So, a few days after Christmas I was found myself wasabi mad. Wasabi mad: angry in an instant, flaming way, going instantly from calm to raging and quickly subsiding. Someone is rude to you and you flare into anger.
Suddenly I am yelling and sarcastic to the woman staying with us for two weeks, and it horrified me. Shortly afterward I went to talk with her about what happened and to apologize. Even in that calm conversation I flared again when she called me, unreasonably, a control freak. (My friends could fault me for being an indulgent mother but they never for control issues.) I had enough courage to tell her in no uncertain terms that she may not call me names, but I have a hard time navigating this weird relationship. It is fraught with misunderstanding and unreasonable expectations. I desperately want to understand why I blew up, how I can set limits on her expectations, and give her what God has for me to give.
Today a psychologist recommended Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. I had just put it on my Amazon wishlist two weeks ago. I am ordering it (from my favorite Indy bookstore, of course!)
I wonder how common it is to obsess over people who criticize you. I admire strong people who keep their sense of proportion and brush it off. It is so weird: if someone honks at me for no good reason–I am going the speed limit; I used my signal– I stew on it for days. The bullies have power over me. Why? Why does it matter so much what people think?
Over the years God has been my counselor. I can honestly say, looking back over 57 years, that God has creatively worked in my psyche to get me over some deep wounds. Psalm 103 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul…who heals all your diseases.” Yes, my soul, praise Him!
In an ideal world, counselors gifted to understand the inner landscape would be available to us through the years as we need them, but even in their absence God is able to give us the counsel we need. We hear Isaiah’s words in Handel’s Messiah: “He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isn’t it true? Hasn’t He mended the broken and in His wisdom used quirky imperfection to do His marvelous work?
I love that He makes something out those who have been hurt in childhood. Really, haven’t we all? The vulnerable child has always suffered some hurt to some degree by parents who are grown up vulnerable children. I take comfort that my adult children will become more and more whole as they cultivate a relationship with their heavenly Father, who heals all their soul’s diseases.
And I will learn to set and keep boundaries so I am never again wasabi mad.