It is an emotion that most of us are all too familiar with. Almost everyone has been touched by it at some point in their lives, and almost everyone has bore the consequences of a poor decision, or a poor action taken while being in a fit of rage, or anger.
Before I really dive in, I’m gonna share a personal experience and use myself as a primary example of how anger can cause personal pain and setbacks. Now, bear in mind that I’m not usually one to succumb to anger or let it get the best of me and I never have been. However, we are all human and susceptible to being taken over by anger at some point in our lives. I implore you to use me as a lesson the next time you want to let anger consume you and allow you to act in an irrational manner. Trust me, you’ll understand after I share this story lol.
Allow me a moment to set the stage for y’all. You may, or may not be aware that I was in the restaurant industry for nearly twenty years. In that time, I was a dishwasher, prep cook, line cook, pitmaster, Sous Chef, Chef … you name it, and I did it in a kitchen.
In 2018, I landed a pretty decent (or I thought was decent) job at a local BBQ joint. Being southern, I have a passion for BBQ and slow cooking food. Having an opportunity to work more with a smoker was really appealing to me. There is an art to slow cooking BBQ, and it was something I really enjoyed the meticulous process of.
Anyways, I digress.
It was in early March of 2018 that the following incident occurred. When I took this job, I was promised that I would spend 4 days a week working the smoker, and one night a week on the line. To be clear - When I took this job, I made it very clear that I was not applying for a line position as I had no desire to work the line. The Chef agreed, and promised me this was the schedule that would be adhered to. That was a lie. It was what it was, and at the time I just dealt with being given 3-4 line shifts a week. I figured this would help them see my work ethic and willingness to help where needed.
Never the less, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t harboring a fair bit of resentment and frustration over my current status at work.
March 9th, 2018 is the night that I was made keenly aware of the fact that reacting in anger can be quite destructive - and when I say that, I mean the destruction bred from anger usually damages yourself more than anyone else.
We were getting our asses handed to us on the line, and I ran out of tortilla chips (at this restaurant, a bowl of freshly fried tortilla chips went to every table). I ran to the walk-in cooler to grab some more chips, and realized that nearly the entire tub of precut tortillas had become moldy. I go back to the line and tell my boss, and I say “The chips are moldy, we gotta 86 them”.
What was his reply? Was it “Okay, good call. We shouldn’t serve that.” Nooooope. It was “well go pick through them and find the good ones” … On a Friday night. At 8pm. While I’m working the busiest station on the line by myself, this asshat tells me to go into the cooler to pick through moldy tortilla chips to “find the good ones”.
Not only was the notion of serving this moldy trash to customers pissing me off - but so was the audacity he had to ask me to do such a thing when I was already in the weeds in the first place.
I snapped. I mean, I really lost it. I picked up that tub of tortilla chips and yeeted them clear across the cooler. As I approached the cooler door, I had a really swell idea … one which, looking back, was arguably one of the dumbest moments of my life. I punched the door. Yep. I punched a 4” thick steel door. Because somehow, in my mind, this would totally show everyone how pissed off I was! No, what it did what show everyone what a complete idiot I was.
You see, I’m a big dude. I’m pretty strong, and, I can throw a pretty damn nice punch. However, when bone meets steel - bones almost always lose. And lose my bones did. Damn near every bone in my hand broke like twigs over your knee. The pain was horrendous, but the embarrassment outweighed the pain as soon as I realized the insanely stupid mistake I had just made. All because of anger,
To this day the knuckle on my pinky is still in hiding. I was referred to a surgeon but opted against surgery. #1 Because I lacked insurance, and #2 because hands are pretty complicated thingamajiggies and I read quite a few horror stories of hand surgeries winding up worse than just letting the injury heal.
Suffice to say the next few weeks sucked. I wore a soft cast and used it as I could at work. I didn’t take time off because this was my dumb mistake, and I couldn’t really afford to lose the hours. Every single time I had to use it, I was reminded of what anger can do. And how quickly it can jump up and bite us.
Patience in a moment of anger can save you. Literally. In a moment of anger, we should all take a step back. Exit the situation for a few moments. Take a few deep breaths. Maybe take a walk through the woods, or just sit outside and be still. Being a practicing martial artist, this is a concept I am learning everyday, and a concept which I try to apply to every area of my life. Learning to calm myself in moments of anger has become an invaluable gift. If you can master your anger, you can master anything thrown your way.
It is so very easy to get frustrated or angry with everything we are forced to confront in today’s world. From stolen elections, to vaccine mandates, to false narratives, and an ever encroaching government and deep state - the opportunity exists for anger to run it’s course every single day.
The thing is, anger is a low vibrational emotion. It can only breed more anger. More destruction. More hate. It is an emotion that Satan feeds off of. It is an emotion and a state of mind that the dark side wants you to dwell in because you become far easier to control when you are angry and reacting out of emotion. The biggest thing you can do to defeat them is to take a moment to collect yourself, and to quell your anger before reacting in any given situation. By doing this, you take your power back, and render them completely powerless over you.
Anger leads to thinking from a compromised state of mind, and as such it will become increasingly harder to accomplish anything of tangible value while in this mindset. It is only when we purge our minds of this negativity that we can begin to move forward. Being angry makes it exponentially harder for God to work through you as well. I’m not saying you should never be angry. Not at all. What I am saying is - we have to learn how to use our anger for us. How to turn it into righteous indignation which can then be transmuted into a positive energy that we can use to our benefit.
Movie or not, Yoda kinda nails it here:
Anger is, of course, a natural emotion. and it is often bred from fear. Fear of losing something or someone. Fear of being controlled. Fear of the unknown. As FDR said, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”. Fear is the worry of something which has not, or may not ever manifest. Fear of man is a useless emotion, and it can lead the way towards harboring hatred and anger, which then becomes a gateway for darkness to begin creeping into your mindset before you can even realize it.
Be mad. Be upset. But I implore you to then take that emotion, and sit with it for a minute. Allow it to drive you towards a productive way to confront that which angers you. Do not allow it to drive you towards irrational decisions which can cause you even more pain and heartache down the road. Hell, I still work on this every single day, but I can tell you this - learning how to control my emotions, specifically fear and anger - has lead to a much clearer mind, and a much more intimate connection with God in my own life.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. - Mark Twain
As always thank you all so much for your love and support. You all mean the world to me and are the very reason I do what I do. God bless each and every single one of you.
Outstanding post and thank you for sharing your story. I had a few things come to mind as I read this.
Working as a cook in a restaurant is something that sticks with you for life! I started working at a pizza shop when I was 16 years old and continued to work in restaurants for almost 10 years throughout my academic career. It's a high-stress, fast-paced environment where both the front and back of the house are all like chickens with their heads cut off during busy shifts. I learned so much during that time.
"well go pick through them and find the good ones" - I'm not surprised by this at all, LOL. I've seen SO MANY gross things in restaurants. I'll never drink water with ice just because of how bad ice machines can get.
Lastly, your current approach to handling anger resonates with the idea of "constructive anger," a concept found in Buddhism. There are many things going on in today's world that get us angry. Instead of punching doors, you're making an effort to spread messages of truth, empowerment, and patriotism. By harnessing your anger and transforming it into positive action, you're effectively practicing a valuable life lesson that transcends religious boundaries.
Keep up the great work Absolute!