What if I lost my temper?
What if the perfect storm of social injustice, arrogant superiority, the strong abusing the weak, disrespect of family and temperatures below 40 degrees all accumulated into one pivotal instant and I. JUST. LOST. IT?
What would that look like?
Last week, a client of mine, whom I’ll call Holly, drew for me the answer to that picture.
Holly has been with me for over six years now. We both love our catch up time and spend the majority of it laughing our butts off over stories pertaining to either her husband or mine. Holly is extremely poised, extremely well-spoken and (in my opinion) exhibits extreme self-control.
During Holly’s last appointment she recounted a frustrating situation and stated, “It’s a good thing I didn’t lose my temper.”
Me, “Is it really that bad when you lose your temper?”
Holly, “Oh, yeah! It’s embarrassing!”
Holly, “Yeah, lots of profanity…”
Me, “Huh. It’s just… We always have such a good time together, it’s hard for me to imagine you losing your temper.”
Holly, “Oh, it’s bad.”
Me, trying to make a point and expecting the answer to be no, “But can you picture what it would be like for me to lose my temper?”
Holly paused and reflected.
Slowly, as if she could see it in her mind, Holly replied, “I would imagine a lot of foot stompin’ and a lot of friggin’s.”
Foot-stompin’-like-a-toddler foot stompin’? Like-a-spoiled-brat foot stompin’? Like-a sumo-wrestler-foot-stompin’… foot stompin’?! …WHILE uttering multiple FRIGGIN’S?!
What exactly have I been putting out there for the last six years?
Okay. To be clear, it would require an awfully bizarre scenario to lead to the extreme combination of foot stompin’ and friggin’s.
As Brian can surely tell you, when I’m mad enough to explode, I get eerily quiet. And I wait. This is not to be confused with the silent treatment. This is restraint. Once I’ve simmered down and can compose myself, I very calmly and articulately express myself. I never want to to carry the shame of saying something regrettable. In fact, even as a child I knew that any furious outburst couldn’t be taken back. Never once did I tell either parent, “I hate you,” no matter how mad I was. (At least, not to my recollection, right, Momma?) I’d rather not say anything than to say something I’d regret.
And, quite frankly, it’s not a secret that I’m a Christian. So when I do stupid, hypocritical things, people tend to process that by way of rejecting Christ based on my actions. Never mind the fact that I’m the one who’s lost it and he’s the one who taught people not even to think hateful thoughts. Honestly, it’d make more sense to just reject me. But I digress…
When Holly went on about the foot stompin’ and friggin’s, I laughed so hard that I had to stop doing her hair. Then I picked up my pen and said, “Hold it. I have to write this down before I forget how you said it. Do you mind if I put this in my blog?” She didn’t mind.
Additionally, if I had to resort to foot stompin’, it would be – for dramatic effect – one foot, my right foot, one time, with both hands on my waist.