Category Archives: Anger management

“Day in Court”

I was 15 years old, visiting my Dad in Edmonton Alberta during my high school Spring break in Washington State. Strangely He and I went on a shopping spree. Blue plaid suit, deep blue shirt and a white tie. 


The next day we got up early. Dad standing in front of me shirtless freshly shaven, smelled of Aqua Velva, and his fine thin brown hair still wet. A lit Export “A” cigarette hung in his lips, the neglected ash fought the forces of gravity as he struggled to complete a full Windsor knot in my new tie. Looking me over, it was if he was searching for something he had lost long ago. 

Securing each button on his dress shirt, his “Born to Love” jailhouse tattoo on his chest slowly disappeared from sight…….
Sitting in a narrow hallway of a provincial court, for what seemed hours, little did I know, I was to be Exhibit A in his “day in court”. Dull humming of the flickering fluorescent lights was interrupted by a “Click, Clack” as the court door opened. “Raymond, come in here”. Wincing I entered the brightly lit court room. Unaccustomed to the tie, my throat tightened as I saw a room full of serious faces. I sensed that a dialogue had been taking place and I was about to become part of it. My ears were ringing, I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lens. My Dad glancing at me with out making full eye contact. (He was somewhere else mentally) “Raymond,tell everyone how old you are”. 

I blurted out, “15 years old sir”. 

All eyes were on me, still oblivious to what was going on. Through the fog, my Dad was pointing at me, I heard “Your Honor, this how I looked!” “This is how old I was when I was arrested for joyriding in a jeep and sent into general population”! Still a bit puzzled, Dad gave me a quick glance of reassurance, and escorted me back in the hall. 

The story continues with me coming to understand the high level of abuse and mistreatment my Father experienced as a teen while in “custody”. During one particular incident he was forced to clean up the room directly under the gallows. 

I hadn’t heard these details until I was sixteen and with his death shortly after that, I put these stories away. It was too much to carry as a teenager. 
If this was my Dad’s “day in court”. Why had I felt judged? Why did I feel the weight of the chains that seemed to still bind him? 
Was the click of the courtroom door the securing of an emotional lock for which I had not the key? 

What had I done? Answer? Not a damn thing! 
As a teen, part of the burden was simply knowing that injustices such as these even existed. Wanting to rectify the injustice against your loved one is only natural and I had to accept the fact that this was HIS “Day in Court”. Those were HIS choices, and not mine. I would and still have many of my own mistakes to pay for.

There is importance in speaking out against injustice. Getting a “Day In Court” may seem ideal but a sobering fact is that justice as you perceive it may not prevail. 

Secondly, understand who “The Court” is before asking for them to pass judgment. Otherwise, be not surprised when “the judgemental” judge you. 

Finally, as a Dad of 5, the only one wearing a blue plaid suit to MY “Day in Court” will be me.


RIP GJR 

Peace. 

Living In Tension 

True personal growth comes when you choose to honestly communicate and understand those you have conflict with even if it means living in tension and being accountable for each of your own actions. This is when discrimination and self serving categorization of others ends. 

If you are of Christian persuasion, please remember, Christ did not come as more commandments on a stone tablet, rigid, cold and without feeling but, rather a warm, loving, and totally transparent being. 

I Am Sorry 

Three simple words , without knowing the context, have endless implications/applications. A simple accidental bump into someone, if you interrupt someone, a common courtesy, These type of apologies are typically immediate. The phrase is a polite gesture allowing us to coexist in a somewhat civil society. Making amends can also vary culturally. For example, in Japan the word for sorry is “gomen”. If you are at fault in a car accident, even before judgement and damages are awarded, you are culturally expected to offer what is referred to as “gomen money”. Those familiar with the Far East understand that “saving face”, a karma centered ideology, yields a population of humility and tolerance. I admire the Japanese tact that it in a sense, requires a time of reflection as well as setting the stage for the more western ideology of forgiveness. 
 Humility and forgiveness go hand in hand I have often wondered if it is possible to forgive without an apology. Additionally, must you forgive when an apology is given. For me I believe the answer is simple. If the apology is sincere, it makes it easy to forgive.
However, If insincerity is present does the apology mean anything? I remember when I was around 10, being full of myself, sharing with my Dad Tony, how someone had wronged me and the next day she had apologized to me. I smugly shared, “I told her I didn’t accept her apology”. He immediately scolded me and made it clear that if someone makes the effort to apologize, you damn well better accept it. Looking back, my not wanting to accept the apology was a lapse in judgment in the form of wanting to hurt, those that hurt me. The apology and her taking ownership was the key to breaking the cycle of vengeance and arrogance. We are human, as the Bible says in Matthew 5 23:25, if you come to the altar with a gift but have conflict in your heart with your brother, leave immediately and go to your accuser so that you may resolve the conflict, and then once again return to the altar with a clear heart. 

