Tag Archives: self-protection

Too Angry to Hurt?

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

rear view of a boy sitting on grassland
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Anger is a protective emotion. A slow burn or a flash of rage can both serve the same purpose – to cover hurt. I’m not putting anger in a box and saying this is all it is. Nevertheless, anger as a type of self- protection occurs all the time.

We misplace anger too. You’ve witnessed this. Someone goes off on a meaningless slight, leaving everyone wondering what made him or her snap. By trying to avoid the pain or discomfort of respectful confrontation, perhaps we allow anger to build until it has to release itself.

What are those hurts angry people try to avoid? That is anyone’s guess. The person who is angry may not know.  I remember being so angry I thought it would kill me. It was a direct result of a painful marriage and a victim mindset. Realizing this was an impossible load to carry, I ran to God in prayer and said, “Please change me. This anger has to let up.”

Within a few days, it did let up. Issues I had ignored or blamed others for  were drawn to my attention. I changed, and that protected me better than any anger ever could.

Fear can set off anger too. Rather than face our fears, we yell or stew or react violently at them. Road rage may sometimes be one of these types of anger. Fearing loss of control over one’s life, a driver tries to own the road.  We see this fear in our politics, religions, and fights for rights. Dialogue seems too hard, and open-minded thinking too great a challenge. Most, or at least the loudest voices, would rather argue.

I’ve realized again today that fear is making me angry.  I sat down with my Bible and asked God to reason with me (that is, to help me see his perspective).  He showed me the root cause of my anger and self-pity.  It is because of not facing again  my greatest fear- fear of never being loved or accepted. He showed me how my fear has caused me to shut out friendships (I’ll leave them before they can leave me), and has held me in defeat (how dare I try, I’ll make a fool of myself).

Rising from that Bible study and prayer time, I immediately faced three situations that had me afraid and angry.  This blog post is the fourth.  For reasons I no longer understand, writing on this topic scared me. So here it is.

My hope and prayer is that this reaches you and helps you overcome some of your anger, too.

beautiful blonde downstairs facial expression
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Today’s Helpful Word

James 4:4, 6-7a

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? …  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God.


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.







Mi Casa es Su Casa*. Please Come In

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

We all walk around in figurative cylinders, our inner ‘casas’ behind solid walls.  

As we wander through our workplaces, schools, and churches, we are blind to each other. With our families and in public spaces our cylinders bump, and we are annoyed. Oblivious to the wants and needs of anyone outside our private, opaque cones of silence, focus is a constant me, me, me.

On the inside of each cylinder is everything pertaining to a person’s understanding of self and the world.  Material possessions such as a phone, car, and dream house are in there. Personal goals and wishes are held secret there where we can decide to pursue them or not without the input of outsiders. All of our assumptions, knowledge, wisdom, and ignorance fills our cylinders.

We are happily unchallenged as we eat, drink, spend, and lust however and whenever we like. Time belongs to us, and no stab of conscience disrupts our contentment as we breathe-in our own existence day after day.

Only, what we long for most is not in the cylinders!  

Deep yearning for the “one thing” drives people to take scary risks and ignore red flags of danger. Men, women and children self-medicate with substances, sex, television, sleep and busyness.  I’ve known those who abuse themselves terribly out of sorrow for not having this, while others die having never found it.

What is it? What could be so important that nothing in our cylindrical worlds comes close to matching it?

Meaningful relationships. 


Each cylinder needs a window so we can look beyond what we have and think we know,  to learn what else is in the world. By peering out it becomes clear that ‘me, myself and I’ is not the only view. We can see what causes the abrasive bumping and notice that we cause half of it ourselves. Blindness and ignorance begin to give way to understanding the value of compromise and self-restraint. More windows mean a greater increase of knowledge, and old assumptions fail.

For example, concerning major depression and suicide, we can put down what we’ve always heard from our parents, church leaders, teachers, and gossip, and purposely pay attention to what those who have been there describe. Thanks to our windows, we can choose who and what to believe based on science, long-term studies, our own research, and first-hand reports.

However, facts and improved vision still fall short of meeting our greatest need. You know from experience it is possible to feel alone in a crowd. Carefully designed fronts cover our windows so no one can see in. We want unconditional love but conditionally offer our true selves. This keep us lonely, and tightly wrapped up in our protective cylinders.

Meaningful relationships need doors. Image of young businessman opening door with lightsWith entrances built into our cylinders we can invite people in to our inner ‘casas’ to get to know us, and  we can step out to connect with them. This requires honesty, bravery, sacrifice, and committment. The price can run high because humans are human; sometimes we cause harm or get hurt.

Gaining insight into another valuable individual frees us to love them well, and openness welcomes that love when it is returned.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

 -Pictures from Kozzi.com
*mi casa es su casa is Spanish for my house is your house. It is a welcome.