Recently I found myself imagining myself having a fit. You know, a screaming and throwing things fit. Of course, I don’t actually do it … but ride this fantasy with me…
Imagine this, you’re driving along you hear something that just burns you. It doesn’t matter what. It could be your child not listening to you, or something that bruises your ego, whatever. It’s just something that leads to the blood-boiling feeling. So you pull over, jump out of the car, scream, stomp your feet, throw you cell phone into traffic. The whole bit. You have a temper tantrum.
Doesn’t that seem just the slightest bit appealing? At least every now and then? I watch Lillian as she navigates through the disappointments of life with her emotions right out in front. Apparently rejections like, “No, you can’t have a piece of candy now, it’s almost dinner” warrant a meltdown.
So, what’s my “no” to candy? What in my existence gives me license for a bona fide fit? What’s my melting point?
I have to say the answer is different every day. But I somehow manage to stay an adult and not regress to the three-year-old I imagine (and at times long) to be. To some extent, just imagining the fit was somewhat satisfying in itself. I could so clearly see myself screaming and carrying on — probably because fits are very vivid in my recent memory thanks to mothering five. Allowing myself to visualize the whole thing actually helped me, since I ended up smiling with a little silent chuckle over the ridiculousness of it all.
It also lead me to reflect on all the good things. All the many blessings in my life.
My own ridiculous fantasy fit helped me recognize the struggles so many others go through and put my own into perspective. Although that didn’t completely diminish my yearn for a scream fest, it helped. It also brought me to reflect about why I wanted to scream in the first place … leading me to that darn and oh-so deadly sin of pride.
So I sought a solution in prayer, and found it in the place that speaks to my heart the most, the book of Psalms.
LORD, my heart is not proud; nor are my eyes haughty. I do not busy myself with great matters, with things too sublime for me. Rather, I have stilled my soul, hushed it like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me.
Maybe next time I think of that psalm before the fit. Then again, maybe not. But at least I’ll try.