If an apology never comes? That’s where forgiveness in order for you to move forward is so crucial. 

Peace to you. 

The Omega 13: “15 seconds” of time travel(or how Galaxy Quest saved our marriage) 

“God Bless my first wife”my second wife of almost 20 years often thanks god for her “breaking me in”. Broken in or not, one thing if we are being honest, most married couples/couples can attest to is, people say Stupid S#%t. 

In the 1999 Comedy science fiction movie Galaxy Quest, what looked like a not-so-happy ending for the heroic crew was reversed by the “Omega 13 “, a super-charged time travel device which turns back time, you guessed it, for 13 seconds. Who knew that a prop from a Star Trek spoof would be key to improving a relationship. 

The “Omega 13” Copyright by Dreamworks LLC.

The Secret of the Omega 13

When you activate the Omega 13 or what we refer to as “15 Seconds”

When one says “15 Seconds!”, 

1. What was said in the last 15 Seconds is immediately drawn into a black hole located ~6 degrees of off The North Star. 
2. You are immediately admitting you messed up

3. It allows you a second GO by rephrasing, or simply shutting up and hugging the other person.(Wearing a protective cup may be advised if you choose the hugging approach and your initial blurt was incite-ful vs.”Insightful”)

4. You break the tension in the moment because you start thinking of that ridiculous movie and still are amazed that this crazy tool works. 

5. It allows the other person to show mercy. 

6. It allows you to laugh 

I think the real reason “15 seconds” works is because we both are committed to it working. It’s a sign that when you are both spent and really don’t fell like butting heads, you are both willing to (queue Cher, try not to think of that song) turn back time, and find your way, Together. Peace. 

The Sin Of Anger

There is a saying that when you hold onto anger, it’s like drinking poison while expecting the other person to die. 

Last year at this time we were part of the loving vibrant church. It was a large part of who we were as a family and we miss it dearly. I won’t go into any details of what happened at the church other than to share how I feel. I can honestly say I don’t hate those responsible for destroying the church as it was, as hate is too strong a word even for those I am angry with.

 Yes, I still find myself angry.   

 I am angry with the lies and rumors that they chose spread even after they  were shown to be untrue. 

I am angry with those who failed to make amends towards my family and to those close to me.

Jesus Christ took away our permission to call people sinners and said, love your neighbor. And by the way, (here is the tough part ) everyone is your neighbor. 

Up until this point in my life I feel I have been a forgiving person. I have gone toe to toe with someone, got my nose busted but afterwards sat down for a beer together as if nothing ever happened. Perhaps it was because physical wounds are easy.  
Recently I was sharing with my best friend on how I was amazed that my children could be so forgiving of those who have crossed them while I as the parent, struggled to be forgiving of the infraction against them. It’s simple she explained, those are your children and you want to protect them.

 I believe as Christians, if we want to hate sin, it must be our own sin.I must now choose to spit out the poison of anger. The sin of anger. May God have mercy on me. Amen. 

What we can learn from Archie Bunker? 

” That guy is a regular Jew”! As a 10 year old, I really had no idea, what that statement was insinuating. As an adult it came to my attention that it was a derogatory remark meaning somebody had a stereotypical frugality that supposedly Jews were known for. I was still trying to figure out why I was being called a “Cheesehead” (supposedly being Canadian born had something to do with it). For a moment think of Archie Bunker. He made bigoted stereo typical comments such as these. He was a hardworking man. Drove a taxi as a second job to make extra money. He came home like clockwork and expected dinner on the table.

