This post comes from a deeper place than any that have come before it. While all the others have at least some successes to back them up, this one lacks victory. You see, frustration is a negative pattern I can’t seem to break. Maybe admitting that is the first crack.
My biggest problem with frustration seems to be identifying the source, the place of origin. Sure, people and circumstances exacerbate frustration, but I don’t think they cause it. People’s actions, or lack thereof, often just trigger something that has lingered deep inside me for many years.
What triggers my frustration? Things I can’t control and shouldn’t have to control. Electronics… they should just work. My kids… why can’t they see I just want what’s best for them? Friends… do they really believe their way is always the best way? My body… I exercise and eat healthy food, but it seems to constantly break down anyway. And let’s not even talk about how I feel about my hair!
Maybe the answer isn’t eliminating frustration. Maybe the answer is accepting its existence and then finding ways to more positively mitigate it rather than to constantly react when frustration overwhelms. Honestly, I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that anything I’ve done to this point has only buried the root cause of my frustration and not really dealt with it.
I hate that frustration triggers reactions in me I thought I had overcome. Reactions I’m too ashamed to admit on paper or out loud. Reactions that seem stronger at times than any good in me and that lead me to believe, if only for a moment, that I am still a mouthy, arrogant, temper-driven teenager and that I’ll never change.
Do you sense the frustration in my words? Do you sense that even though I know that “He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4), I still struggle with letting that truth reign in this area of my life? Even worse, I struggle with seeing through my frustration enough to find scripture that would direct me toward healing in this area.
Perhaps the answer is that I can’t overcome this through struggle and reasoning and effort. Perhaps the answer, simply, is to continually take my frustration to the cross and to let the power of the Holy Spirit keep it from controlling me. I thought I had done that, but maybe I haven’t done that enough.
Maybe there’s still that child in me that was constantly frustrated by things she couldn’t control. Maybe she still wonders how she could have not felt overlooked and misunderstood all of the time. Maybe, just maybe, she has to simply admit that she can’t handle a bumpy road on her own.