Recently I've found myself getting overwhelmed with anger about a few issues.
For some of the issues, I have every right to be angry. Some involve things that happened in the past, long ago. The things that happened in the past I can't do anything about.
So I've been exploring what it is that I am really angry about. Is my anger justified - what am I scared of (is there any fear there).
I realize that dwelling on my anger (are women supposed to be angry??) doesn't help anyone. Certainly it doesn't help me live and enjoy my life, it doesn't help my marriage or my relationship with my kids. All it does is leave a bad taste in my mouth.
(As an aside, I didn't realize just how angry I was for a long time. Now my struggle is focusing my anger into acknowledgment and then productive anger. And accepting the past as something I can't change).
A friend once told me that being angry about other people's actions or behaviors is like taking the poison yourself and expecting the other person to get sick. I agree.
In one of the cases, with my anger towards a work situation, I figured out there is something I can do. There are actions I can take that I have taken (calmly). I've figured out what my triggers are in the situation (perceiving that I'm being taken advantage of), and the risks of me speaking out (and the risks of not speaking out).
The relief and empowerment that I've felt by speaking up - despite awkwardness - have been palpable. Even if changes don't happen, I have choices - and that is priceless.
I find that many seemingly immovable situations or things in my life change over time. They are like glaciers. It seems like some of these "truths" are unchanging but there is change going on - just slowly. And I realize that I change over time, my perceptions of what's going on change as well.
How this relates to mormonism? There may be things that can be changed - requests that a person can make here in the present in some family situations.
Being open to thinking about those changes - being open to the possibility of action can be freeing (to my mind). I can't say what those requests might be - but figuring out if there are little parts of the glacier that I can chip at. There are boundaries I can set. There are people I don't have to talk to or be around. There are people I can be around that I don't discuss certain issues with (like faith or mormonism).
Figuring out the things that I'm angry about that I literally cannot do anything to change has been very helpful (a great example for me has been the mormon.org billboard that I drive past when taking my kids to school).
It should come as no surprise to anyone here, I disagree with that use of funds by the LDS church. With all the desperate need in this world, I disagree with advertising the diversity of the LDS church (I disagree that the LDS church is really a diverse organization). So I can focus on that disagreement every time I pass the billboard, or I can accept that I can't change all of those things and let it go.
There are quite a few things that I am angry about that I can't do anything to change. I've thought about it, extensively, and there's nothing I can do. So when I'm aware of that, I choose to let my immediate anger go - realizing - I can't do anything about this, and so I choose not to dwell on my anger about it.