“Ask yourself, ‘Why am I so angry?’ Just ask the question.”
— Rob Furlong
Emotional intelligence has nothing to do with being ‘intelligent’. But it has everything to do with wisdom in the context of our relationships. It is simply down to this: where we have awareness we have the power, through the courage of action, to change. And in the context of anger, simply becoming aware in the moment and asking the simple question can provoke a different response, just in time.
The use of emotional intelligence—to become aware and to change in the moment—can literally be a lifesaver. It’s certainly a relationship saver.
Awareness and Action
In its most basic form emotional intelligence is awareness and action—two discrete steps.
First we begin to train our minds to become more aware of what we are thinking and how we are responding to different life circumstances. We want God to awaken us emotionally and, therefore, spiritually.
When we are open to God’s healing Presence in our lives, in allowing the Spirit to heal us emotionally, especially by wrangling with our pasts, we are bound to grow spiritually. Our emotional lives are deeply connected with our spiritual lives. If we want spiritual growth we ought to go for emotional growth—that is the way. And there is no better place to start than with our past hurts—to seek God’s miraculous healing. We ought to believe God can do anything so far as healing is concerned.
What we could not do, God can do.
Awareness is a thing that has to be grown. We become more and more aware with time and practice.
The second step, of course, is action. We would be fools if we were aware of something, yet didn’t act. Action has the boldness of genius about it, as Goethe would say.
Action requires courage, but it’s helped because our awareness has helped us make the decision. Courage, in this way, is made easier. It doesn’t need to haggle over what to do; it simply needs to do it. Our awareness has already convicted us. To act should be simple. To act is to do the thing that is, or will be, blessed.
There is much wisdom in simply asking ourselves the question, “Why am I angry?” Becoming aware through such a question is just the distraction we need to move from anger into the curiosity that protects others who would be otherwise hurt by our anger.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.