Bang! Bang! I was sitting in my living room working on my laptop when suddenly I heard shots ring out that cold November night. I immediately took cover and heard someone yelling outside, then a car screeched away as more shots were fired. That’s when the picture window in my second-story apartment cracked after being hit by a stray bullet. After a few moments, I cautiously got up and peaked outside. I could see a man standing under the street light smoking a cigarette and holding a shotgun. He was looking down the street in the direction of the speeding car.
I called 911 and reported what I had heard. The dispatcher told me to stay on the line while I waited for the police to arrive. I didn’t have to wait long as several squad cars came screaming down the street and parked in front of my apartment. Soon after their arrival I heard a knock at my door. A police officer asked to come in and advised me that two men had been fighting over a woman and the man with the shotgun had been taken into custody. I was relieved to know he was no longer a threat. I began to wonder why people try to settle their differences with violence. These days we hear about how guns, knives, and bats are used to settle differences. How sad it is that as a society we have lost the art of talking things out.
When the police officer left I walked over to the window and peered outside. I saw several officers still searching for more evidence on the street. I had a difficult time sleeping that night as my mind raced. I wondered how it would have changed my life if someone had gotten killed that night outside my window. We all face the unknown each an everyday. We can control some of our circumstances and some of them we can’t. Accidents, health crisis, and unexpected reactions by others are totally out of our control. That’s just a fact of life!
How do you handle your anger? Do you walk away or do you let your anger fester and throw thoughts of revenge into the mix? Most people don’t realize that their words are just as deadly as a two-edged sword. We all know we can’t take back what is said in the heat of anger and the wounded person can do one of two things: 1) they can forgive and move on or 2) they can decide to resent you and look for an opportunity for a fight down the road. Which one will you choose?
Have you ever listened to kids when they get into verbal fights on the play ground? You might hear things like “My dad can beat up your dad” or “My dad is a weight-lifter and is stronger than your dad.” Kids can throw out all kinds of verbal insults and we wonder where they learned how to do it! Our kids watch and listen to how we deal with day-to-day stresses and pay close attention to how we feel about certain people who cause us grief. They soak up our attitudes towards others and watch how we face personal struggles. Kids are like video cameras; they record what we say and how we react to difficult situations in our lives then replay those reactions on the playground and with their siblings. It’s important to keep in mind that what we say in anger could be overheard by our impressionable children. I challenge you to consider your words and actions carefully and you’ll find that doing so will bring you peace.
Are you experiencing a difficult time in your personal relationships because of anger and communication issues and need help? Are you or your spouse avoiding meaningful conversations out of fear of ending up in arguments? Would you like to learn new communication tools that will help you when talking with your friends and family? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can help! Give me a call today! We’ll schedule your free, initial consultation.
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