Periodically Archie also showed his soft underbelly. I remember an episode of All in the Family when Archie painfully reminisced about being tormented with the nickname of “shoebooty”. It turned out the nickname came from his childhood when his family was so poor, he didn’t have a matching pair of shoes and was forced to wear one shoe and one boot. 

 Recently , it dawned on me , that the above description could’ve easily been that of my stepfather Tony. If he missed work because he was sick, that meant he couldn’t get out of bed. When my dad was on strike at work, he picked berries in the fields as well as bailing hay to make extra money. Tony also shared stories where he had struggled growing up, For example it was was a treat to eat a raw sweet onion, just like an apple. or the luxury of getting fruit in his stocking at Christmas. A stark difference between these two men was that Archie was a White Anglo Saxson Protestant aka a WASP and Tony was a Mexican American originally from Texas.The premise of this post is not too belittle or dishonor but rather take an honest look at perhaps what made these men tick. Just in the past week, millions of, Archie Bunkers showed up to vote. The reference is not to that of the bigoted ignorant not politically correct voter, but rather The citizen that is busting their ass, see their house devalue. Seeing manufacturing jobs go elsewhere and a government that seems to be only interested in themselves.

 Back to the comment at the beginning of this post. What statement have you made? Typical, (fill in the blank), right winger, bible thumper, socialist, libtard, liberal, and conservitroll. I remember a few of Archie’s favorites, Pinko Commie, (still never figured out the “pinko”reference). 

Point being, how much of the “fill in the blank” portion of your statement is shaped by what we are being fed by social media, agenda driven news sources, as well as, personal relationships. 

I will leave you with this, *Carroll O’Connor who played Archie Bunker, was one of the most liberal open-minded caring people you can imagine. Not only is this a tribute to his acting skill but also a tribute to him as a human being, A human being who took the time to not only portray but, also understand somebody elses point of view. A point of view on the other end of the spectrum. Peace. 

-RR

 

*Carroll O’Connor played Archie Bunker on the groundbreaking 1970s sitcom All in the Family. His comedic portrayal of a working-class bigot brought political and social issues into the popular dialogue of the time.

I am sorry

Three simple words , without knowing the context, have endless implications/applications. A simple accidental bump into someone,  if you interrupt someone, a common courtesy, These type of apologies are typically immediate. The phrase is a polite gesture allowing us to coexist in a somewhat civil society. Making amends can also vary culturally. For example, in Japan the word for sorry is “gomen”. If you are at fault in a car accident, even before judgement and damages are awarded, you are culturally expected to offer what is referred to as “gomen money”. Those familiar with the Far East understand that “saving face”, a karma centered ideology, yields a population of humility and tolerance. I admire the Japanese tact that it in a sense, requires a time of reflection as well as setting the stage for the more western ideology of forgiveness. 

Humility and forgiveness go hand in hand

I have often wondered if it is possible to forgive without an apology. Additionally, must you forgive when an apology is given. For me I believe the answer is simple. If the apology is sincere, it makes it easy to forgive.

However, If insincerity is present does the apology mean anything? I remember when I was around 10, being full of myself, sharing with my Dad Tony, how someone had wronged me and the next day she had apologized to me. I smugly shared, “I told her I didn’t accept her apology”. He immediately scolded me and made it clear that if someone makes the effort to apologize, you damn well better accept it. Looking back, my not wanting to accept the apology was a lapse in judgment in the form of wanting to hurt, those that hurt me. The apology and her taking ownership was the key to breaking the cycle of vengeance and arrogance. We are human, as the Bible says in Matthew 5 23:25, if you come to the altar with a gift but have conflict in your heart with your brother, leave immediately and go to your accuser so that you may resolve the conflict, and then once again return to the altar with a clear heart. 

If an apology never comes? That’s where forgiveness in order for you to move forward is so crucial. 


Peace to you.