I had to return something the other day to a grocery store. When I approached its customer service desk, there was a man in front of me wearing a hat and dark sunglasses pacing back and forth. He was shouting verbal obscenities to someone on the phone about needing some type of prescription to go through that wasn’t. At the same time, he was also yelling at the women standing behind the counter as if it was their fault for whatever the actual problem was that he was facing. Sometimes I wonder if people like him truly think they are going to get their point across by shouting and yelling their way through it?
Unfortunately, it seems as if there are a lot of people in this world right now who are just plain angry and because of that, its like the slightest thing will piss them off, as in the case of this man who sounded like he desperately needed this prescription to survive. Whether he did or didn’t, I felt bad for whomever it was on the phone he was talking to as well as the women behind that customer service desk. When he walked away, the woman who helped me apologized because it was taking her several minutes to collect her thoughts and take care of my return. I told her I understood why she was feeling the way she was and offered my compassion for the situation. After I left the store, that man’s temper left me pondering my own life’s experiences for when I’ve either acted that way or when I’ve been on the receiving end of it.
To put it bluntly, I don’t like shouting or yelling at anyone anymore. I can see now how it’s a very negative and unspiritual thing to do. Have I done it? Of course I have. I have lost my temper many times in my life, but more so in years past before I started working on living a more spiritual based life. In most every case when I did loose my cool, it really was never about that situation that was happening before me that was causing it. In reality, it was all the things that I had done prior to it that led up to my explosion. My ex partner, who owned and ran a bed and breakfast with me for several years, was an example of someone I once got into extremely loud anger bouts with quite often. Looking back, my anger was never about whatever it was that triggered each of those arguments. Instead, it was all the decisions and actions I had made with that bed and breakfast, prior to those arguments, that I felt powerless over. The truth was that I had gone into a business that I never really wanted to go into, and I had turned over most of the control of that business’s operations to that ex-partner. So when things hit the fan as they did all too often in that bed and breakfast, I screamed and shouted at my ex-partner and said some deeply terrible things to him. More than not, he would scream and shout back at me and say his own share of deeply terrible things. Neither of us ever felt better afterwards and no positive changes ever came out of that shouting and yelling. And each time it happened, it left another gash in our relationship until one day, we parted ways for good because there was nothing left to gash.
There are plenty of other examples that I could cite out of when I’ve lost my cool and shouted and yelled my way through something that was making me angry. But I don’t feel it’s necessary to give you anymore of them because there’s a simple truth I’ve learned that can summarize them all. My life choices and the toxic things I constantly did to my life are what constantly led up to each of those moments where that ticking time bomb within me went off. Sadly, I became a lot like my mother for a period of my life as she shouted and yelled her way through things as well. Being on the receiving end of that for much of my life with her and so many other people that I got close is most likely what helped me to eventually see how shouting and yelling was completely unhealthy for anyone. I’ve experienced a few moments in my current relationship where my partner has raised his voice at me to try to get his point across. The only thing it has achieved is me shutting down and him feeling worse. Rarely have I raised my voice back at him because I know that nothing good will come out of it. Not for him, not for me, and not for us.
I can’t speak for everyone else, so maybe there are still some out there who feel that raising their voice angrily does work for them to get what they want. But if you are someone like me who is trying to live a life of peace and serenity and follow God’s will as well, then I’d encourage you to take a moment, breathe, and hold back from doing any of that shouting and yelling the next time you feel like you’re not getting your point across to someone. The reality is that all of your increased noise is going to do nothing more than hurt your own spirit and anyone else’s that it’s being directed at. And also remember the fact that there’s probably a lot of things of your own doing that led up to this happening in the first place…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson