness, tolerance.
I will not allow myself to conform to the unacceptable ways of other people around me. I refuse to be a self righteous prig, scowling at the world — as if I owe it to them to be irritated by their lack of propriety, their prideful ways.
Self righteous prig: (1) A person who demonstrates an exaggerated conformity or propriety, especially in an irritatingly arrogant or smug manner; (2) a person who is smugly self-righteous and narrow-minded; (3) a person self-righteously concerned with the observance of proprieties.
I will not continue to be what I used to be. I refuse to be defined by the sins of my past.
I will instead — become more and more conformed each day to the loving ways of Christ. I consciously reject irritability and, I choose love.
Romans 12:2 [Full Chapter]
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
This is not “positive thinking”, as they say, but rather — a conscious decision I’ve made — to change. I daily choose to allow God to empower me by His Spirit in me – away from the unacceptable, and into His ways.
my wild and crazy
I want to be
gentle, kind and useful
not some wicked
wild and crazy
– From: My wild and crazy stallion heart