Hi - A friend with whom I've been exploring the underbelly of anger dropped off a book the other day: "Healing Rage" by Ruth King. I haven't started it yet but Alice Walker likes it and that's enough for me.
Anger might seem like an odd pre-Christmas theme, but it's certainly in scripture. I preached on God's anger last week. The prophets preparing the way for the Messiah were full of anger. The big difference between them and most of us is that theirs was righteous anger, not misguided, frightened, bullying anger.
Their anger also didn't descend into rage. Ruth King makes a distinction between anger and rage. Rage has deep roots. It's blind, historical, irrational and overblown. I suspect that as I read more I'll learn that one reason Christmas is such a time for this overblown anger is that families are thrown out of their routines and triggers into past hurts are pulled. Hard to be worshipful when you're steaming at the sibling two seats down. Part of having a peaceful Christmas is learning how to manage the complexity of families and history at a time when emotions are in high gear.
If holiday rage keeps you from settling into the peace of Christmas, check out Ruth King's list of the top 10 ways to heal holiday rage. Helpful hints we can probably all use.
Peace and joy - Sarah